Category Archives: Tapas

Gambas al Ajillio

Gambas Al Ajillio
Gambas Al Ajillio

Gambas al Ajillio – Sizzling Garlic Shrimp
A truly classic tapa, Gambas al Ajillio, a splash of brandy or sherry gives it a nice aromatic flavor. Top with crush pepper flakes gives a nice bite at the end. This is a quick and easy dish to make that will have your guests begging for more. What more can you ask for !

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons dry sherry or lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Directions
Heat olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and paprika in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and the garlic has turned golden brown, increase heat to high and add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turn pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with sherry or lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with chopped parsley

Mejillones Escabechados- Marinated mussels

Mejillones Escabechados
Mejillones Escabechados- Marinated Mussels

Marinated mussels or are available small cans, but home-made tastes even better! These mussels have an intensely flavored sauce of onion, wine, garlic and Spanish paprika that only gets better with time. We like to make this dish a day ahead, store it in the refrigerator and serve it the following day with fresh rustic-style bread – either as an appetizer or a first course.

INGREDIENTS
2 lbs. raw mussels in shells
1/2 large yellow or white onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups (16 oz) white wine
6 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp Spanish paprika
salt to taste
virgin olive oil

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

PREPARATION
This marinated mussel recipe makes 4 servings as a first course, or about 6-8 servings as a tapa.
Clean the mussels with a stiff brush, removing any debris on outside. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Put all the mussels into a large pot with about 1-inch of water in the bottom. Cover and place over high heat and cook until the shells open. Remove from stove and place mussels in a colander. Rinse under cold water. Set aside and allow to cool.

While mussels are cooling, peel and chop the onion and the garlic cloves. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of Spanish olive oil into a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan and heat oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot enough, sauté the onion and garlic until golden in color. Remove pan from heat and add salt, paprika, white wine and vinegar. Stir all ingredients until salt and paprika are dissolved.

Return frying pan to burner with onion and wine mixture and turn heat on low. Add mussels to pan and stir. Simmer on low to medium-low for 3-4 minutes, then allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with toothpicks and slices of French-style bread.

Although these mussels are tasty as soon as they are cooked, they are more flavorful when refrigerated and eaten the next day.

Champiñones al Ajillo- Mushrooms in Garlic

Champiñones al Ajillo
Champiniones al Ajillio

Few tapas taste more Spanish than Champiñones al Ajillo, dripping with olive oil, garlic and dry Spanish Sherry. To make this tapa even more authentic, be sure to serve the mushrooms with plenty of fresh, crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices.

Serves 4- 10 minutes preparation + 12 minutes cooking
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients
•1/4 cup (2 fl. oz) olive oil
•4 cups (8 oz) mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
•6 cloves garlic, minced
•3 tablespoons dry sherry
•2 tablespoons lemon juice
•1/2 teaspoon dried red chile, seeded and crumbled
•1/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika
•Salt and pepper, to taste
•2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preparation
Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms over high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, sherry, lemon juice, dried chile, paprika, and salt and pepper.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until the garlic and mushrooms have softened.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve on small earthenware platters.

Chimichurri Sauce

ChimchurriSauce

I came back from Buenos Aires this summer and all I can think about is Cafe Con Leche, Medialunas, Chimichurri Sauce, Torta de Calabaza and of course, Dulce de Leche. Here is an easy recipe for Chimmichurri from Sabrina’s Latin Kitchen that you can make under 15 minutes. Store it in nice Mason Jars in the fridge and voila you have a nice tasty sauce that’s ready to go all week long. This is my go to condiment and I put in on everything chicken, carne asada, vegetables, eggs, rice, ice cream, no just kidding, but I do love it  on just about everything.  Great on Tapas on your Tortilla Espanola or Pollo Al Ajillio.

Not to mention, with all the nice chlorophyll your getting from the parsley and cilantro it’s a healthy sauce that you can’t over dose on. Enjoy ! Buen Provecho !

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves

  • 1 cup packed Cilantro

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh Oregano leaves (or 4 teaspoons dried oregano)

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper (to taste) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 1 minute total.

  2. With the motor running, add oil in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, stir and season as needed. The Chimichurri will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Spanish Meatballs – Albondigas

Albondigas
Tapas- Albondigas

Spanish meatballs, can be eaten with other tapas or as a main course. The meatballs are made with finely julienned carrots on insid that gives it a gourmet touch. It is served with a delicate saffron Tomato sauce, this is definitely for the more sophisticated palette.

Ingredients
For the meatballs
500g/1lb 2oz minced beef or pork (or a mixture of both)

½ onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 tbsp dried parsley

3-4 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs

1 free-range egg, beaten
plain flour, for coating
2-3 tbsp olive oil
For the sauce
2 carrots, quartered into batons, thinly sliced
½ onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp paprika
generous pinch saffron
salt

Directions

For the meatballs, Put the minced meat in a bowl with the onion, garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs. Mix with your hands until well combined, add the beaten egg and mix until well combined. Shape the mixture into small meatballs.

Sprinkle some plain flour onto a plate, and roll the meatballs in the flour to coat lightly.
Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan and add a few meatballs to the pan. Fry gently, turning frequently, until golden-brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining meatballs, cooking them in batches until they are all cooked. Top up the oil as needed during the cooking process.

Once the meatballs are cooked, make the sauce. In the same pan as the meatballs were cooked in, fry the carrots, onions and garlic over a medium heat until the onions are soft and lightly coloured. Add the parsley, paprika and saffron, and pour in 300ml/½pt water. Bring to the boil, simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken, season with salt to taste, and then add the meatballs to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes to warm through before serving.

Tapas: Tortilla Española – Spanish Omelette

Tortilla Espanola
Tortilla Espanola – Spanish Omelette

This is a Classic Spanish Tapas Dish eaten everywhere in Spain, in all the Tapas Bars, plain, cold, with a bit of aioli sauce or ( garlic sauce). Some recipes call for chorizo or red peppers. I like the simple version with just eggs, potatoes and onions. It’s delicious just in it’s simplicity and can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack or in between two baguette slices.

INGREDiENTS:
4-6 eggs
1/ 2 kilo of potatoes
1 brown onion
Olive oil (one glass, 1 / 4 liter)
Salt

Recipe Steps:
Step 1: Mince onions and cook until they are translucent. Take them out of the pan and put aside in bowl.
Step 2: Wash and cut the potatoes into thin slices. Heat the oil, add the potatoes, adding a little salt and fry. When potatoes are golden brown, take them out of the pan, and drain oil a colander, and place potatoes on a plate with paper towels.
Step 2: Beat the eggs with some salt and pepper and once beaten add the potatoes, mixing thoroughly with beaten egg.
Step 3: Put pan back on stove, covering the bottom of the pan with a sheet of oil. Put onions and the egg mixture and potatoes.
Step 4: Shake the Pan a bit as if when you are making an omelet like Julia Child.When you perceive that the egg mixture is like a curd and a bit hard, put a plate on top and turns the tables (it’s easy, just have to do it safely). Cook until both sides are golden brown according to the taste, put a parsley in middle for presentation … And Voila there’s your omelet!

Paso 2 : Se baten los huevos con un poco de sal y una vez batidos se añaden las patatas, mezclándolas bien con el huevo batido. Una vez puesto el aceite a calentar se echan las patatas, añadiendo un poco de sal y se fríen. Truco: Si la tortilla gusta con las patatas más desechas puede ir desaciéndose la patata con la rasera mientras se mueve cuando se vean doradas se apartan y es importante que escurran el aceite en un colador o en un plato con papel absorbente.

Paso 3: Se prepara de nuevo la sartén en el fuego con dos cucharadas pequeñas de aceite que cubran una lamina del fondo de la sartén. Se echa la mezcla del huevo y las patatas. Truco: mover agitando la sartén con habilidad para que no se pegue la tortilla.

Paso 4: Se le puede dar vueltas hasta que quede dorada por ambos lados según el gusto…
Y ya está nuestra tortilla de patatas.

This is delicious with a cup of really thick Spanish hot chocolate and it’s easy to pack in your lunch box.

Nota Bene: Patatas is the Spanish ( from Spain) word for Papas or Potatoes

Patatas Bravas

Patatas
Patatas Bravas- Fierce Potatoes!

Patatas Bravas” or Bravas Potatoes is one of the classic Spanish tapas dishes and is served in bars all over Spain. The sauce is a bit spicy from the Tabasco, hence the name bravas, which means “fierce.” This is a quick and simple tapa recipe.


INGREDIENTS:

4 medium potatoes
salt to taste*
1 1/2 – 2 cups Spanish olive oil for frying
1 – 16 oz can of tomato sauce
2 tspns. sweet Spanish paprika ( Pimenton)
1 small onion ( chopped)
2 garlic cloves ( chopped)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
a pinch of chilli powder
a pinch of sugar
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preparation:
This bravas potato recipe makes 4 servings as an appetizer.
Peel the potatoes. Cut potatoes into 1/3″ to 1/2″ chunks as follows: Cut the potato lengthwise, then cut it lengthwise again. You should have four long pieces. Now, cut each of those pieces into 3-4 pieces, cutting crosswise. This should give you nice bit-sized pieces, small enough to use a toothpick to skewer. Sprinkle with salt*. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or fry in a pan.

Pour olive oil in a wide, deep frying pan, with a heavy bottom. Heat the oil on medium high until hot. To test the oil, carefully place one piece of potato in the oil. It is hot enough if the potato immediately fries. If there is no bubbling/frying, the oil is not hot enough and the potato will absorb too much oil. Once the potatoes are fried(about 10 minutes), use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove and set them aside to drain.

For Sauce:
Prepare ahead by heating the oil in a pan,Using a small 8-inch frying pan, put 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the pan. Heat over medium heat.
Pour tomato sauce into the pan and “saute” the tomato sauce for 5 minutes.
Add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato purée, paprika, chilli powder, sugar and salt and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 10 minutes until pulpy. Set aside for up to 24 hours.
Place the potatoes on a plate or in a wide open dish. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and serve warm, with toothpicks. You can eat the Patatas Bravas with a garlicky Alioli sauce.

Aioli Sauce is coming up next in Learning Spanish is Fun.

*Tips from Sabrina’s Kitchen, Use Sea Salt always, Baelene from the South of France happens to be my favorite.