RECIPE: ‘Take it easy’ tapas

There’s nothing like bringing a bit of sunshine to a cold and wet January evening, and this tapas spread is just the ticket.

When I get in from work the last thing I want to do is spend ages preparing and cooking a meal – but I do want good food that is fresh and tasty. Quick and convenient does not need to mean unhealthy and stodgy.

I often whip up a few tapas dishes as they are so simple to make and easily adaptable to whatever you have in your fridge, while the style of eating,  sharing and generally digging in, I find, brings a a bit more fun to a meal.

These are just a few of my favourite tapas dishes that I find work quite well together. As you might deduce from my recipes, I love garlic. You can (almost) never have too much of it in my opinion. If it’s not your thing just reduce the quantities a bit.

The recipes themselves are easy as pie. More challenging is co-ordinating the dishes to be ready at the same time and the number of pans you will need to juggle on a four ring hob…

‘TAKE IT EASY’ TAPAS SPREAD

(Served 2)

  • Fresh bread
  • Garlic bulb
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Two breasts of chicken
  • Chorizo
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh spinach
  • Pine nuts
  • Raisins
  • 1 red chilli
  • Potatoes
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • White wine
  • White vinegar

TO START

  • Freshly toasted bread to dip with…
  • Aioli – You could be really DIY and make your own mayonnaise but for me its just as easy to use shop bought mayo. Chop 2 cloves of garlic and add to your mayonaise along with a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of pepper.
  • Basil infused olive oil – I just happened to have been given a bottle of this recently. Normal olive oil will do just as nicely.
  • Balsamic vinegar

MAINS

  • Garlic chicken
  1. Dice your chicken into inch chunks.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan and add the two chopped cloves of garlic.
  3. Add the chicken and fry until golden brown.
  4. Put into a dish and leave in an ‘plate warming’ oven heat.
  • Patatas Bravas
  1. Chop up your potatoes into inch thick cubes and par boil in salted hot water for about 7 minutes, then drain and put to one side.
  2. Drain and add to a hot pan with a little oil.
  3. In a separate pan, dice an onion and fry in a little olive oil adding 1 clove of chopped garlic.
  4. Add 4 tbsp of white wine and a tin of chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp of vinegar and half a chopped chilli (or to your tastes) and simmer until it thickens.
  5. Meanwhile add the potatoes to a hot pan of oil and fry until golden brown.
  6. Serve the potatoes in a dish and spoon over the sauce.
  • Garlic mushrooms with chorizo
  1. Remove the skin from the chorizo and chop into rounds and fry in a little olive oil.
  2. Slice your mushrooms and add to the pan along with two cloves of garlic, chopped.
  3. Fry until golden brown.
  • Catalan spinach
  1. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a pan adding 1 clove of chopped garlic,  half a chopped chilli, a handful of pine nuts and raisins and fry for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the spinach and toss for another couple of minutes until wilted.
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