Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tapas Night

A few nights ago I made tapas for dinner - because I had planned to cook and I was going to cook.  No matter that I had come home late from work and wasn't prepared at all for the feast.

Tapas night
And since it was not very well planned dinner - it was quite late when we ate and not all the dishes planned were made.  But as you can from the "Tapas Night" picture - there is a good quantity of food. Starting at bottom center and going clockwise: Chorizo en sidre (in cider), Patatas bravas (potatoes in tomato sauce), Albondigas (meatballs, actually meatball in this case. *grin*), Gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic butter sauce).

Scallops and chard
We were suppose to have Acelgas con pasas y pinones (rainbow chard with raisins and pine nuts) but just didn't have enough time.  I made it a few days later with scallops but I don't think the flavors worked as well as it would have done with the Tapas meal.

I would say if you plan to make a tapas dinner give yourself a hour or two.  Most of the stuff I made was quick - but there is a lot of cutting, chopping and basic prep that needs to be done and well ... tapas is all about little samples of food.  So, lots of dishes.

And if you are motivated to make Tapas - more power to you!  Here and here are a sites I like for quite a few dishes - I haven't tried them all but the ones I have tried turned out good.  I also recommend ordering from La Tienda as they have a great selection of Spanish meats that you can get delivered.  I ordered the Iberico + Serrano Duo for the BF a few Christmas' ago, which he liked very much.  They also have proper Spanish Chorizo - which we use to order but lucky for us our local meat market, Paulina, carries it now and so I don't have to plan too far ahead.

Since Chard is currently in season and has been looking very bright and fresh at the farmers' markets, that is the first recipe I will post up.  And, as I've been slacking for a bit... I'll make this easy on myself and just post up a recipe in the next few days for the other items from Tapas night.

Acelgas con Pasas y Pinones

Chard with raisins and pine nuts

  • 1 lb chard
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (unless you are like me and like more)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small red onion or shallot - sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
Wash the chard, trim and shred the leaves into bite size pieces.
In a cup, set raisins in some boiling water to rehydrate - this should just take enough time for the chard to have cooked through.
In a frying pan over medium heat, lightly brown the pine nuts and set to the side.

Heat butter, add onion and cook over low heat until softened. Add garlic.  Saute over medium heat for about a minute until garlic is fragrant.  Add the chard and give a quick stir.  When the char wilts, add the raisins (strained of the water) and the pine nuts.  season and serve.


  1. i'm always up for chorizo in cider. yum!

  2. Zim - are the La Tienda Chorizos as good as the "Made in Spain" chorizos you've raved about?

    Ame - for the Albondiga, did you use a "binder", and if so, what did you use? Or did it hold itself together nicely, without any flax seed or other binding agent?

    Please let me know when you have a chance. I am very glad to see you post again... I was getting worried, during the long silence =)

  3. Albondiga recipe posted... no filler/binder... excluding the egg.

    I was slacking... I started a class on .Net and we were built raised bed for both the front yard and parkway. Loads of work. but...it looks very nice now. And, the squirrels have started to steal my spring bulbs already. silly squirrels. :)