Tapas Recipes for Summer
Last week I had enormous pleasure catering for a lovely couple and their friends for a celebration house party. I had a stunning kitchen to cook in that was totally open to a lovely garden on a warm Summer’s evening – sometimes my job is such a joy!
The theme was Tapas, one of my favourites, and I gave them a 2 hour feast of non-stop Spanish delicacies including large fish and vegetarian platters to graze on while I prepared King prawns with fiery chilli and garlic, chickpeas with freshly wilted spinach, Pollo Salteado – chicken in a smoky paprika and tomato sauce with chorizo, a big platter of my favourite patatas bravas and my special Berenjenas con Miel which converts every aubergine hater that I know when they’re smothered with Saffron Walden honey.
There was much more and I catered easily for the vegetarian and vegan guests too. Here are two of my favourite dishes for you to try, and if you fancy a Tapas night for your house party, just invite your guests, find your Gipsy Kings CD, get the Sangria chilled and relax while I do all the hard work. Check out my Catering for Dinner Parties page on my website – oh and I do the washing up! (LINK)
Surf and Turf tapas skewers
You need White fish fillet of your choice and/or raw king prawns, fresh cooking chorizo (not the cured one) a couple of lemons & some good Spanish EV olive oil
Rinse & pat dry fish then cut into large chunks. Pop into a bowl with prawns and marinate with oil, lemon juice and some chopped fresh herbs such as thyme or oregano – a pinch of paprika would be nice too. Leave covered in the fridge to marinate for about an hour. Meanwhile, soak wooden skewers in water so they don’t burn. Slice up your chorizo. Alternate fish with chorizo on your skewers. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a little oil in a frying pan or griddle, or bbq and cook the skewers making sure the fish and prawns are cooked right through. Serve on a platter with some finely chopped parsley and some lemon wedges.
Delicious locally grown asparagus is just coming towards the end of its’ season and I absolutely love it. Try it in a traditional Spanish omelette which can be made ahead so perfect for entertaining or cutting into chunks for a picnic.
You need a bunch of asparagus, an onion – finely chopped, garlic – crushed (as many cloves as you like!) some grated Manchego cheese (or cheddar if you can’t get that), and 8 eggs.
Chop the asparagus into small lengths and simmer in water for a couple of minutes until tender. Drain under ice cold water. Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan and gently fry the onion till golden. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs up and season with salt and pepper. When the onions are ready, add the garlic and asparagus and stir for a minute. Pour in the eggs, sprinkle over the cheese, and turn the heat to low. Do not stir, cover the pan, and cook for about 15 minutes till it is set. If your pan is ovenproof you can also pop in the oven or under a grill.
When cooked, eat warm or cold with a squeeze of lemon juice, some sliced tomatoes and some garlicky aioli sauce. Yum…