A few of my favourite things (tapas selection)

Every now and then, a selection of nibbly tapas-style dishes is exactly what hits the spot. This selection is a few of my favourite things, or, at least, a few of my favourite tapas. Serve this selection with freshly-baked good quality bread, and you’ll be glad you chose the good stuff to set this off.

My top three tapas, which go great together or separately, are as follows:

  • Fried eggplant with honey (berenjenas fritas con miel)
  • Spicy fried potatoes (patatas bravas)
  • Garlic-thyme mushrooms (setas as ajillo)

This selection is fairly easy to juggle, as each dish in itself is relatively simple.

Here’s how to whip up a a Spanish-style tapas selection that’ll suit a wide variety of occasions, be it a brunch, a light dinner, or part of a dinner party spread… 😉

Flavour: Elegant, yet simple and comforting

Serves: 2 as a substantial meal

If you want to scale it up to serve more people, just double or triple (or whatever…!) the quantities, and you’re pretty safe.

berenjenas-fritas-con-mielBerenjenas fritas con miel

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • grind of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey (you can sub with agave or maple syrup if you prefer, as I do 🙂 )

Directions:

  1. Cut eggplant into half-centimetre thick rounds
  2. Place eggplant round on a plate, and sprinkle with salt – leave for 30 minutes (you can be getting on with prepping the other tapas during this time)
  3. After your 30 minutes is up, rinse the salt off your eggplant rounds, and pat them dry with kitchen paper
  4. Mix flour, pinch of salt, and a grind of black pepper on a plate, and coat eggplant rounds in the mix
  5. Heat olive oil in a skillet over a high heat
  6. Shallow fry the floured eggplant rounds for around 3 minutes on each side – aim to flip these only once, twice maximum – you want to get them golden and crispy
  7. Once golden and crispy, remove your eggplant rounds from the frying pan, plate up, and drizzle with honey

patatas-bravasPatatas bravas

Ingredients:

  • 1 large potato
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tahini sauce (see here for recipe – you can omit the parsley, if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce (I use a good-quality bottled sauce I get at the market – you use whatever you can get your hands on that you like)
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, or a pinch of chilli powder

Directions:

  1. Bring a small pot of water to the boil
  2. Cut your potato into large chunks – at least 2cm cubes
  3. Boil potato chunks for 5 minutes, then strain
  4. While potato is boiling, mix up your tahini sauce and your spicy tomato sauce – just add chilli to the tomato sauce, and you’re set
  5. Heat oil in small skillet on high heat
  6. Shallow fry potatoes until golden and crispy (this should take 5-10 minutes)
  7. Take potatoes off heat, pat with kitchen paper to remove excess oil, and transfer to serving plate
  8. Sprinkle with salt, and then drizzle with tahini sauce and spicy tomato sauce

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASetas al ajillo

Ingredients:

  • 150g oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy butter substitute (I use Nuttelex)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • half teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • generous grind of black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in skillet over high heat, and toss in mushrooms when it’s nice and hot
  2. Cook mushrooms until they start to turn golden brown – you want them to crisp ever so slightly around the edges
  3. Toss in your garlic, salt, butter, thyme, and lemon zest, if using – stir well, and cook for 2 more minutes
  4. Add white wine and black pepper, cook for 2 more minutes, and then remove from heat – transfer to serving dish immediately

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