The truth behind Tapas (Tapas or Tapeo)

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Tapas are all the rage in Spain, and are the norm. A ‘tapa” small bite of free food that accompanies any beverage (alcoholic or not) consumed at any bar of the Iberian Peninsula. You heard that right, tapas are free in Spain!

Tapas are one of the most acclaimed memories from any traveler who has spent time sipping a cold “cerveza” or any Spanish “vino”. Tapa literally means “lid” or “to cover” something. Every bar in Spain has its own specialty tapas, ranging from the Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp) spicy potatoes (Patatas Bravas) to stewed snails (Caracoles) or the classic serrano ham and manchego cheese.

A couple of theories indicate the origins of the famous tapa dish. The most traditional origin of tapas began with the proliferation of fruit flies around the southern vineyards during spring and sizzling summer season. Fruit flies are those magical bugs that can appear by hundreds and all disappear in a fraction of a second without a trace. They also have a “sophisticated “nose for diving in any fermented liquid, alcoholic or not.

Well, the purpose of the “tapa” was to cover the glass during conversation at the southern vineyards in the spring and summer to avoid the flying swimmers in the glass. The proprietor of one of this establishment had a genius idea……. why not placing a small plate on top of the glass?? And then they added a piece of cheese or cured meat to the lid…. This is so far, the most believe assumption about this world phenomena!

Another interesting theory of the tapas origin derived during the seasonal local festivities in Seville, located at the south-east part of the country. King Alfonso XIII was sipping a reasonable quantity of wine, when the monarch started to feel a little bit tipsy. He suddenly demanded a snack to sober up, in order to keep enjoying the vino without any symptom of intoxication. The tapa has reached incredible popularity around the world due to its simplicity in nature and ability to customize based on locality.

Let’s talk a little bit about the “Tapeo” or the tapas hopping movement, a whole entire experience that I recommend to anyone who comes to Spain! Any day is perfect for it, but one of the best days for the tapas hunt will be during the weekend, where everybody gets out of the house to enjoy the Mediterranean sun. Here’s how to master tapas hopping: Gather a small group of family or friends, find a good starting bar and keep going up or down the neighborhood streets looking for the desired specialty. Don’t forget that every glass of wine or beer will come up with a little surprise full of flavor that will continue during your gastronomical experience.

Here’s an easy tapa you can make at home and enjoy with a nice glass of white Spanish wine.

Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)

YIELD 4 servings


12 ea. Medium Size Raw Shrimp (Peeled)

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 ea. Garlic Cloves Fine Sliced

½ Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper Fine Sliced

Salt and White Pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic; cook, stirring until garlic is fragrant and golden (but not brown), about 30 seconds. Add sliced cayenne pepper, cook for 10 seconds, add shrimp; raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until shrimp are opaque for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with some toasted bread on the side for dipping!

By: Chef Daniel Graban-Lopez

Buen provecho!

Spicy Holiday Sliders

By | Consumption, Dining, Food for thought, Food Styling, Food Trends, Holidays, Photography, Recipes | No Comments

Yes, it’s here, the wonderful and magical holiday season! This year, don’t let that scare you when it comes to cooking…everything else…maybe. It’s cold outside so spice up your holidays with this awesome recipe coming to you straight from the KOR Kitchen!
We suggest an awesome pork slider, like no other, to serve as an appetizer while everyone is waiting for his or her big meal. Give those pork tenderloins a good rub and prepare for your house to smell like deliciousness. Pair with any of your favorite toppings; we suggest using arugula instead of lettuce for that peppery bite!
Check out UnKORked on Friday for a wonderful sweet pairing to this spicy slider.

Chipotle Pork Sliders- Serves four adults / 12 Sliders


1 ea.                     Pork Tenderloin Trimmed (16 oz. approx.)
½ Tbsp.                Chipotle seasoning, dry
½ Tbsp.                Onion Powder
½ Tbsp.                 Garlic Powder
1 tsp.                     Salt
2 tsp.                     Canola or Olive Oil for rubbing the tenderloin
1 cup                     Arugula, washed and spun dry
12 ea.                    Slider Buns
24 ea.                    Dill Pickle Slices (Optional for garnish)


Rub the tenderloin with the oil. Combine the chipotle seasoning, salt, onion powder and season the tenderloin evenly. Marinate for one hour or overnight for more intense flavor.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the skillet over medium-high flame. Place the tenderloin in the skillet; cook until well browned, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, rotate the tenderloin 1/4 turn; cook until well browned, 45 to 60 seconds. Repeat until all sides are browned, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the tenderloin to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven; roast until the internal temperature registers 135 to 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, around 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and let it rest 8 to 10 minutes. Cut the tenderloins crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Assemble the sliders with the buns,arugula and dill pickle slices.

Let us know if you try our recipe and how it goes. Enjoy!


Thankful Thoughts

By | Consumption, Dining, Food for thought, Holidays | No Comments

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect what we are all thankful for and lets be honest, eat some delicious comfort food. Here at KOR, we are thankful for each and every one of our stupendous team members and the wonderful memories we are making everyday! Just because Thanksgiving is one day of the year, doesn’t mean we only give thanks once a year. We are so thankful for all of our clients and new friends we have met this year and look forward to meeting more in the New Year! Make some delectable food, have some laughs and give thanks this Thursday and everyday.

We have put together an ideal menu for Thanksgiving just for our readers:

  • Char-roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Fennel Seed, Fresh Garlic and Aleppo pepper
  • Grana Padano & Toasted Pine Nut Corn pudding
  • Olive Oil Sautéed Green Beans with Lardon
  • Port Wine & Orange Zest Cranberry Sauce
  • Oven Roasted Hearty Squash Medley

The best for last, Turkey with our favorite brine this year: Brown sugar, Bourbon & Soy Sauce, for flavor and browning.

PLUS a Garlic & Sage whipped butter under the skin for crisping & browning.

Have a Happy & Scrumptious Thanksgiving!