Apparently in Spain, if you make an appointment to see someone at 2, they will turn up, without fail, unabashed and unashamed at 2:30, 3, or even 3:30. What will you do if you are the person kept waiting? Find a tasca (tapas bar) around the corner, order a drink and a tapa or two and wait comfortably. Thanks to this Spanish culture, we have beautiful tapas dishes today around the world.
There are a lot of similarities between Spanish tapas and Chinese yumcha. Both have a large selection of dishes in small serves, that can be a snack or a proper meal. Pasta originated in China thousands years ago. Who knows whether there is connection between tapas and yumcha.
Mia bought me a Spanish cookbook for my birthday, The Food of Spain – A Journey for Food Lovers. On a free weekend, we tested some of the recipes in the book and created a tapas feast at home. It was very successful! We couldn’t wait to eat after we finished cooking, so I didn’t play around with the photos too much. Pictures can’t do it justice! BTW, we know bratwurst sausage are German. It just happened I had some in the fridge, so we just threw it in the feast. We also made a classic Northern Spanish dessert – Fried Milk. I will write a separate post for it.
All the recipes below are from the cookbook mentioned above with small alterations. This is a very good book to keep.
Chorizo in Cider
3 tsp olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
1/ 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
125ml alcoholic apple cider
60ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 chorizo, sliced diagonally
2 tsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat the oil in a saucepan over low heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the paprika and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium, add the cider, stock and bay leaf to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly. Stir in the sherry vinegar and parsley. Season to taste. We could’t find sherry vinegar in the shops, so we used red wine vinegar instead. Also added some sherry.
60g plain flour
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
2 large eggs
2 spring onions
Handful flat-leaf parsley
250g peeled and finely chopped prawns
125ml olive oil
lemon wedges to serve
Combine the flour and paprika in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the beaten egg and mix in gradually, then stir in 30ml water to make a smooth batter. Add a little bit more water if needed. Add spring onion, parsley and prawns and season well. Rest the batter for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a deep-sided frying pan over low-medium heat. 1-2cm thick would be enough. Working in batches, spoon in 1/2 tsp of batter per fritter and flatten into a thin pancake. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side. Reason well and serve with lemon wedges.
500g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm slices
60ml olive oil
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to season
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
Cook the potato slices in a large saucepan with cold water for 5 minutes, then drawn and set aside.
Heat the oil in a deep-sided oven safe frypan over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until softened.
Add potato and parsley to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cook for 5 minutes, gently pressing down into the pan.
Whisk the eggs and pour evenly over the potato. Cover and cook over low-medium heat for 20 minutes or until the eggs are just set. Transfer to the oven without the lid on for minutes to brown the top up.
Click here for Tapas Feast: Dessert Fried Milk