July 04, 2012

Toasting Spain: Spanish Style Stuffed Prunes

European football isn’t usually my thing.  I’d be hard pressed to tell you who plays for Manchester City or Manchester United, or what the difference is between A.C Milan and F.C Internazionale Milano.  But I do love championship football.  The athleticism, the speed, the elaborate hairdos and drama – all of it combines for high octane entertainment.

Living in Toronto makes it easy to know what’s going on and who’s winning. Cars suddenly spout flags and a victory for Portugal or Italy in my neighbourhood is signalled by cars honking long into the night.  Fever pitch excitement mounted all across the city last week as the finals for Euro Cup 2012 wound down to Sunday’s Italy-Spain showdown.   

My patriotic Italian blood runs high when Italy makes it beyond the preliminary rounds.  But I also know when my team is outplayed.  Spain came in and dominated from the first kick of the ball.  In honour of the winning team, here's a sweet and salty bocadillo to nibble with cocktails.  It somehow makes defeat a little easier to bear.

Stuffed Prunes
(adapted from Tapas, by Simone and Ines Ortega)

3-4 oz Stilton or Roquefort cheese
¼ c raisins
¼ toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp sweet sherry
12-15 pitted prunes

1.  In a small bowl, mash the cheese gently with a fork until creamy.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly until combined.

2.  Fill each prune with a teaspoonful of filling.  Refrigerate if making ahead, bringing to room temperature before serving.