Spanish cooks inventiveness created tapas (in Basque country called pincho) to replace informal meals, or to accompany a glass or two sherry wine, or even late night impromptu dinners.
Originally, tapas covered a glass of sherry to keep flies off the wine, and eventually evolved to sophisticated foods. Tapas are presented simply, but taste good. Most can be purchased and simply put on palters or garnished with a few leaves of lettuce or slices of tomatoes.
Needless to say, no Spaniard will ever think of serving an out of season vegetable or fish.
Next time you are planning an informal get together, try any or all of the ingredients listed below:
Anchovies in oil (anchoas)
Bonito tuna (atun blanco)
Marinated mussels (mejillones marinada)
Canned smoked oysters
Piquillo peppers (pimientos piquillo)
Mayoneza de piquillo (pimiento flavoured mayonnaise)
Canned or marinated squid (calamares)
Stuffed olives (aceitunas rellenos)
Toasted salted almonds
Wafer thin sliced ham
Wafer thin sliced mountain ham
Assorted cheeses and crackers
Skewered chicken breast with chorizo sausage
Filet of beef with julienne of red pepper
Here is a Tapas recipe you can try:
½ clove of garlic, pureed
1 tbsp ground cumin
5 –6 chorizos or other spicy sausage (2 ½ cm in diameter), cut into 2 cm cubes
3 skinless chicken-breast halves cut into 1 cm cubes
12 – 14 bamboo skewers, 20 cm long, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Starting and ending with chorizo, thread the skewers with alternating pieces of chorizo and chicken.
Set the brochettes in a shallow bowl, cover and completely cover with olive oil, to allow to marinate for a minimum of 12 hours.
Place mayonnaise, garlic and cumin in a blender and pulse until it has smooth consistency.
Transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Remove the brochettes from the oil and drain excess oil.
Heat the grill very hot, place skewers on the grill, and sear on all sides, turning frequently until cooked through, about seven minutes.
Serve with flavored mayonnaise.