Recipes to create the perfect tapas party **

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Hola! Who likes Spanish food? Me, me, me. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s a good tapas party. Want to throw a party but not so keen on spending the entire evening in the kitchen? Turn to Spain’s trendy tapas – small plates of delicious food that can be shared among party guests. I’ve listed a few ideas below, all of which are tried and tested. Don’t forget to serve the below dishes alongside a refreshing glass of sangria!

Meat Tapas Dishes

Serves: 15 bites

Dates Wrapped in Bacon with Marcona Almonds

My post on how to host an easy tapas party wouldn’t be complete without including bacon-wrapped dates – they are easy and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 15 Medjool pitted dates
  • 15 Marcona almonds
  • 5 slices bacon cut into thirds
  • 1 lime cut into wedges

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Make a slit on one side of each date and place an almond inside. Squash the date shut in your hand to secure.
  • Using a bacon strip, wrap each date and fasten with a toothpick.
  • Put all the dates on the prepared baking tray. Roast the dates in the oven for five to six minutes, or until the bacon on top starts to crisp. Flip the dates over and cook for a further five to six minutes.
  • Serve hot with lime wedges as garnish.

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Sherry-glazed Chorizo and Chickpeas

This has to be the most delicious chickpea dish I’ve ever made, and I can’t wait to make it again. Packed with loads of flavour, it makes a great tapas dish for three or four people. I enjoy serving this with a good dollop of crème fraîche and a couple of sprigs of fresh coriander.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 125g sliced chorizo
  • 50ml medium-dry sherry
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Method

  • In a pan, warm the olive oil over a medium-high heat, then add the sliced chorizo.
  • Cook for 10 minutes until crisp, then add in sherry and simmer until the chorizo has a sticky, sweet glaze.
  • Pour in the chickpeas as well as another splash of sherry.
  • Let the mixture bubble for five minutes, then throw in a handful of chopped fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Fish Tapas Dishes

Sweet and Spicy Calamari

Try out this super-simple sweet and spicy calamari tapas dish on loved ones. The sauce is the star of this show-stopping, flavoursome starter. Toss your fried calamari in the sauce or serve alongside — either way, it’s sure to be a big hit.

Serves: 6

Ingredients

Calamari

  • 450g calamari tubes
  • 170ml soda water
  • 125g flour
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Sweet & spicy sauce

  • 4 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp Asian sesame oil

Method

  • Cut the calamari tubes into rings
  • Tip the soda water into a medium bowl, put the calamari rings in the soda water, whisk until all are immersed. Leave for 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile, mix in the flour, salt and pepper, blend until combined. Put to one side. Add in the chilli garlic sauce, honey and sesame oil, mixing well. Put to one side
  • Drain the calamari, pat dry with kitchen towel. One at a time, coat the calamari in the flour mixture. Arrange on a plate until ready to sauté
  • Warm one tablespoon of oil in a deep, heavy pot to 190°C. Once ready, place a quarter of the calamari in the oil and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until golden
  • Place the calamari on a paper towel-lined plate and dab gently
  • Mix in with the prepared sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds the sauce on the side.

Butter and garlic prawns

This is one for garlic lovers and makes a tasty addition to any tapas spread. Be sure to mop up the delicious juices with lots of crusty bread.

Serves: 2-3

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 12 large raw prawns
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Small handful of parsley (chopped)

Method

  • In a wok or large pan, heat the oil and butter. Combine the prawns and garlic, stirring well
  • Sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the prawns are pink and cooked through
  • Add salt and pepper and garnish with the chopped parsley.

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Vegetarian Tapas Dishes

Patatas Bravas

Bring a touch of Spain to the table with this classic tapas dish – it’s a real crowd-pleaser. My top cheat? To save time, I use McCain roast potatoes rather than going through the process of peeling shop-bought ones. And don’t forget to add crusty bread to serve. It’s easy and speedy to make, and even speedier to eat!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 227g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika (pimenton)
  • Pinch of chilli powder
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
  • 900g potato
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  • In a pan, warm the olive oil, add the onion and sauté for about five minutes until softened.
  • Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, sweet paprika, chilli powder, sugar and salt. Bring to the boil, stirring well
  • Bubble for 10 minutes until soft. Set aside for up to 24 hours
  • To serve, heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6
  • Chop potatoes into small cubes and pat dry with kitchen towel. Scatter potatoes in a roasting tin and dribble some olive oil over the top, seasoning well.

 

Spinach with Chickpeas

Whether you make this as a side dish or a light meal, this recipe is just perfect. It goes wonderfully with a pork chop and some crusty bread. Its roots date back to north Africa and it’s a favourite in Spanish bars.

Serves: 4

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 300g frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 1 (400g) tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

  • In a frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat
  • Heat the garlic and onion in the oil until transparent, for about five minutes
  • Combine the spinach, chickpeas, cumin and salt
  • Lightly mash the beans while the mixture cooks using a stirring spoon
  • Cook until heated thoroughly.

 

I hope the above recipes have shown you how easy it is to host an easy, super-tasty Spanish tapas party with minimal cooking skills. Make the above dishes ahead of time, set the table and keep the sangria flowing. You’re all set to host the perfect Spanish tapas party!

 

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** This is a collaborative post.

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