Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette have been cooking Spanish cuisine for some time at Toro in Boston. It is an intimate space that elicits congeniality and festivity. The Toro space in NYC, opened this fall, can not be described as intimate, but it too elicits congeniality and festivity. Good food and drink can do that and the space, though large, is warm and inviting. Here are a couple of recipes from Toro that are good examples of its Spanish heart and creative approach.
1 piece of ciabbatta, 8 inches long
4 oz butter
2 oz white miso
3 tbsp pickled mustard seed
2 ribs scallion, sliced
1 glove garlic, minced
20 tongues of uni
Instructions: Take room temperature butter and whip in miso, scallions and garlic until creamy. Spread on half the bread and layer on pickled mustard seeds and uni, placing top of bread back on. Take remaining butter and spread on the outside of the sandwich. Press, then cut into individual sandwiches before serving.
Seafood Paella with Garden Peppers
8” Paella Pan
1/2 cup Bomba Rice
1 cup of chicken stock
1 cup of lobster stock
1T Confit onions
1 pinch Saffron
1 pinch Espellette
5 littleneck clams
1 oz of sliced calamari and 2 tentacles
1 oz of sweet Maine baby shrimp
1 ounce of lobster
2 razor clams
1/2 cup of beach shoots
2 T of confit yellow and red peppers for garnish
A pinch of sea beans (blanched in unsalted water) for garnish
A pinch of sliced scallions for garnish
Preliminary: Sofrito is made by cooking down tomato puree and garlic until it is tomato paste consistency. Confit onions are diced Spanish onions slowly cooked in olive oil. We make our confit peppers the same way, although we peel them before dicing them.
Execution: Take your rice, onions and sofrito and toast in the paella pan until fragrant. Add in the stocks, espellette and saffron. With a wooden spoon, spread the rice around until it is even and then turn the flame to high heat. Start using a timer. After 9 minutes, add in the littlenecks. After 6 more minutes, add in the mussels and beach shoots. Once the shell fish is opened, mix things around and add in your lobster and calamari. Cook for another 3 minutes. It takes 18 minutes for the Bomba rice to cook. At this point, shellfish should be opened, shoots wilted and fish cooked. We now need to add our sweet shrimp, garnishes and form the sucre. Places the garnishes scattered about and tuck the shrimp into the rice (it cooks super fast). Blast the heat one last time to form a crust of browned rice that should stick to the bottom of the pan. The final touch is olive oil on top.