Spanish Tapas

Jun 20

Tapas literally translated means “little dishes.” In Spain, a common practice in the evening rather than partaking in a full multi-course dinner is to travel from Tapas bar to Tapas bar, eating little dishes that are the specialty of the house and having a refreshment or two. Tapas can be made up of just about anything. Only the creativity of the chef and the availability of fresh ingredients limits or determines what can and cannot be served. Pork of course appears in many forms, whether it be in cooked form, such as Paprika Pork Ribs, or in the form of cold cuts such as mortadella or sausage such as chorizo. Marinated olives and cheeses such as Manchego are often served alongside a variety of hot and cold salads, frequently involving peppers and eggplant. And of course, seafood is a very popular offering at a Tapas bar, particulary fresh, locally caught fish and shellfish of all kinds. What makes this style of cuisine desirable is the diversity of flavors one can sample all during the same meal without feeling full or feeling obligated to order an entire entree. Because many of these dishes are highly seasoned, they often pair well with beer and wine. A good quality Spanish Rioja or Tempranillo would be a perfect table wine to serve and many are available at very reasonable prices. Here are a couple of recipes you can serve at your next Tapas party.

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Caper and Olive Filling

24 Cherry Tomatoes
12 Pitted Spanish Olives
3 Tbl Capers
6Tbl Aioli
2-3 Tbl Italian Parsley, Chopped
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
4 oz goat cheese
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbl Lemon Juice
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
Kosher salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
5 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Tbl Canola Oil

Cut a thin slice off bottom of tomatoes to make them flat. Then cut the top of the tomatoes off and scoop out the seeds using a paring knife. For aioli, whisk egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and canola oil together until smooth and creamy. Mince olives and capers. Combine with aioli, parsley and season to taste. Place small amount of goat cheese into each tomato. Then add olive/caper mix on top of goat cheese. Serve chilled.

Mortadella Wrapped Roasted Asparagus

Serves 6-8

1/2 lb asparagus
Pinch Salt and Pepper
2 Tbl olive oil
2 oz. Mortadella
1/2 tsp hungarian paprika
1 Tbl water
3 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl Red Wine Vinegar
Pinch Salt and Pepper
Pinch dried thyme
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tsp italian parsley, minced
1 bay leaf
1 Tbl red onion, finely sliced

Trim the asparagus, removing and tough ends. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbl olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 15-20 minutes or until the asparagus are tender and slightly caramelized. Allow to cool. Wrap 1-2 stalks of asparagus in a strip of the mortadella until all the asparagus has been used up. Combine remaining ingredients in a tupperware with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Drizzle dressing over asparagus and allow to marinate at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

2 Responses

  1. Katie says:

    Hi Monika!

    I just noticed that you have this blog here — thanks for sharing the recipes! They look delicious. I’m in Greece now (read: I have *very* limited cooking facilities in my “apartment”) but I think I will have to try the stuffed tomatoes!

  2. Hi Katie,

    Just noticed you posted a comment. I didn’t realize these were here till today. Grrrr. Thanks for reading and if you have time, please follow my blog. I post about weekly. On my mediterranean kick right now.

    Take care!!

    Monika

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