Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tapas Fun

Phil and I had friends over for dinner last night and I decided it would be fun to cook some Spanish tapas. I first fell in love with tapas while I was living in Shanghai. There is a fabulous restaurant there called Azul offering a tantalising range of the tasty Spanish snacks. If you are ever in the neighbourhood, checking it out really is a must.

Tapas certainly does require a lot more prep and planning than a normal meal, but when only done occasionally the novelty makes the effort worthwhile. The first task was to narrow down a selection of tapas - there are so many to choose from! I decided not to be too strictly Spanish, but keep the flavours Mediterranean. Here was my menu:

  - Roasted Cherry Tomato & Parmesan Dip with crusty bread
  - Platter of salami, marinated olives and fresh veges
  - Grilled Haloumi
  - Garlic Chorizo and Prawns
  - Patatas Bravas
  - Lamb meatballs with mint yoghurt sauce (that one was more Greek-style)
  - Fried Cauliflower
  - Sangria

The Roasted Cherry Tomato and Parmesan Dip was dead easy to make and was so lovely with the crusty bread.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Parmesan Dip
Adapted from AWW: Tapas

200g cherry tomatoes
olive oil
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (Avoid pre-grated. Fresh is best!)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Place tomatoes on an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roll the tomatoes around to coat in oil. Roast, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the tomato skins split. Allow to cool.
  3. Combine tomatoes with the other ingredients. I like to squash the tomatoes a bit to break them into smaller chunks and to release some of the flavour into the dip.
  4. Serve with crusty bread (like a vienna loaf), lighty toasted and rubbed with garlic.

I will post a couple of the other tapas recipes over the next few days. Stay tuned!

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