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Hot Tapas


Chorizo Pinchos [TOP]

Spicy-hot or plain chorizo, usually eaten raw, is excellent fried or grilled (for this buy chorizo a la parrilla) to serve as hot snacks on cocktail sticks.

Grilled Chorizo and Bread: To make 24

  • Grill six small grilling chorizos (this is excellent over a wood-fire)
  • cut into bite-size slices and spear each with a bread cube.
  • Spicy Chorizo and Green Peppers: To make 24
  • 200 grams spicy-hot chorizo
  • 2 green peppers
  • olive oil for frying.

Slice the chorizo thickly, trim and cut the green peppers into small squares. Fry the chorizos till crispy and the pepper squares till tender in olive oil (or dry-fry on a hot) griddle, salting lightly at the end. Spear a piece of chorizo and pepper on each stick.


Fried Cheese [TOP]

There are many recipes for fried cheese from around Spain. Usually fresh white cheeses are fried with no coating; melting semi-soft cheeses in breadcrumbs. If you cannot find flavorful Mahon, Manchego would work well.

For 12 tapas

  • 200 gr. Mahon cheese
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Dry breadcrumbs for coating
  • Olive oil for frying.

Cut the cheese into thick matchsticks, dip in egg then breadcrumbs and shallow-fry in very hot oil for 12 minutes so the crumbs are golden and the cheese just melting. Serve immediately with cocktail sticks.


Fried Green Asparagus [TOP]

This is an ingenious way to cook preserved green asparagus from El Librode Oro de las Tapas by Itos Vazquez. It's quick, easy and very light.

To make 24 tapas

  • 1/2 300-gr can green asparagus
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Breadcrumbs for coating
  • Olive oil and salt.

Cut the asparagus stalks into short even lengths, lay 3-4 pieces side by side -alternating tips and stalks- and pin widthwise with two cocktail sticks. Pat dry, dip in beaten egg then breadcrumbs and shallow-fry immediately in hot olive oil. Drain on paper towels.


Baked Mussel and Ham Puffs [TOP]

For 12 tapas

  • 12 large mussels in escabecbe (2 105-gr cans)
  • 2 slices of cured Serrano ham
  • 200 gr. of thawed frozen flaky or puff pastry
  • A little beaten egg.

Drain the mussels and wrap each one in a short piece of cured ham. Rollout the pastry and cut out circles a little larger than the mussel packets.

Place each one on a circle, cover with a second one, moisten the edges with beaten egg, fold in and seal. Bake at 230, C/450, F/gas mark 8 for15-20 minutes.


Baby Broad Bean and Cured Ham Omelet [TOP]

This thick Spanish omelet made with small broad beans is popular in Murcia (southeastern Spain), where many of the beans canned for export are grown. It cuts into squares well for tapas.

For 24 tapas

  • 250 gr. broad beans
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped small onion
  • 50 gr. diced cured ham
  • 6 lightly beaten eggs.

Drain the broad beans. Heat half the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and saut6 the onion and ham in it, adding the beans after a few minutes. Cook everything together for 5 minutes. Cool slightly and mix into the eggs. Wipe the pan clean, heat the remaining oil in it, pour in the eggs and make a thick round omelet, turning half-way through with the help of a plate or large pan lid when the underside is golden. Cool slightly and cut into squares.


Baby Potato and Truffle omelets [TOP]

Spain has a much larger truffle production than you might suspect since most are exported fresh directly to restaurants abroad. But some are preserved individually in jars with a little of their juice. This is a good way of making a little truffle go a long way with other down-to-earth ingredients.

To make 24 baby omelets

  • 350 gr. waxy potatoes
  • 1/2 onion 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 beaten eggs
  • 1 chopped preserved truffle (10 gr.) and its juice
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley and a little salt.

Slice the potatoes thinly, cut across into matchsticks and slice the onion. Heat half the oil and fry the potatoes gently with the onion till they are tender but slightly crispy on the outside. Cool slightly, and mix into the eggs with the chopped truffle, its juice and parsley. Cleanout the pan, heat the remaining oil and fry dessertspoonfuls of the omelet mixture into baby omelets. Drain and serve hot.


Wild Mushroom Boats  [TOP]

The mixed or single-variety wild mushrooms now being jarred and canned in Catalonia keep much of their flavor when canned or jarred and make a great short-cut ingredient for quick tapas.

To fill 12 small pastry boats

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 25 gr. chopped cured ham
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 spicy dried red pepper (optional)
  • 100 gr. drained wild mushrooms a splash of dry fino sherry
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Heat the oil and fry the ham, garlic and chopped dried pepper. Dry the mushrooms, chop them and add them to the pan with a splash of fino sherry, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring in the parsley. Spoon into the pastry boats.


Scrambled Egg and Mujjol Caviar Tartlets [TOP]

Spain's Mujjol caviar, made with reconstituted mullet, herring and salmon eggs by a Murcian company, contains no colorants and, unlike other caviar substitutes, can be heated in cooked dishes. You can vary this idea with countless other flavorings, such as roasted red peppers, preserved garlic shoots or diced cured ham.

For 12 baby tartlets

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 50-gr jar Mujjol caviar
  • A little freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley.

Beat the eggs lightly with the milk, caviar, pepper and parsley. Cook as for lightly scrambled or shirred eggs, stirring constantly, turn onto a plate just before it is done and leave to cool. Spoon into the pastry cases.


Chorizo in Cider   [TOP]

An excellent way to cook chorizo.

To make 24 pincbos

  • 200 grams plain chorizo
  • 350 ml dry (or hard) cider.

Slice the chat, put it in a small heavy-based pan and cover with the cider. Simmer with the pan covered for 30-45 minutes, turning the chorizo half way through and adding more cider if it evaporates. Spear the slices with cocktail sticks.


Tuna Empanadillas [TOP]

These deep-fried pasties, called empanadillas, are found in bars all around Spain.

For 12-14 pasties.

  • Pastry:
  • 15 grams butter
  • 2 tsps mild olive oil
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1/2 glass of water
  • 150 grams flour
  • Salt.

Filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped cured ham
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1 tbsp fried tomato puree
  • 1 190-gr tin of tuna in escabecbe
  • 1 finely chopped red pimiento
  • A little chopped parsley salt and pepper.

Make the pastry. Put the oil, butter and water into a saucepan, heat and stir in the flour and the egg. Leave to rest in a cool place and make the filling. Heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic, ham, anchovies, tomato puree, flaked tuna fish and chopped pimiento; when cooked, stir in the parsley and season. Roll out the pastry thinly, cut 10-cm circles and with them make half-moon pasties folded over teaspoonfuls of the filling, crimping the curved seam. Deep-fry in plenty of oil.


Cured Ham Croquettes [TOP]

Another classic, which can be made up in advance and frozen until you want to fry them. The béchamel for this and the stuffed eggs of the next recipe should be made ahead of time (the day before if you like).

To make 20-24 thumb-size croquettes

  • 40 gr. butter
  • 40 gr. flour
  • 375 ml milk
  • 200 gr. chopped cured ham
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Dry breadcrumbs for coating.

Make up the béchamel, which should be thick, and leave to cool in a tray or dish. Roll small spoonfuls into thumb-shaped croquettes, dipin beaten egg then breadcrumbs and fry in plenty of hot oil.


Alfredo's Fried Stuffed Eggs [TOP]

The recipe for these eggs originally came from Bar Alfredo in Barbastro, Aragon.

For 12 tapas

  • 6 shelled hardboiled eggs
  • A thick béchamel made with
  • 150-ml milk
  • 25 gr. butter
  • 25 gr. flour (to give 12 heaped tsps)
  • 160 gr. flaked drained tuna meat in escabecbe
  • 2 beaten eggs and dried breadcrumbs for coating.

Make up the béchamel, stir in the tuna and leave to cool and solidify. Meanwhile, halve the eggs, remove the yolks and stir into the béchamel. When it is solid, mound it onto the egg halves to reform the whole egg shape. Dip them in egg and breadcrumbs and fry. Serve hot. This is also good made with 2 tbsp chopped capers stirred into the béchamel.


Stuffed Piquiflo Peppers [TOP]

This recipe made with the excellent jarred piquillo peppers come from the Basque country.

For 10-12 peppers

  • 230 gr. can piquillo peppers
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • 100 gr. minced beef or veal
  • 2 level tsp. flour
  • 100 ml milk
  • 2 beaten egg and flour for coating.

Drain the peppers and pat dry. In a small pan, heat the oil and saut6the onion, then the beef. Stir in the flour and milk, as for a ragout, and season. Spoon into the peppers, fasten them with cocktail sticks, dip in flour then egg and fry.

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