Two weeks have passed since I won the Wloggers One Award and I am still excited about it. Yeah, I know, it’s no Nobel prize, but it is my first, and hopefully not my last, award as a food blogger, so I’m still proud of myself.
Paradoxically, I didn’t cook much these weeks, so I was wondering what recipe to post. I got the answer a few days ago, when I had some American guests for dinner and I thought that a tapas platter would be a good idea. Tapas are simple to prepare and eat, and they really make the perfect meal to pair with wine and/or beer (in our case Spanish wine –from Bierzo and Extremadura- and home brewed beer) and enjoy with friends. On top of that, I think it’s time to honor the name of the blog, now taht we are about to celebrate our first anniversary, and post some tapas or pinchos (these are also small portions of food, but it is normally finger food and you might use a toothpick to hold them together and be able to eat them, while you might need a spoon or fork for some tapas)
For a non-Spaniard or even for Spanish expats, it might seem difficult to find some of the ingredients.
The chistorra is easy to find in Spanish shops or even in Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Chistorra-chorizos-Quijote-vacuum-packed/dp/B00HXJ3120/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1426279844&sr=1-1&keywords=chistorra
I serve plenty of tapas at the same time so, due to technical requirements, I am going to include only 3 or 4 recipes per post. Here is the first installment of the tapas and pinchos series.
Ingredients for the base (serves 8)
As a base for the pinchos I used a large ciabatta bread, cut into thin slices and these cut in half for some of them and sum pastry cups for others, but you can use whatever base you prefer.
Pincho of pork tenderloin with rosemary, brie cheese and caramelized onion
1 small pork tenderloin (1/2 pound aproximately)
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 tsp. Chopped fresh rosemary
100 ml. sherry
1 sweet onion
1 wedge of brie
1 tbsp. sweet wine
1 tsp. sugar
STEP 1.- Caramelize the onion. Cut the onion in julienne, add it to a pan with a 1 tbsp. olive oil, add salt and sauté for 30 minutes over low-medium heat. When soft and starting to turn golden brown add the sugar and the sweet wine, turn the heat to medium-high and cook until it starts to caramelize. Reserve.
STEP 2.- Season the tenderloin with salt, pepper and rosemary. Brown evenly over medium-high heat, with 1 tbsp. olive oil. When ready, add sherry, cover and cook for 7 -12 minutes, depending on the size. Reserve the juices in the pan (if needed, ass ½ tbsp. water to deglaze). Let cool down for 10 minutes before slicing.
STEP 3.- Place a slice of meat over a slice of toasted bread, pour a few drops of the juices, add a slice of brie, cut a little smaller than the size of the bread and top with 1 tbsp. of caramelized onion. Place them in an oven tray.
STEP 4.- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Introduce them in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese starts melting. Serve warm.
Pincho of chistorra with red peppers
1 cup white wine
2 roasted red peppers
2 tbsps. olive oil
STEP 1.- Cut the chistorra into 1 inch pieces and sauté in a saucepan with 1 tbsp. olive oil over médium-high heat.
STEP 2.- When evenly browned, add the white wine, lower the heat to médium-low and cook for 10 minutes.
or roast in the pan over médium heat, covering them with a lid and adding ½ tbsp. water every 5 minutes, for 20 minutes.You can do this with the thin type, either red or green.
You can also cut them into 1 inch slices if they are the long and thin type or into 2×2 inch squares if they are bell peppers, and sauté in the pan for about 10 minutes.
STEP 4.- Peel the peppers and remove seeds.
STEP 5.- Place the chistorra on the bread or pastry cup, top with the pepper and hold with a toothpick if needed. Serve warm. You can prepare them beforehand and reheat in the oven (with the tenderloin-brie ones, for example) for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Bresaola and arugula tapa
150 grs. bresaola (you can also use serrano ham, even better if it is ibérico ham)
½ cup pesto
50 grs. arugula
STEP 1.- Spread the pesto on a slice of toasted bread. Wrap the arugula with the bresaola or ham and top with the grated cheese. You can also top the bresaola with the cheese and finish with the arugula, see picture.
Shrimp and aioli (garlic mayo) tapa
2 tbsps. garlic mayo
1 cup cooked and peeled shrimp
10 pastry cups
finely chopped parsley
STEP 1.- Preparare the aioli or garlic mayo following the récipe you will find in our Basics section.
PASO 2.- Cut the shrimp into half inch pieces and mix with the mayo.
PASO 3.- Fill the cups with the mix and sprinkle with the parsley.