Tu cara me suena… El Pepito

Those of you who have poked around in the past entries may find this one to be hauntingly familiar.  But it was worth it to me, personally, to whip this together.

Meet the Pepito.  It is the Serranito‘s beef montadito cousin. For those who aren’t here in Spain or don’t recall the earlier posts, montadito’s are mini sandwiches for snacking and tapearing.

Yes, I’ve done this before.  But as I said before, this is really one of my favorite sandwiches, so I’m going to go ahead and dedicate my time (and yours since you are reading this sentence) to gushing about it before. In life, I usually try to eat only things that I like to, but as I work and have frequent attacks of laziness, I often have cereal for dinner.  I am not perfect, I do not claim to be.  Heck, I just discovered that my desk that I’ve been using for six months has a pull out keyboard section by slamming my knee into it.  Twice.  It is very filthy.  Not every aspect of my life is pulled together, I just only show you guys photos of that part of my culinary life.

But the pepito (yes yes, and the serranito, I have not abandoned it, there is space in my heart for all) has so infiltrated my personal gastronomy that I will come home from teaching middle schoolers and elementary school kids, after riding the metro for an hour and a half, walking an hour, and taking the train for an hour total – Monday sucks – and there comes a whisper from my gut that says heeeeey…comfort food time.  And it is not meatloaf that has its tentacles threaded through my subconscious.  The pepito sings its multilayered siren’s air and convinces me to wash the city grime off my face and hands and get to roasting peppers, because everything will be ok afterwards, even if I do have to somehow memorize all the rivers in Europe well enough to bluff expertise the next day at 9 AM.

So we repeat. If you don’t like it, stuff it and stop reading.  Otherwise, let’s all enjoy pictures of tastiness together.

Oops, side note.  This sandwich was put together in the kitchen of my friend, Erin, because her piso’s kitchen is literally three times the size of mine.  Jealousy.

I was not kidding or exagerrating. They even have a dishwasher. So many, many roommate fights avoided.

El Pepito

Bread – baguette style

Alioli

Thinly sliced fillets of beef

Semi-cured sheep’s milk cheese

Jamón serrano (again, you may use prosciutto since it’s easier to find in the states)

Green Italian peppers (see below for photo for reference)

First, roast the peppers.  Slice them lengthwise, remove the stems and all the seeds, toss lightly in olive oil and salt.

Roast in a hot oven for about 20 minutes or until they start to blacken. I tossed in a pan of oven fries as well, to take advantage of the hot oven.

Meanwhile, slice your cheese.  This is a common cheese here in Spain, called semi curado.  It’s softer and not as sharply flavored as Manchego, and melts quite nicely.  Curado would come closer to Manchego in consistency, but it’s a cheese for eating alone – adding it to a sandwich or dish would just overpower every other flavor.

Ok another side  note.  Let’s take a closer look at the rind.  Most Spanish cheese are quite easy to spot.  Next time you are in a grocery store with a generous cheese selection, look for this pattern:


If you look, it has a hard waxy rind, usually brownish yellow in color, with a fine criss-cross pattern.  This usually denotes a cured (or semi cured!) sheep’s milk cheese from Spain. Buy it.  Tasty. Moving on.

Salt and pepper your fillets.

Give them a quick fry in a little olive oil and set aside.  Slice the bread and shmear it with alioli.  Lovingly drape a slice of jamon on top, then tile on triangles of cheese.  Place a fillet on top to melt the cheese and don’t forget the peppers.

Add french fries.  Eat.  Sigh with pleasure.

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!

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