16 June 2010

The Tapas Table ~ 10 Tapas Ideas

Hosting a Spanish tapas party? Try these top 10 ideas to make it go off with a bang!

Spanish tapas, almost everyone knows what they are, where they are from, what they can be and yet not even a Spaniard would dare tell you that they knew the true origin of tapas, yes there are theories but which one is the most plausible..? The Spanish tapa has, over recent years spread from Spain to bars and restaurants all over Europe. One such country where tapas have taken gastronomic bars and eateries by storm is the United Kingdom where it seems that you cannot enough of the humble Spanish “tapa”.

Another popular way of enjoying Spain’s tapas culture is to host your own tapas party, this can involve creating a whole range of plates with small bites of food and also conjuring up some famous recipes such as “Gambas al Pil Pil”, stuffed garlic mushrooms or paella. So how do you make your Spanish tapas table truly Spanish? Well there are other things to consider and with a little imagination you can really impress the guests with both hot and cold tapas recipes as well as unique ways to serve them.

1. Jamon: If you are really going to town on your tapas party consider a ham, a Serrano ham need not break the bank and always proves to be a great centerpiece, with front legs available and including a stand for under 100 euros you are already half way there with one of Spain’s most famous exports.

2. Ceramics: Spain is a very colourful country and in certain respects rustic the further inland you travel. Spanish ceramics come in many guises from bright yellows, brown terracotta’s and the traditional blue, green and white designs from the Granada region. Ceramics are inexpensive and small tapas servers all add to that “Spanish feel” of your tapas party.

3. Embutidos: Embutidos are cured meats, we have already mentioned ham but there is a wide range of Spanish cured sausages which can grace and add real flavour to your spread of food. Try some authentic chorizo’s, salchichon (cured sausages) lomo (cured pork tenderloin).

4. Paella: As with ham carved straight from the leg paella can also be served from the pan in small tapas portions, particularly handy if your having a large number of guests. To make serving the paella even more authentic there are mini 10cm paella pans which can be purchased as paella tapas servers.

5. Gazpacho Shots: A fantastic way of serving cold gazpacho soup either indoors or out, the soup is served in hollowed out cucumber “shots glasses” see recipe here

6. Salsa’s: May seem an obvious one but get the flavours going with the famous Canary island salsa or “Mojo” sauce. Served in small colourful tapas bowls mojo sauce will have guests intrigued particularly if they haven’t tried it before, just keep a good supply of bread sticks handy!

7. Mojama: Among the many seafood tapas available mojama is the king. Popular with a cold beer in Madrid this cured tuna loin should be sliced wafer thin, a truly unique flavour.

8. Cava: Set the party off with a bang, Spanish cava is inexpensive and great for greeting the guests, also try Asturian cider or to go the whole hog buy in some Spanish beers such as Cruz Campo, Mahou, Alhambra or Estrella.

9. Cazuelas: The famous terracotta dish which has a multitude of functions. Cazuelas come in a huge range of sizes and have tremendous insulation properties so can be used in the oven, on the hob and even barbeque. Ideal for serving those sizzling chili garlic prawns.

10. Crema Catalana: No not the dessert but the liqueur… Nice over ice!

For further info on tapas and a range of authentic food take a browse around the online deli and should you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch.



Anonymous said...

I'd really love to try all of these recipes. If anyone lives in or near Chicago, I found a great deal for Mediterranean Tapas, Wine, and Cocktails at Nia. Checkout Youswoop

El Oteador de los Mercados said...

A very good explanation of tapas. Congratulations.

David Hall said...

Lovely! Hope life is sweet

Orce Serrano Hams said...

Anon: Thanks for passing by, glad you liked the blog

El Oteador de los Mercados: Muchas gracias, thanks also for the follow :)

David: Bit hot in Andalucia at the mo! Jamon on its way, enjoy...

Sheffy said...

All sounds good to me, Mac.