Tapas with friends

There's noth­ing nicer than spend­ing a re­laxed evening around a ta­ble, sip­ping on san­gria and sam­pling tasty dishes

Ideas Entertainment - - Contents -

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.

Hang­ing gar­den

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.

Prawn cro­quettes

Serves: 6 Prepa­ra­tion time: 45 min­utes, plus re­frig­er­a­tion time Cook­ing time: ap­prox­i­mately 20 min­utes

120ml olive oil

110g (200ml) cake flour

350ml milk

100ml pre­pared chicken stock

1ml grated lemon zest

250ml finely chopped cooked prawns

2 large eggs

dried bread­crumbs

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,

seeds re­moved

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

olive oil

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

small cubes

10ml pa­prika

½ can ar­ti­choke hearts, drained

and sliced

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.

Pota­toes bravas

Serves: 6 Prepa­ra­tion time: 20 min­utes Cook­ing time: 45 min­utes Oven tem­per­a­ture: 200oc

4-6 pota­toes (prefer­ably waxy), peeled

and cut into wedges

olive oil

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.

Mar­i­nated olives

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.

Al­mond cake

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

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