Tapas originated in the country of Spain and have since become popular throughout the world. When attempting to define exactly was tapas are, the best way to describe them are as snacks, canapes or as small plates of sample sized foods that can vary greatly in their content. They are offered in quite a few different forms throughout the regions of Spain. The best way to truly understand what tapas are is to have a party, serve them and give a total explanation of your experience. Your guests will give you a hearty thank you.
The greatest appeal of tapas
Consider tapas as tiny meals in themselves. The portions are made small in order for guests to have a sampling of a variety of different foods in one setting. This is the tremendous appeal of having a tapas party. Make sure that you prepare several different tapas that are sure to become favorites so your guests will have lots to choose from.
Components of a tapas party
The time of year will help to determine the types of tapas which will be the most appropriate to serve. For example, lighter and cooler tapas will work the best for hot summertime parties while heartier preparations may be best for colder weather. Try to get an accurate head count before preparing the tapas so you won’t make too much or too little. You may want to consider an RSVP a few weeks prior to the event.
The first consideration is to choose your appetizers. You can find a wide variety of amazing Spanish appetizers online to match the theme of your tapas party if you have one. It’s good to have a few different appetizers to get your guests started. Here are a couple of ideas.
Purchase extra large olives and plan to marinate them for overnight. The recipe is simple. It calls for an 8 ounce can of Greek Kalamata olives, 2 cloves of garlic smashed, 1/2 small red onion sliced very thinly, 12 small orange peel with the inner white rind removed; a sprig of fresh rosemary, 1 bay leaf, 2 tbsp of virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Simply combine all ingredients in a large sealable bowl (olives included) and marinate them overnight. Set out about a half hour before you plan to serve in small serving bowls, preferrably terracotta style.
Smoked paprika almonds
These are favoriteappetiers which are tasty treats to stimulate the tastebuds. Serve the with a glass of chilled sherry or other beverage of your choice. Allow about 15 minutes total for preparation and cooking.
Begin with 3 cups or raw whole almonds, 1 tbsp coarse sea salt, t tbsp virgin olive oil and 1/2 tsp hot paprika to taste. You can substitute the last ingredient for smoked sweet spanish paprika or another type of your choice.
Place almonds on a cookie sheet and toast in a 400 degree over which has been preheated for approximately 7 minutes. Check after 7 minutes to ensure that they do not burn. You’ll know that they’re ready after this time when you smell the aroma of the toasted nuts. Remove from oven when fully toasted. Add the sea salt and paprika together and mix well. They should be ground using a pestle and mortar or other device that will result in a fine grind. Add virgin olive oil to almonds and coat each nut generously. Sprinkle the paprika and salt mixture and mix well until evenly coated. Place in serving bowl and serve to guests with garnishes if desired.
Next, choose three to four different tapas recipes for the tiny main events. Make plenty so your guests can get their fill. Here are the tapas that we recommend.
Tortilla Espanola – These include just a few easy to prepare ingredients yet they are a favorite for tapas parties. They include olive oil, eggs and potatoes with tortilla.
Artichoke hearts (Alcachofas al Ajillo). This is another traditional tapas favorite. It includes lost of garlic and is an amazing choice for artichoke lovers.
Serrano Ham Wrapped specialties
Serrano ham is good when it’s sliced thinly and wrapped around virtually anything includingg melon, plums and other fruits and veggies.
Crostini is a must have at any tapas party.
The crustiness of crostini bread is an excellent companion for use with Spanish cheeses, particularly Manchego, but you can select other varieties if you prefer. Combine them with olives, fruits and vegetables to create your own crostini masterpieces.
Consider any food that can be miniaturized as a potential tapas because it is in reality a small portion of food that can range from a radish on a crust of bread to a small dollop of pudding with a a rich creme topping in a small serving vessel. Have fun when planning your tapas party and be original with the influence of Spanish cuisine as your guide.