Diego and his brother Moises are third-generation tapas bar owners—catering runs through their veins.
While studying for a diploma in tourism, Diego crisscrossed the entire province of Almería, in Andalusia, Spain, and as a result, there is very little he doesn’t know about local specialties. This dish combines delicious textural contrast with subtle, sweet Moorish flavors. You need to complete the final stage just minutes before eating. Add whipped cream as an extra hit of sweet.
Recipe: Cheese Parcels with Honey and Orange Reduction
1 cup (250 milliliters) orange juice
Scant ½ cup (100 milliliters) clear honey
3 balls fresh mozzarella (each around 6centimeters / 2 ½ inches in diameter), quartered
12 sheets filo pastry, 23 x 36 ½ centimeters / 9 x 14 inches (or cut larger sheets to size)
2 cups (500 milliliters) sunflower oil
1 ¼ cups (150 grams / 5 ½ ounces) chopped walnuts
1 ½ cups (150 grams / 5 ½ ounces) slivered almonds
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (optional)
First, make the reduction: in a small pot, combine the orange juice and honey and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until syrupy.
Prepare the cheese parcels by loosely wrapping each section of cheese in filo pastry, pressing the seams together. While working on assembling them, keep the pastry sheets and finished parcels moist under a damp tea towel to avoid drying out.
In a small saucepan, heat the sunflower oil over medium heat. When it is smoking, quickly plunge the parcels into the oil for 20 seconds or until the pastry turns golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
Immediately transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with the reduction, sprinkle with nuts and dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired. Serve promptly.
Reprinted with permission from Andaluz: A Food Journey through Southern Spain,
Fiona Dunlop , 2018, Interlink Books, 978-1-62371-999-9, $35 hb, www.interlinkbooks.com.
is a food and travel writer, blogger and photographer. She has globetrotted for decades from successive home bases in Paris and London while regularly retreating to her house amid the olive groves of Andalusia. After writing widely on travel, art and design, her passion for food led her to create her first cookbook, New Tapas (2002), followed by The North African Kitchen
(2008) and Mexican Modern
(2013). Her articles have appeared in the Financial Times
, The Guardian
, The Telegraph
, The Independent
, CNN.com and numerous magazines. She is the author of National Geographic’s guides to Spain and Portugal, and she has worked as a guest lecturer on their expeditions as well as on other tours.