Recipes - Talking Tapas
January 29, 2019

October 12, 2017

Champiñones con Jamón al Jerez (Mushrooms with serrano ham in sherry)

Champiñones con Jamón al Jerez (Mushrooms with serrano ham in sherry)

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September 18, 2017

Ajo Blanco - white garlic and almond soup!

Ajo Blanco - Refreshing white garlic and almond soup!

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April 11, 2017

Tarta de sidra, canela y manzana (Cider, cinnamon and apple cake)

Tarta de sidra, canela y manzana (Cider, cinnamon and apple cake) 

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February 22, 2017

Magdalenas – a sweet breakfast treat!

Magdalenas – a sweet breakfast treat! 

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December 08, 2016

Huevos Rellenos y Boquerones

 

Eggs are used so much in Spanish cooking, a cheap ingredient that can be elevated with just a few simple additions, and this little tapas is no exception. Often seen in Spanish bars stuffed with tuna, in this recipe I add some simple spicing to the egg using paprika, and then top with the delicious bite of a boquerón (fresh anchovy) marinated in vinegar and oil, delicious and so quick to prepare! If you don’t like fish, you can replace the anchovy with half a griddled asparagus spear tossed in sherry vinegar and split length ways. In Spain they would be more likely to be served with a beer rather than wine, but I also think a nice dry and chilled manzanilla or fino sherry works very well!

Ingredientes                        

  • 6 small to medium fresh free range eggs
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise (homemade or good quality jarred)
  • ½ tsp hot paprika plus a little extra
  • ¼ tsp salt and a few twists of pepper
  • 6 fresh marinated anchovy fillets (split in half)
  • A little chopped fresh parsley

Metódo

  1. Cook the eggs in boiling water for 7-8 minutes depending on their size, plunge into cold water and leave to cool before removing shells (you can do this the night before, but refrigerate them in their shells and peel the next day when you are ready to use them).
  2. Once the eggs have cooled, carefully slice in half length ways, remove the yolks with a teaspoon to a small bowl, and put the whites to one side.
  3. To the yolks add the mayonnaise, paprika and a little salt and pepper, mash together with a fork and then taste.
  4. Stuff the mixture back into the egg white, lay two of the anchovy fillets over the top of each egg and then sprinkle with a little extra paprika and a little finely chopped parsley.
  5. Place each egg on top of a very thin slice of baguette (this stops the eggs slipping around the plate), and serve with a chilled Fino or Manzanilla, ¡deliciosa!
October 22, 2016

Albóndigas - delicious Spanish meatballs!

These delicious little meaty bites, smothered in a rich and slightly picante tomato sauce are a staple of the Spanish tapas bar, especially in the heartland of Spain, where meat is on the menu more than seafood. The dish is a great example of how simple Spanish cooking can produce wholesome tasty food, and is popular with both the grown ups and the little ones in our house! I tend to make a large batch of meatballs (double the amount of meat below) and then freeze half of them before cooking to be used again the next time. 

Ingredientes (Serves 6-8 as a tapa)  

  • 200g minced pork
  • 200g minced beef or veal
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp of breadcrumbs
  • 1 small beaten egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Tomato sauce

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 large red pepper finely chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, or 6 large fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika (dulce)
  • ½ tsp hot paprika (picante)
  • Splash of sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh chopped parsley to garnish (optional)

Metódo

  1. Make the tomato sauce first. Begin by gently cooking the onion to soften for 5 minutes in olive oil, add the garlic, paprika and diced peppers and cook for another few minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, sherry vinegar, a pinch of salt and twist of pepper, reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for 15 minutes until rich and thick, then put aside until needed.
  3. To make the meatballs, begin by sweating off the onion for 5 minutes in olive oil until softened, then remove and leave to cool.
  4. In a separate bowl put the pork, beef, cumin, thyme, breadcrumbs, a good pinch of salt and pepper and then add the cooled onion, beaten egg and combine well.
  5. With wet hands (to avoid the mixture sticking) shape the mixture into small bite-sized balls. Place on a plate and chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
  6. When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs off in batches for about 10 minutes each, turning as they cook to brown on all sides.
  7. Warm the sauce and pour over the meatballs, sprinkling with fresh parsley at the last minute if you wish. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce! 
¡Deliciosas!
September 24, 2016

Empanadillas de verduras - Vegetable Spanish pasties!

My first try of empanada came on a school exchange trip to the beautiful Salamanca, when on a picnic the lovely Spanish family I was staying with produced this huge, amazing looking rectangular pie. It was cut into great big slices and passed it round us all, oozing with a thick tomato sauce, vegetables and tuna. It was absolutely delicious!

Since then I have had many more empanadas, with many variations on the filling, and think the smaller ‘empanadillas’ are a great Spanish version of our slightly drier English pasty! This recipe is one I tweaked for my husband, who is not keen on the addition of tuna. The egg adds a lovely extra flavour but could always be left out if you prefer.   

These little beauties are great in packed lunches, for children and grown ups alike! You can also make a batch up and freeze them before cooking to get out and pop in the oven whenever you need them.

Ingredientes (Make 6 to 8 empanadillas)    

  • Ready to roll shortcrust pastry (you can make a dough, like a pizza dough, as they would traditionally in Spain but I think short crust works just as well)

Filling

  • 1 small container of sieved tomatoes (Passata or tomato frito) about 250ml
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 large courgette diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 green pepper (or yellow) diced
  • 1tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 beaten egg

 Metódo

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry off your onion, courgette and pepper until soft and sweet but not browned (this can take about 10 minutes to do properly), adding the garlic for the last couple of minutes.
  2. Add the tomato and paprika, and then the herbs, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Leave to cook gently for another 5-10 minutes and taste. Leave the mixture to cool.
  4. Roll out your pastry (as thin as you can) and then cut into circles about 10-12 cm across (use a large cookie cutter or small bowl as a guide).
  5. Brush the edges of the circles with some beaten egg, put a generous tablespoon of filling in the middle, followed by a slice of boiled egg.
  6. Bring the two opposite sides of the pastry up to meet over the filling and then pinch the edges together. Turn the empanadilla onto its side and then use the back of a knife to press the edges to seal.
  7. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray, brush with egg and then bake in a preheated oven on 170° for about 20 minutes until golden and crisp. Serve warm or cold.
¡Deliciosas!
July 25, 2016

El Gazpacho Clásico - Delicious, healthy and refreshing!

Gazpacho Clásico -  - Delicious, healthy and refreshing!

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June 16, 2016

Espárragos con Jamón Serrano - Simple!

So to celebrate World Tapas Day on June 16th, I want to share with you one of the quickest, simplest and yet most delicious tapas you can make yourself at home! Only two ingredients and one pan needed, and it takes not more than ten minutes from start to finish!

In Spain they love asparagus, and will often serve the tinned white asparagus with salads, as well as enjoying the fresh green spears when they are available. It is currently in season here and as a result is available (and on offer) in all the supermarkets at the moment. I love it, with so many dishes, but this one for me sums up what tapas is all about: being able to create a simple and tasty dish with very few ingredients in very little time!

Ingredientes (Serves 4 as a tapa)       

  • A bunch (at least 12 spears) of fresh, green asparagus (woody ends removed)
  • Thinly sliced Jamón Serrano (a 100g packet will be plenty)
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • Black pepper to season

Metódo

  1. Wrap each asparagus spear with a slice (or half if they are big) of Jamón Serrano.
  2. Heat a non stick frying pan until fairly hot, add the olive oil, and carefully place your wrapped spears into the pan, 5 or 6 at a time so they have room to move in the pan and are not on top of one another.
  3. Fry for a couple of minutes each side until the ham is crisp and the asparagus starts to char and change colour to a darker green (they will still have crunch but that is the joy in my opinion!)
  4. Remove to a warmed serving platter and repeat with the remaining spears until all are done.
  5. Grind a little black pepper over the spears and serve warm, ¡disfrútalo! (Enjoy!)