How about making your own Spanish Tapas night at home? It´s not going to be ambitious. I promise there will be no hard to find complicated ingredients either. Whether you are reminiscing about that trip you made to Andalusia last year or planning travel to Spain. Here is something you can do right now to get a taste of Spain.
The culture of tapas is based on simple food. Each bar offers a snack to its customers to welcome them. (In Andalusia they are often free of charge) Spanish Tapas can be as simple as a piece of ham or cheese on crusty baguette bread. Traditionally thats how tapas began. Nowadays they have become more and more elaborate.
Here are my suggestions of how to recreate an authentic Spanish bar in your own kitchen.
Spanish Tapas Shopping list
• Plenty of Baguette bread
• Spanish Omelette (made with potato and onion)
• Manchego Cheese
• Quince paste (or jam)
• Olives. Any variety: green, black or stuffed
• Spanish Ham – Jamon Serrano
• Meatballs in tomato sauce
• Spanish Beer: Try brands such as San Miguel, Cruzcampo or Alhambra.
• Spanish Wine Reds: Try a classic Ribero del Duero or an lesser known Ribera del Guadiana from the Extremadura region.
White: I love Rueda Verdejo or a glass of delicious Calvente
Most of these ingredients can be found at good supermarkets in the UK and in other countries.
If you are travelling to Spain you could even buy a few things to take back with you. Manchego Cheese or vacuum packed ham are OK to put in your case.
So now you have all the ingredients, here´s how to prepare it all.
Lay out all the tapas on individual plates on the table. Put the wine and beer to chill.
With the Quince paste and manchego cheese you can make open sándwiches. Known in Spain as montaditos. Cut a wedge of cheese and put some quince on top. Put this onto a diagonally slice of bread. You could also put the cheese and quince onto a cocktail stick too. An alternative to quince paste or jam is caramelised onion. (as seen in the picture above)
Jamon Serrano can be served alone or accompanied with bread, as you prefer. In Spain it is often seen with melon, this is a great combination especially in summer.
If you want have dessert option for your tapas party, here are a few suggestions. The most typical desserts are fresh fruit salad or fruit such as pineapple, strawberries or whatever is in season.
Other traditional desserts are Crème caramel known as Flan in Spain or ice cream based desserts.
A few pointers.. What is not Spanish:
• Mexican Sombrero hats – They are from Mexico. Nothing to do with Spain.
• Bruschetta – I was once served this at a Tapas bar in the UK. Grrr. The Spanish version is simply Pan con tomate. A piece of bread with a ripe tomato rubbed over the bread. A splash of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. Bruschetta is an Italian dish.
What would you add to the Spanish Tapas Party?