Why's that? It's simple. I'm going to be presenting some of my favorite Spanish appetizers, or tapas, with you ... along with a great recipe for sangria to be enjoyed with all of it. Spanish food is perfect for warm summer months. It takes full advantage of a wide array of spices and peppers, yes, but it also tends to be highly flavorful and takes advantage of fresh produce and fruit. Now if that doesn't sound like a great idea for a weekend party, I don't know what is!
Set up your tapas party in the backyard and make sure that you have plenty of seating and some pitchers of iced tea and lemonade available for those not interested in the sangria. Make sure you have shaded seating available by either placing chairs under a canopy of trees or market umbrellas. Of course, if the weather doesn't cooperate, you can always move the event indoors and opt for a brightly colored flower arrangement and some woven blankets tossed around for added festivity. Wherever you decide to have your get together, try to include some Latin salsa music and the like to set a perfect party mood!
- 2 bottles burgundy
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 ounces Triple Sec
- 4 ounces brandy
- 2 oranges, thinly sliced
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
Combine the first five ingredients and chill well. Add the fruit just before serving.
- Yields: 8-12 servings
- Preparation Time: 5 minutes, plus chilling time
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley for garnish
In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute.
Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry and paprika. Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly, until the shrimp turn pink and curl slightly, about 3 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.
- Yields: 8 appetizer servings
- Preparation Time: 10 minutes
- 24 slices French bread
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 mellow tomato
- Pinch salt
- Olive oil for brushing
- 24 slices smoked ham
Toast the slices of bread (pan-fried slices are best). When they are still hot, rub them with the clove of garlic until they get some of the taste. Then rub them with half of the tomato. Sprinkle each slice with a bit of salt, brush on some olive oil and finally add the slice of ham on top of each piece of toast.
- Yields: 8-12 appetizer servings
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- 2 cups whole blanched almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
Preheat the oven to 300F.
Toss the almonds with the other ingredients and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Roast the almonds in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
- Yields: about 2 cups
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes