Recipes for a tapas party

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Tapas -- small plates -- are great for a party. The small portions are perfect for sampling and sharing, and the flavors are fantastic.

Recipes for a tapas party

Tapas/small plates are incredibly hot right now. Restaurants serving every cuisine in the world (not just Spanish fare) are featuring menus with smaller portions designed to be shared among friends. It’s great for getting everyone talking and having a good time. It’s also a great way to get a party going.

If you're up for the challenge of putting on your own tapas party, here's a menu for you.

Sangria

Get the party started with a simple Spanish cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bottles Spanish wine
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 cup red grapes

Directions:

  1. Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and stir to mix. Bring the water to a boil to make a simple syrup. When the water has started boiling, remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.
  2. Pour both bottles of wine into a pitcher, then add the syrup and the fruit. Chill and serve.

Serrano ham crostini

A quick and easy appetizer to begin a meal. This tapa is a little more worldly than the other dishes because it draws inspiration from Italian cuisine, but the serrano ham is all-Spanish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 block Parmesan
  • 1 pound thinly sliced serrano ham

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice the bread into 1/4-inch-thick slices and rub each with a little butter. Bake for four minutes or until they just start to turn brown.
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off a strip of Parmesan on to the still-warm crostini and top with ham. Serve warm or cold.

Tortilla

A stacked egg and potato dish -- an earthy tapa people love.

This is a quick way to make a tortilla that has fewer steps, but it’s just as good.

Ingredients:

  • 6 potatoes, peeled and sliced (quarter-inch)
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 8 eggs
  • Chipotle mayo

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the potatoes into a pot of well-salted water and boil for eight minutes. (This won’t cook them fully, but it will get them started.)
  3. After the potatoes go into the pot, pour the olive oil in a skillet and let it heat up, then add the onion and garlic. Cook the onion until it’s translucent, about eight minutes.
  4. As the potatoes and onion cook, crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble them.
  5. By that time, the potatoes should be just about finished. Add them to the skillet (you may need to use two skillets) and sauté until they are soft and fork-tender.
  6. Pour the eggs into the skillet and let them set at the bottom, then put the skillet in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the eggs are done.

Baked goat cheese

A dish as simple as they come, but utterly delicious nonetheless. If you love goat cheese, this is your dish.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the goat cheese in the middle of a baking dish and surround it with diced tomatoes. Sprinkle the black pepper on the goat cheese and tomatoes; sprinkle the garlic on the tomatoes. Stir the tomatoes to mix in the spices.
  3. Bake the goat cheese until warm, about 10 minutes. Serve warm with bread or pita chips.

Meatballs in garlic cream sauce

This is a simple way to add a little heartiness to your tapas party. Just don’t plan on kissing anyone afterwards.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1 stick butter

Directions:

  1. Start by making the cream sauce: Pour the heavy cream into a saucepan. Slice cloves in half and add them to the cream. Bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Mix the beef, onion, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to make the meat mixture. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the meat and roll it into balls.
  4. Put the olive oil in a skillet and let it heat. Fry the meatballs three minutes on each side, then bake in the oven for an additional six to eight minutes or until done.
  5. While the meatballs are frying, slice the bread into 1/4-inch-thick slices and rub each with a little butter. Bake for four minutes or until they just start to turn brown.
  6. When the meatballs are done, pour the cream sauce over them and serve with the crostini.

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