Earlier in the year we set about the project of building a clay oven on the patio, not an easy job using Spanish materials (traditional curved oven slabs) but in the name of keeping everything traditionally 'Andaluz' the oven was eventually finished and works great for cooking the usual suspects like pizza and bread (garlic and rosemary bread being a firm favourite).
Now the Spanish summer is in full swing we tend to use the oven for cooking hot tapas or a midday light lunch and this is where the terracotta cazuelaperforms really well. As as cooking vessel designed to cope with and retain the heat the 'cazuela' is suited a multitude of tasks, one of which is cooking food in olive oil.
The famous 'gambas al pil pil' (chili garlic prawns) may spring to mind but for this very simple tapas recipe we are using fresh mushrooms bought from our Spanish greengrocer.
12 large Mushrooms (whole)
6 Garlic cloves (crushed)
200ml Olive oil
Leave the mushrooms whole, place in a 23cm terracotta cazuela.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Add the crushed garlic and mix well.
Place in oven and cook on 220 degrees for 20 minutes.
Our clay oven was approximately 250 degrees with the fire going inside so the mushrooms took slightly less time, you also get that lovely smokey flavour with clay oven cooking. As a tapa these mushrooms are great, just make sure to have some fresh crusty bread to hand to mop up that delicious olive oil infusion afterwards.