Tapas with friends
There's nothing nicer than spending a relaxed evening around a table, sipping on sangria and sampling tasty dishes
Relax around a table sipping sangria and sampling tasty dishes.
Set the scene
Keep the feeling rustic and play with a touch of colour here and there. Use a mix of old crockery and loosely woven linen to match the earthy theme. A piece of old-fashioned lace or a pretty doily will also add to the Spanish feel. Forget about flower arrangements and decorate the table with flowering plants or succulents in terracotta pots. All you need to do now is fill the table with lots of delicious tapas!
Type or write the details of the party on brown paper and cut it into a square. Fold a square doily into the shape of an envelope and place the invitation inside. Tie it closed with a piece of cord, if you prefer.
Buy metal rings and screw them onto a door, a shutter, or the wall. Place terracotta pots containing succulents and flowering plants inside the rings.
Mix in a large jug: 1 bottle red wine, 200ml brandy, 1 sliced peach, 1 halved and sliced orange, 100ml sugar and 2 cinnamon sticks. Set aside to infuse for an hour or two, then add 750ml lemonade or ginger ale and some ice.
• Use finely chopped smoked ham or finely chopped cooked chicken meat instead of the prawns.
• Leave out the lemon zest and add 1ml ground nutmeg.
Serves: 6 Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus refrigeration time Cooking time: approximately 20 minutes
120ml olive oil
110g (200ml) cake flour
100ml prepared chicken stock
1ml grated lemon zest
250ml finely chopped cooked prawns
2 large eggs
sunflower oil for deep-frying
1 Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Once it starts to bubble, add a little of the milk, stirring all the time to prevent lumps forming. Stir in the remaining milk and the chicken stock. Add the lemon zest and cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened. Stir in the prawns and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 2 Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely then refrigerate for at least three hours (or prepare the dough the day before you need it). 3 Beat the eggs with 15ml water. Spread the breadcrumbs out in a flat bowl. Flour your hands and form the dough into small oval-shaped pieces. Dip into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs. 4 Heat the oil for deep-frying over a medium heat. Once it’s hot, deep-fry the croquettes until golden and crisp, turning frequently. If the croquettes split while cooking, reduce the heat. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve warm.
Calamari with peppers and onions
Serves: 6 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes
400g calamari heads and rings, cleaned
cake flour, for dusting
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced into rings,
lemon wedges, to serve
garlic aïoli or salsa brava, to serve
(recipes on page 55)
1 Dust the calamari with cake flour. Shake off the excess. 2 Heat oil for deep-frying. Fry the calamari in batches for a minute or two for each batch, until just cooked. Drain on kitchen paper. 3 Deep-fry the onion and pepper slices and drain on kitchen paper. Toss the onions and pepper with the calamari and serve hot with lemon wedges and aïoli or salsa brava for dipping.
Chicken wings in saffron and garlic sauce
Serves: 6 Preparation time: 35 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Oven temperature: 180oc 12 chicken wings
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
large pinch saffron
1 small sprig thyme
125ml dry white wine
125ml prepared chicken stock
sliced baguette, to serve
1 Cut off the tips of the wings and discard. Cut the wings in half at the joint. Heat a layer of olive oil in a frying pan and brown the wings. Remove from the pan and transfer to an ovenproof dish. 2 Heat a little more olive oil in the frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add the saffron, thyme, wine and stock and simmer for a few minutes. 3 Pour the liquid over the wings and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot with a sliced baguette alongside.
Spicy chicken livers with potatoes and artichokes
Serves: 6 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
30ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
5ml fennel seeds
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
80g chicken livers, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into
½ can artichoke hearts, drained
1 tomato, seeded and finely diced
prepared chicken stock
1 Heat a little of the oil and fry the onion for 30 seconds. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and chilli. Sauté for a minute. Add the livers and cook, stirring until they have coloured. Remove from the pan. 2 Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat. Add the potatoes and stir to coat with the oil. Fry over a medium heat until almost done. 3 Return the liver mixture to the pan and add the paprika, artichokes and tomato. Add a little stock and simmer for a few minutes to heat the artichokes through. Season to taste, then serve hot.
Serves: 6 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes Oven temperature: 200oc
4-6 potatoes (preferably waxy), peeled
and cut into wedges
5ml sweet paprika
1-5ml cayenne pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 red chillies, seeded, chopped
1 x 400g can plum tomatoes
3ml smoked paprika
15ml cider vinegar
5ml brown sugar
garlic aïoli, to serve (recipe alongside)
1 Put the potato wedges in a saucepan and add a little water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, until halfcooked. Drain and place on a plate to dry. 2 Pour a little oil into a roasting pan and spread out the wedges in it. Toss to coat in oil. Mix the paprika, cayenne pepper and 2ml salt together and sprinkle over the wedges. Roast in a preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until crisp. Turn the wedges over halfway through roasting. Serve immediately with salsa brava and garlic aïoli for dipping.
SALSA BRAVA Heat a little olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and sauté for a minute, then add the chillies. Add the tomatoes, paprika, vinegar and brown sugar and simmer for about 10 minutes, until thickened.
GARLIC AÏOLI Use a liquidiser to blend together 2 large egg yolks, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2ml salt. Gradually add 125ml olive oil, a little at a time, and blend until thick and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cold meats and cheese
Serve platters of cheese and sliced Spanish sausage, salami and ham.
Seed and cube a red pepper. Fry the cubes lightly in olive oil. Set them aside to cool. Put them in a bowl along with 400g large green Spanish olives, 6 whole cloves garlic, 10ml fennel seeds, zest from half an orange (cut into thin strips), 60ml olive oil, 45ml lemon juice and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight or for a couple of days.
Serves: 6 Preparation time: 20 minutes Baking time: 45 minutes Oven temperature: 200oc
8 large eggs, separated
320g (375ml) sugar
5ml grated lemon zest
5ml ground cinnamon
5ml vanilla essence
500ml finely chopped blanched
25ml rum or brandy
4-6 oranges, peeled and segmented
1 Grease a 25cm round cake tin with butter, line the base then dust with flour. Shake out the excess. 2 Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until light. 3 Add the lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla essence. Stir in the almonds, a little at a time. 4 In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Once it is well incorporated, fold in the remaining egg whites as lightly as possible. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
5 Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan. Remove from the pan and cool. 6 TOPPING Mix the rum or brandy with the orange segments. Spoon on top of the cake and cut into slices to serve.
Chicken wings in saffron and garlic sauce Spicy chicken livers with potatoes and artichokes
Calamari with peppers and onions (left), and prawn croquettes