Jose Garces often serves this Spanish bell pepper stew, called a pisto, with poached or fried eggs.
Lamb Cutlets with Romesco
Jose Garces butchers the lamb rack, then pounds the steaks superthin. Next he rolls them around a filling made with whipped goat cheese, crème fraîche and herbs and serves the finished meat rolls with homemade romesco sauce (a classic Spanish blend of tomatoes, almonds and roasted red peppers). At home, pound the lamb steaks slightly, then bread and pan-fry them until crisp. Top the meat with a tangy romesco sauce and a sprinkling of goat cheese and fresh herbs.
Shrimp and Chorizo Flatbreads
Jose Garces prepares fresh coca dough, a Spanish dough similar to pizza dough, for the flatbreads. He also cooks dried garbanzos for the bean puree that's spread on top. For a cocktail party, store-bought pitas take the place of coca dough, topped with good-quality prepared hummus, fresh shrimp and spicy slices of chorizo.
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Preparing the salad dressing is a multistep process that includes letting chopped shallots soak up the flavors of mustard, thyme and vinegar before mixing them with olive oil. To streamline the recipe at home, start the salad dressing in a skillet (no marinating involved), then finish it in a bowl with all the other ingredients.
This thick, creamy flan—Jose Garces's mother's recipe—is a staple in his household. Garces likes to serve it alongside a refreshing salad of melon and citrus.
White-Bean Soup with Bacon and Herbs
A light broth loaded with chunky Great Northern beans and topped with a sprinkling of bacon, this soup was inspired by the caldo gallego (a Spanish white-bean soup) that chef Jose Garces serves.
Grilled Tuna with Fried Manchego
Jose Garces serves seared tuna alongside cheese croquettes, which are made from a mixture of béchamel and grated Manchego and gelatin that's then rolled into balls, breaded and deep-fried. Home chefs, skip the croquettes and instead just bread and pan-fry small slices of Manchego cheese until crisp on the outside and oozing on the inside.
Warm Piquillo and Crab Dip
For this classic tapa, Jose Garces stuffs his delicious crab salad into individual piquillo peppers and roasts them until hot. Instead of laboriously stuffing piquillo peppers, spread the crab mixture in a baking dish, top it with slices of the peppers, then cook until warm and melty.
Herbed Potato Gratin with Roasted Garlic and Manchego
Jose Garces learned how to make a classic potato gratin while studying at Kendall College's cooking school in Chicago. It's still one of his favorite side dishes. This version combines lots of sharp, nutty Manchego cheese and smoky San Simón cheese (Gouda is a fine substitute) for rich, complex flavor.
Cod with Cockles and White Wine
Jose Garces prepares this dish with hake, a relatively hard-to-find cousin of cod. He also uses fresh juice from shucked clams to make the delicious broth. F&W's version has fresh cod stand in for the hake, and bottled clam juice replaces fresh.
Sweet-and-Sour Catalan Spinach
This sweet-and-sour spinach side dish gets its satisfying flavor from the combination of honey and sherry vinegar that's drizzled on top. It's relatively light, which makes it a great addition to a hearty Thanksgiving menu.
Ham, Escarole and Bean Stew
Jose Garces slowly simmers white beans in a rich pork stock, then combines them with cooked pork butt to make a delicious tapa. For a deliciously filling soup at home, let slab bacon and smoked ham stand in for cooked pork butt, adding a great smoky flavor to canned white beans.
Sweet Potato Gratin with Chile-Spiced Pecans
Jose Garces says this dish best exemplifies his Thanksgiving menu: traditional at its core but with unexpected Latin accents. The gratin is silky and sweet, topped with gooey marshmallows and delightfully crunchy pecans flavored with chile powder.
Jose Garces prepares this turkey in the same style as a traditional Yucatán dish called cochinita pibil, a slow-roasted pork marinated in citrus and annatto paste (made from achiote seeds, the condiment adds an orange hue to foods). Brining and marinating the bird make it especially succulent.