Fresh and Simple Tapas

Horay it’s hump day: the time of the week when you stop thinking about last weekend and start looking forward to the next. If you’re anything like me (which I’m sure some of you are if you read my blog!) then you enjoy spending your weekends cooking for friends and family. One of my favourite ways of eating is Tapas: lots of little plates to share. So I thought I would share with you all some quick and easy recipes I made for tapas party I went to at a friend’s last weekend.

Ok so the requirement was to bring ONE plate to share, so of course I had to bring FOUR. That’s just the sort of person I am: I think in terms of the whole meal, rather than just one dish. In my defence, the dishes I made are relatively simple, relying on the the quality of the ingredients to shine through.

The first thing I decided to make were some chicken skewers. I had a kilo of chicken breast fillets in the freezer that I defrosted, and decided I would make chicken skewers out of. I wanted to maintain the Spanish influence since it was a “tapas” party, so I marinated the chicken overnight in a blend of paprika, garlic and oregano before threading the cubes of meat onto skewers and grilling.

The next dish I wanted to make was some very simple roast pumpkin. I LOVE pumpkin more than any other vegetable, and think it goes exceptionally well with cumin. So I bought half a kent pumpkin and roasted it in a hot oven with some ground cumin. It came out quite soft, so I added some chopped, blanched almonds I had in the cupboard for some crunch, and tore over some fresh basil for a hit of aniseed.

As I was doing my shopping, I found some interesting purple carrots that I thought looked beautiful. So I boiled these with some regular orange ones, tossed them with olive oil and fresh basil, and crumbled over some creamy feta. So simple and delicious.

Finally, I also found some asparagus on special: 4 bunches for $4.00. Bargain. I’d seen a few recipes pairing blanched asparagus with boiled eggs that I wanted to try. It’s a good combination, finished off with a traditional Spanish-style aioli of olive oil whisked with garlic.

So in under an hour (minus the marinating time of the chicken) I had four simple tapas dishes to take to my party. They worked well alongside the antipasti plate Bonnie brought, as well as a delicious pasta salad from Miss R and some amazing lamb and coriander parcels from Miss K. Miss F, who hosted the night, made an indulgent chocolate croissant pudding for dessert that finished us all off.


CHICKEN SKEWERS W/ PAPRIKA AND OREGANO

1kg chicken breast, cut into 3-4cm cubes
2tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
wooden skewers, soaked in water for a few hours

  1. Combine the chicken, paprika, oregano, garlic, olive oil and salt in a bowl and leave to marinate overnight.
  2. Thread chicken pieces onto skewers, leaving room at the end to hold.
  3. Heat a griddle pan over high heat and grill skewers for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Serve hot or cold.

Makes 10


ROAST PUMPKIN W/ CUMIN

1kg kent pumpkin, seeds removed and cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
salt & pepper
100g blanched almonds, chopped roughly

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Rub pumpkin with olive oil and cumin and season to taste.
  3. Bake in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown.
  4. Remove from oven and scatter over almonds and basil.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

Serves 4-6 as part of tapas


BABY CARROTS W/ FETA & BASIL

1 bunch orange baby carrots, stems removed
1 bunch purple baby carrots, stems removed
1 cup basil leaves
1 block danish feta
olive oil
salt & pepper

  1. Blanch carrots in boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and rinse under cold water.
  2. Rub skins off carrots and rinse well to discard.
  3. Toss cooled carrots with basil leaves and crumbled feta.
  4. Transfer to a serving plate to drizzle over a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4-6 as part of tapas


ASPARAGUS W/ HARD BOILED EGGS

3-4 bunches thin green asparagus
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp dijon mustard
juice 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
3 hard-boiled eggs 

  1. Holding each asparagus at either end, bend gently until it snaps. Discard bottom.
  2. Blanch asparagus in boiling salted water until just tender, about 3-5 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well.
  3. Combine olive oil, garlic, mustard and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Pour over asparagus and toss gently to combine.
  4. Transfer asparagus to a serving plate. Crumble over hard boiled eggs and season with a little more pepper.

Serves 4-6 as part of tapas

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This entry was posted in Hors D'Oeuvre, Lunch/Light Meal, Side Dish, Special Occasion Menus, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Fresh and Simple Tapas

  1. Love the chunky spanish chicken skewer!

  2. kat says:

    Yummm! Everything looks so good! Love those chicken skewers! :)

  3. Hi Sarah! I loved your paprika oregano chicken skewers! I’ve cooked it several times now, thanks a lot for sharing! Have a lovely day :)

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