tapas party!

Bored with run-of-the-mill fare? A tapas party can be a fun way to shake up your spring or summer repertoire. As assortment of easily prepared finger foods served with exciting Spanish wines makes for trouble-free entertaining.

first, pick up some lively Spanish wines:

  • Dry fino manzanilla Sherry, briny, nutty character
  • Lively albarino, loads of citrus & stone fruit
  • Cava, refreshling, effervescent and a palate cleansing foil for richer food

Make a platter of Serrano ham, manchego or other Spanish cheeses and a glittering pile of almonds and olives. Thin slices of one or two breads are very welcome alongside. I have included a recipes for coriander almonds, banderillas, and for the star of the show:

lime shrimp

lime shrimp

 

  • 4 limes
  • 1 pound shrimp, deveined, peeled if desired
  • 3 tablespoons saffron
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry (Fino)
  • sea salt and black or cayenne pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Zest and juice two of the limes. Cut the remaining two into wedges, and reserve for later.

Rinse and dry shrimp well. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on high; add the garlic and cook just until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately add the shrimp and cook until pink and curled, 3 to 5 minutes depending upon the size of the shrimp. Drizzle with lime juice, zest and sherry; toss to coat.

Transfer to a serving dish; season with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley. Serve hot with lime wedges.

Serves 6.

coriander almonds

  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pound blanched whole almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • sea salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. Grind the coriander seeds in a spice grinder; se aside.

In large bowl, toss oil, almonds, ground coriander and cayenne pepper. Spread almonds on a baking sheet. Roast almonds for about 6 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with cocktails. Store in airtight container.

banderillas

These one bite snacks are named after the colorful darts used in bullfighting. Althougheach one holds several morsels, they are designed to be eaten in one bite so that the flavors meld in your mouth.

feta, artichoke & roasted red bell pepper:

  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters
  • ¼ pound feta, cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips
  • skewers

 Skewer an artichoke quarter, then a cheese cube, top with a folded strip of roasted pepper.

variations:

The combinations are endless. Here are some ingredients to substitute as desired:

  • Folded pieces of Serrano ham
  • Chorizo
  • Manchego cheese
  • Apple or melon cubes
  • Pickled peppers or cocktail onions
  • Cubes of feta or smoked cheese
  • Marinated vegetables
  • tiny new potatoes, cooked
  • tiny cherry tomatoes
  • Cooked scallops
  • cooked shrimp
  • Caper berries
  • Any imported olive

How about some more ideas? Another quick app as well as a drink to accompany it?


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