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Albondias con Aceitunas; Fritos de datiles y chorizo; Empanadillas de polo; Gambas al pil pil; Gazpacho; Patatas Bravas; Paella; Tortilla; Montado de queso y jamón; Crostini de atún y aceitunas; Tartaletas de ensaladilla rusa; Pan con tomate;

TAPAS

Tapas can be enjoyed in so many different ways. They are one of the great pleasures of a memorable holiday.What is there better than relaxing in a friendly tapas bar with a glass or two of good wine. Where the only decision to be made is whether you havesmall tapas or large ones.

On holiday, I guess there is a tendency towards the small tapas such as; olives; nuts; croquetas; half rolls with toppings; thin slices of chorizo/ham/cheeses; small empanadas; small wedges of tortilla. Basically, anything you can pick up with the fingers of one hand when you have a glass in the other. This could be a typical lunchtime. On the other hand, after a long afternoon on the beach, a quick tapas and small wine before going to change for the evening, could be just the ticket.

Back home, where there are growing numbers of Tapas bars, I think we tend to look for the full ración of any given dish. Extremely popular are; albondigas meatballs; ensaladas of all varieties; patatas bravas spicy potato wedges; mariscos - seafood; pinchitos - kebabs; paellas.If you go out with a small or large group, the great thing about tapas is they are ideal for sharing and trying new dishes. I have been to tapas bars and we have ordered at least one of every single dish on the tapas menu. Try everything - it`s great. Click here for a link to some popular Tapas restaurants in England.

Here are some simple recipes of popular tapas dishes:

Albondigas con Aceitunas/Meatballs with olives

Albondigas con aceitunas

Ingredients/Ingredientes

1 Pound Chorizo
1 Pound Ground Beef
5 Cloves Garlic -- finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Parsley -- finely chopped
2 Large Eggs
Salt And Pepper -- to taste
1 Cup Flour
2 Cups Olive Oil
1 Large Onion -- finely chopped
2 Large Tomatoes -- finely chopped
1 Small Dried Red Pepper
1 Small Cinnamon Stick
1 Teaspoon Paprika
2 Cups Stock -- or water
2 Cups Pitted Green Olives

Method/Elaboración

Mix ground beef with chorizo meat, garlic, parsley and eggs. Add salt and pepper. Form into meatballs about the size of walnuts. Coat evenly with flour then reserve 1/3 cup flour and discard the rest. Fry the meatballs in the oil until evenly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Transfer 1/2 cup of oil to a skillet and fry the onion until golden. Sprinkle flour evenly over the onions and cook until lightly browned. Add tomato, the pepper, cinnamon stick and paprika. Cook for 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add meatballs and olives, partially cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serves 4.

picChorizo-Filled Dates in Bacon/Fritos de datiles y chorizo

Fritos de datiles y chorizo

Ingredients/Ingredientes

1 chorizo sausage (about 2 ounces)
12 pitted dried dates
3 slices bacon, cut into quarters crosswise
Oil, for frying
Flour, for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Method/Elaboración

Cut off ends of the chorizo and slice the sausage crosswise into 3 equal pieces, about 3/4 inch each in length (remove the skin if tough). Cut each of these pieces in half lengthwise and in half again, to make a total of 12 "sticks." (If your chorizo is thick, these pieces may be too large for the dates, in which case cut in half again.) Insert each chorizo piece into a date and close the date around it. Wrap a strip of bacon around each date. Secure, if necessary, with a toothpick. (May be prepared ahead.) Place the wrapped dates in a skillet with the seam side of the bacon down and saute until the bacon is golden. Turn and brown on the other side. Drain on paper towels. You may now serve the dates, or proceed to coat and fry them. If you are continuing, this step may also be done in advance. Wipe out the skillet, then heat the oil at least 1/2-inch deep to about 380 degrees F. Dust the dates with flour, then dip them into the egg and immediately into the hot oil. Fry until golden, turning once. Or, better, use a deep-fryer. Drain and serve right away.

Chicken Turnovers/Empanadillas de Pollo

Empanadillas de pollo

 

Ingredients/Ingredientes

1 Loaf Bread Dough
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Large Chicken Breast -- Cooked And Chopped
Salt And Pepper -- To Taste
1 Large Pork -- Cooked And Chopped
2 Ounces Ham -- Chopped
1 Small Onion -- Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic -- Chopped
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Saffron
1 Can Tomatoes -- Chopped
1 Medium Bell Pepper -- Chopped
1 Medium Egg -- Beaten With
1 Teaspoon Water

Method/Elaboración

Saute chicken, pork and ham in oil until it starts to brown. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Add paprika and saffron. Saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Add bell pepper and simmer for 10 more minutes. Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness, cut out 14 inch circles or smaller if more are desired. Divide meat mixture and spoon out onto the dough circles. Fold and seal the edges. Cut several slits onto the top of the dough. Brush with egg/water mixture and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Cool slightly and serve. Serves 4.

Gambas al pil pil/Spicy prawns

Gambas al pil pil

 

Ingredients/Ingredientes

2 lb. raw medium shrimp
1/3 cup of olive oil
3 tbsps of butter
3 gloves of garlic coarsely chopped

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt

Method/Elaboración

Shell and devein the shrimp, keeping the tails intact. Mix the shrimp with the salt in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes
Heat the butter and oil together in a flameproof dish over medium heat. When foaming, add the garlic and chili and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until golden. Add the shrimp and cook for 3-6 minutes, or until they curl up and change color. Sprinkle with the paprika and serve sizzling hot with plenty of bread for dipping.

Gazpacho soup


Gazpacho

Ingredients/Ingredientes

6 ripe tomatoes, peeled+chopped
1 purple onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper (or green) seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and fresh ground pepper
6 or more drops of Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (omit for vegetarian option)
4 cups tomato juice

Method/Elaboración

Combine all ingredients. Blend slightly, to desired consistency. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend.
Serves 8.

Gazpacho soup was invented for the summer. Refreshingly cold on hot summer days, this adaptation of the classic Spanish soup deliciously combines the best of summer vegetables. Make sure you only use the freshest, highest quality ingredients for this soup.

Spicy potatoes/Patatas Bravas

Patatas bravas


 

Ingredients/Ingredientes

2 or 3 potatoes / patatas
Oil / Aceite
3 medium full-grown tomatoes / tomates maduros
1 tsp. of spicy ground red pepper / Una cucharadita de pimentón picante
Vinegar / Vinagre
1 tsp. of flour / Una cucharadita de harina
Salt / Sal

Method/Elaboración

Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces, then fry, on a low heat.
Once cooked, drain the potatoes.
Make the tomato sauce: Add a spoon of oil to the pan and then fry the deseeded and peeled tomatoes, smashing it. When cooked, add a few drops of vinegar, a teaspoon of flour and another teaspoon of spicy ground pepper and stir well to mix everything. Season and pour over the potatoes

Se pelan y cortan las patatas en trozos medianos, arrancándolos con el cuchillo. Se fríen con abundante aceite, teniendo el fuego lento durante la fritura. Acabada esta, se escurren. Aparte, se hace la salsa de tomate, friendo en una cucharada de aceite, tomate muy maduro pelado y sin pepitas, machacándolo mientras se fríe. Cuando esté hecho, se añaden unas gotas de vinagre, una cucharadita de harina y otra de pimentón picante, revolviéndolo todo bien para que se mezcle. Se sazona y se sirve sobre las patatas fritas.

Paella

Paella

Ingredients/Ingredientes

450g/1lb. of small chicken drumsticks
225g/1/2lb of chicken breast cut into 1 inch chunks
45ml olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
150g chorizo sausage, sliced
500ml chicken stock
105ml dry white wine
200g short grain Spanish rice
A pinch of saffron threads
150g fresh/frozen peas
12 large cooked prawns/ 8 langoustines
450g fresh mussels, scrubbed
Salt and ground black pepper


Method/Elaboración

Heat the olive oil in a paella pan or wok, add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the chorizo, chicken drumsticks and chopped breast and cook until lightly golden.Stir in the pepper strips and tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes until the pepper is tender.Pour in the stock and white wine, stir well and bring to the boil.Stir in the rice and saffron threads and add salt and pepper.Bring back to the boil then lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.Add the peas, prawns/langoustines and mussels, stirring them gently into the rice.Cook the paella over a low heat for 15-20 minutes more, until the rice is tender.Serve whilst hot.


Spanish Potato omelette/Tortilla Española

Tortilla española

Ingredients/Ingredientes

250g potatoes
1 tbsp oil
1/2onion
2 tbsp chopped parsley
4 eggs, whisked
30g grated cheese

Method/Elaboración

Parboil the puntil almost cooked through.
Heat the oil in a large pan with the onion for 2-3 minutes.
Add the potatoes and parsley. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the eggs and stir carefully to coat the potatoes.
Cook for 1-2 minutes until egg is almost firm and cooked through.
Serve sprinkled with the cheese.

Montado de queso y jamón/Cheese and ham board

Jamon y queso

Ingredients/Ingredientes

225g Manchego cheese
225g Serrano jam
Bread

Method/Elaboración

The easiest of all tapas to prepare: simply take the cheese and ham out of their packets and arrange on a board/plate. Serve with the bread of your choice.

Tuna and olive crostini/Crostini de atún y aceitunas

Crostini de atún y aceitunas

Ingredients/Ingredientes

12 (1-inch) slices of a French baguette
Drizzle of olive oil
1 (8-ounce) tuna steak
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, about 20, pitted
1/2 anchovy fillet
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method/Elaboración

Cook the carrots and peas together. After 15 minutes add the potatoes and salt. Leave to cool then stir in mayonnaise slowly to avoid saturating the vegetables with the sauce. Share the mixture between 6 tartlets. If you use the beetroot, cook in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes without removing the skin or shoots. When it has cooled, peel and dice.

Tartaletas de ensaladilla rusa

tartaletas de ensaladilla rusa

Ingredients/Ingredientes

6 readymade pastry tartlets
200g potatoes, peeled and diced
250g peas, podded
Salt and pepper
250g beetroot
250 carrots, washed and diced
1/4 l mayonnaise sauce

 

Method/Elaboración

Cook the carrots and peas together. After 15 minutes add the potatoes and salt. Leave to cool and then stir in the mayonnaise slowly to avoid saturating vegetables with the sauce. Share the mixture between 6 tartlets.

If you use beetroot, cook in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes without removing the skin or shoots. When it cools down, peel and dice.

Pan con tomate

Pan con tomate

Ingredients/Ingredientes

Crusty bread
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt

Method/Elaboración

This dish is very simple to make.
1) Lightly toast bread and rub with garlic until the cloves are worn down
2) Cut the tomato in half and rub the cut side onto the bread
3) Drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle with salt
The bread can then be topped with manchego cheese or chorizo if you wish, but is quite tasty on its own.

Click here to link to About.com: Spanish Food with pictures to demonstrate.

Did you know?In Barcelona, they also dip bread in red wine and sprinkle with sugar as a treat.


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