Tapas? Tapas. Tapas!

Last night my work friend Joel and I decided to have a budget friendly dinner date at his place. We tossed around a few ideas and decided that tapas was the way to go. We'd have more variety to choose from, it definately goes with wine and who doesn't love a bit of chorizo? I looked through my recipe books and decided on 3 different dishes. Joel was responsible for making his favourite crispy Pita bread with lemon pepper seasoning and picking out the wine. Because I finished work early, the rest was up to me. It took me about 1.5 hours to prepare everything and it was actually very therapeutic. We ended up with heaps of food, enough for 3 people and some left overs for lunch today.

The following recipes are for big tapas parties, so just adjust the quantities to the amount of people you have.

Lemon and Chilli Chicken Skewers
Makes 12
You will need -
- 12 bamboo skewers
- 400g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2 cm pieces
- 2 chorizo, cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 medium capsicum, cut into 2cm pieces
- 12 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl; cover, refrigerate for 30 mins.
2. Thread chicken, chorizo, capsicum and bay leaves alternately onto skewers.
3. Cook skewers on heated oiled grill plate (or grill or barbecue) until chicken is cooked through and chorizo is browned lightly.
Note - Soak the bamboo skewers in water for atleast an hour before using to prevent them from scorching during cooking. 
- In the pictures, there are no bay leaves as I forgot the buy them. I also forgot to soak my skewers and I ended up cooking them on a tray covered in foil in the oven.

Smoked Eggplant and Capsicum Jam
Serves 8
You will need -
- 1 large eggplant, chopped finely
- 1 medium red capsicum, chopped finely
- 1 medium red onion, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water

1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced.
2. Combine eggplant, capsicum, onion and oil on baking paper lined oven tray. Roast, uncovered for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are browned lightly.
3. Combine roasted vegetables, thyme, paprika, pepper, juice and the water in medium saucepan. Bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minnutes or until jam is thickened.
4. Serve jam, warm or at room temperature with char-grilled pita bread.

Note - We had our jam with Joel's favourite pita bread. Just slice up some pita bread, brush with olive oil and sprinkle on a some Lemon Salt seasoning and toast in a hot oven until crispy.
- This jam is great when tossed through pasta, spread on pizza bases or served as a side dish to chicken, lamb or fish.

Veal Meatballs with Gazpacho Salsa
Makes 40

You will need -
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 500g veal mince
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1.5 cups finely grated manchego cheese (you can use parmesan as a subsitute)
- 1 cup (70g) stale breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil for shallow frying
Gazpacho Salsa
- 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped finely
- 1 medium capsicum, chopped finely
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped finely
- 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1. Combine gazpacho salsa ingredients in a small bowl to serve.
2. Heat olive oil in medium frying pan; cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens. Cool for 5 minutes.
3. Combine onion mixture, veal, oregano, cheese, breadcrumbs and egg  in large bowl. Roll rounded tablespoons of veal mixture into balls.
4. Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan; shallow-fry meatballs, in batches, until cooked through. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot with gazpacho salsa.

After lots of yummy food, good conversation and 2 bottles of wine, we decided this is something we need to be doing a lot more often.


jose manuel | 23 November 2013 at 21:46

Bloggers like you are very few on World Wide Web and I am happy to found you. It’s like finding a pearl in the sea, tough but fruitful. Best wishes and regards.

ir de tapas

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