Recipe: Summer Spanish Tapas 3-Ways

How to Make Tapas

How to Make Tapas

Recipe: Summer Spanish Tapas 3-Ways

How to Eat at a Tapas Bar

Once merely intended to shield glasses of wine from fruit flies, tapas have expanded into substantial snacks, easily turned into meals. My husband and I toured Barcelona in June, and tapas taverns were our favorite, most fun, and least expensive places to dine. Thank goodness for our articulate and amusingly opinionated gourmet tour guide Oliver, who took us through the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) streets, pointing out the best of the best food shops and restaurants.

Spanish Tapas: Jamon and piquillo peppers

Spanish Tapas: Jamon and piquillo peppers

What fascinated me most about the experience was how you “work” yourself through a tapas bar. The kitchen prepares plates of tapas for the bartenders to whisk into the restaurant, placing them on the bar stacked with shelves holding more plates of tapas, or they might be offered like passed hors d’oeuvres.

Spanish tapas: Smoked salmon and jamon croissants

Spanish tapas: Smoked salmon and jamon croissants

Upon arrival, you order a drink, grab a plate, and select any items that tempt your taste buds. You can take a lot or just a few and when you’re ready to pay, the cost of your meal is determined by the number of toothpicks on your plate! How brilliant, simple. An honor-based system, at only 2-3 bucks a pop.

Here are a few of my favorites, light and easy to replicate at home without much fuss. Have you ever been to an authentic tapas bar? If so, where? And what were your favorite offerings?

Summer Spanish Tapas 3-Ways

How to Make Tapas

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Piquillo Pepper Tapas

4 whole roasted smallish piquillo peppers (jarred or canned)*

6 tablespoons soft goat cheese with herbs, softened

1 teaspoon syrupy aged sherry vinegar (or aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic syrup)

2 teaspoons chopped chives

Carefully remove peppers from container, drain and place on a paper towel to blot. Fill one corner of a small plastic resealable bag with goat cheese and squeeze a few times with your hand to soften. Cut a bottom corner at an angle to make a hole the size of a medium grape. Hold a pepper open with your fingers and fill the pepper with cheese. Repeat with remaining peppers and cheese. Sprinkle with chives and drizzle with sherry vinegar just before serving.

*Piquillo peppers are the Spanish version of our jarred roasted red peppers. Piquillos boast a smoky, intense, but not spicy flavor and are smaller, making them perfect for stuffing as appetizers. Find them at gourmet markets or in the international food sections of well-stocked mainstream grocery stores.

Shrimp and Egg Tapas with Dijon Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon milk

4 slices slender baguette, cut 3/4-inch-thick at an angle

2 medium hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 bite-size baby dill pickles

4 small (31-40-ct) shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked (poached, grilled or sautéed)

Stir mayonnaise, mustard and milk together in a small bowl.

Toast baguettes in a wide-mouthed toaster (or oven) until golden (I use the bagel setting #3).

Place eggs on top of toast. Drizzle the eggs and toast lightly with oil and place a dollop of Dijon sauce on top of each egg. Skewer one pickle and shrimp on each toothpick, pushing to the opposite end. Then, poke the toothpick through the egg and toast. Serve immediately.

Anchovy and Olive Skewer Tapas

4 excellent-quality anchovies (I use Ortiz de la Antigua brand), drained and blotted

8 Castelvetrano green olives, pitted (these are the bright green, plump olives)

Wrap part of an anchovy around an olive and push onto a toothpick. Push another olive onto the toothpick, wrapping the remaining part of the anchovy around the second olive. Repeat with remaining anchovies and olives on separate toothpicks (two anchovy wrapped olives per toothpick).

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 3+ minutes

Makes 4 servings, 1 of each variety

Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories 213, Total fat 12.5 g (Saturated fat  4.5 g, Trans fat  0 g), Sodium 1022 mg, Cholesterol 127 mg, Total carbohydrates  13 g, Fiber  1 g, Protein  11 g, Vitamin A 7% DV, Vitamin C 23% DV, Calcium 6% DV, Iron 11% DV

 

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Summer Spanish Tapas 3-Ways

How to Make Tapas

By Michelle Dudash, Chef and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Published: July 5, 2012

  • Yield: 3 appetizers each (4 Servings)
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 3 mins
  • Ready In: 48 mins

Try three delicious tapas recipes: Goat Cheese-Stuffed Piquillo Pepper Tapas, Shrimp and Egg Tapas with Dijon Sauce, and Anchovy and Olive Skewer Tapas. Makes four servings, one of each variety.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Goat Cheese-Stuffed Piquillo Pepper Tapas Carefully remove peppers from container, drain and place on a paper towel to blot. Fill one corner of a small plastic resealable bag with goat cheese and squeeze a few times with your hand to soften. Cut a bottom corner at an angle to make a hole the size of a medium grape. Hold a pepper open with your fingers and fill the pepper with cheese. Repeat with remaining peppers and cheese. Sprinkle with chives and drizzle with sherry vinegar just before serving.
  2. Shrimp and Egg Tapas with Dijon Sauce Stir mayonnaise, mustard and milk together in a small bowl. Toast baguettes in a wide-mouthed toaster (or oven) until golden (I use the bagel setting #3). Place eggs on top of toast. Drizzle the eggs and toast lightly with oil and place a dollop of Dijon sauce on top of each egg. Skewer one pickle and shrimp on each toothpick, pushing to the opposite end. Then, poke the toothpick through the egg and toast. Serve immediately.
  3. Anchovy and Olive Skewer Tapas Wrap part of an anchovy around an olive and push onto a toothpick. Push another olive onto the toothpick, wrapping the remaining part of the anchovy around the second olive. Repeat with remaining anchovies and olives on separate toothpicks (two anchovy wrapped olives per toothpick).

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