Tapas

I make Tapas quite a lot, I love red wine and it goes so well with tapas! (Any excuse)

Since I was a child most of my holidays have been to Spain or Spanish Islands like Majorca or Tenerife. My sister also has Spanish friends from her years of exchange trips and they introduced us to different Spanish dishes.

The great thing about these types of dishes is you can also have them as a starter or a dinner and you can make as many or as few as you want. There can be a bit of preparation involved but once that’s done you don’t have to do a huge amount of cooking and plenty can be made in advance if you are having people round.

When you see lists of ingredients for Tapas, sometimes it’s a mile long and you think of the expense, and of course if you want to splash out on luxury ingredient but I tend not to.

Firstly I go to Lidl a lot, there is one so close to me and if you have seen my blog before you will know how much I love it and secondly I double up with ingredients. What I mean is if I have bought a chorizo, I do 2 or 3 different things with it to add variety while keeping costs down.

 

I tend to use a large wooden platter or a my wooden lazy susan, which only cost a few pounds from Ikea, if you lay items out on this it can save on having loads of dishes to wash. You can get those foil platters for £1 from lots of pound shops too and they work just as well.

I usually dress the board with some jamon serrano, chorizo, mixed leaves and olives as well as crusty bread.

Chorizo in red wine

There are lots of ways to do this but this is the easiest and quickest and so delicious.

  • Chorizo

  • Red wine (I use a Spanish red but you can use any)

Slice up the chorizo and put into an oven proof dish, cover with red wine and leave to marinade (for as long as you can but at least an hour).

Cook for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees just before you serve.

Serve with crusty bread and cocktail sticks.

Sweet potato and jamon serrano croquets

  • 2 sweet potatoes

  • 2 slices jamon serrano

  • Handful of grated cheese

  • Plain flour - for coating

  • Breadcrumbs - for coating

  • egg

Cook sweet potatoes and mash them (I use a potato ricer but you don't have to). Tear up jamon serrano and add it and grated cheese to sweet potato plus 1 tablespoon of plain flour.

Using your hand roll into croquet shape. Roll in plain flour, dip in egg and then roll in breadcrumbs to coat. You can then bake these in oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins or deep fry for around 5 minutes, until golden. 

Garlic mushrooms

  • 3 or 4 Mushrooms

  • 2 cloves Garlic

  • Olive oil

Slice mushrooms and garlic, put into an ovenproof dish and add enough olive oil to just cover. Cook in oven at 180 degrees for around 15 minutes

Bravas sauce

I usually serve this a patatas bravas but sometimes I add it to chicken drumsticks for an alternative. You can make this the day before and it actually tastes better. The further in advance you can make the sauce the better.

  • Olive oil

  • 1 onion - diced

  • 2 garlic cloves - finely chopped or use a garlic press.

  • Can of chopped tomatoes or carton of tomato passata

  • Tbsp sweet paprika

  • Tbsp chilli powder

  • Tsp cayenne pepper

  • Pinch granualted sugar

Put olive oil in a pan and add onion, fry until softened. Add garlic, paprika, chilli powder and cayenne pepper and cook off for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and sugar and cook for around 15 minutes on a medium heat. If the sauce becomes very thick add a little water. Set aside and reheat just before you use it. 

If you are putting this on potatoes for patatas bravas adding a little aioli on top is delicious.

Spanish Omelette (Tortilla)

  • 250g of new potatoes (if you don't have these normal potatoes are fine but waxy ones are the best)

  • 1 small onion (white is best)

  • 3 eggs

  • Olive oil

  1. Cut potatoes into thick slices and par boil.

  2. Slice onion and soften in frying pan with oil.

  3. Drain potatoes and add to onion.

  4. Put eggs into a bowl or a jug and whisk well. Tip onion and potatoes into egg.

  5. Add a little oil to the pan (just enough to coat the bottom) and pour mixture. Cook on a medium heat.

  6. When omelette is almost cooked invert onto a plate and slide back into pan to cook on the other side.

Goats cheese bites

  • 1/2 Baguette or demi-baguette

  • Goats cheese log (or any type really I just find this easier!)

  • Fresh mint

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Cut baguette into slices, toast lightly under the grill on both sides

  2. Cut goats cheese log into slices and place on top of baguette slices, place back under the grill for 2-3 minutes to melt goats cheese

  3. Top with fresh mint and drizzle with olive oil

 

 

Oil and vinegar dip/dressing

  • 4 tbls Extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbls Balsamic vinegar

  • 4/5 leaves fresh basil

  • Pinch salt and cracked black pepper

  1. Put oil in a small dish and add vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk lightly with a fork

  2. Tear basil and add to mixture

Serve on side of tapas. This is great for dipping crusty bread into.I also use a teaspoon and drizzle it over mixed leaves and jamon serrano.

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