Lamb skewers are a great and spicy tapas that is packed with flavor, buy ground lamb meat and combine it with paprika, garlic and herbs. Make sure to check the fat content of the meat because lamb meat tend to sometimes be really fatty and the next be very lean. A fat content at around fifteen percent is perfect. If you can´t find meat with the right fat level you can mix it with either ground pork or beef.
Lamb skewers with tomato salsa & lemon yoghurt
ground lamb meat
white wine vinegar
salt, black pepper
Combine ground lamb meat with chopped parsley, oregano, crushed garlic, paprika powder, salt, pepper a little bit of olive oil and some water. Combine the meat. Fry a little piece of meat to check the flavor before shaping the meat for the skewers. When you´re satisfied with the flavor then shape the meat to fit the skewers and grill them on high heat on each side. Continue to cook the lamb in the oven until done.
Dice the tomatoes and combine them with olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper and let marinade for one hour. Remove the liquid from the tomatoes and check the taste of the salsa.
Combine the yoghurt with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve the skewers with equal amounts of salsa and yoghurt.
Hummus is one of the easiest and tastiest stuff you can serve and it goes with almost everything so if you´re preparing a buffet or need an idea for something for your guests to snack on then look no further since Hummus is loved by more or less everybody.
I use canned chickpeas for my recipe but if you like to boil you´re own then that´s fine but personally I don´t think it´s worth the effort if you´re gonna turn it into a dip in the end. I also put some smoked paprika on top when serving that is optional, it can also be replaced by some cayenne if you like a bit of heat. The tahini paste can be found in middle eastern stores but can be excluded if you can´t find it. The Hummus should be dominated by the chickpeas and all other ingredients should be used as seasoning.
Hummus on toast
tahini paste (sesame seed paste, can be excluded)
smoked paprika powder
parsley (for garnish)
smoked paprika (for garnish)
Open and remove the liquid from the chickpeas, add tahini paste, peeled garlic, lemon juice, cumin, olive oil, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Adjust the taste with more seasoning if needed. Toast the bread and put a spoonful of Hummus on top, add some chopped parsley and sprinkle some smoked paprika on top.
This is a really great way to serve cheese, I used a fresh slice of pear and grilled it on high heat and then put the Brie cheese on top and let it slowly gratinate in the oven wich makes it taste so much more. The walnuts gives the dish some texture and saltiness that goes great with the cheese. if you think it get´s to rich you can add a few drops of a good vinegar.
Grilled pear with brie & walnuts
fresh pears, firm
Slice the pear and brush it with olive oil. Grill the pear until it´s almost cooked through. Slice the Brie cheese and add a generous slice on top of the grilled pear and put it in the oven for about ten minutes or til the cheese starts to get golden.
Remove from the oven and put on a plate, add the walnuts and a few leafs of parsley and a few extra drops of olive oil.
Usually when I make Gazpacho I make the classic way, mixed on a hot day served with grilled bread. But using the same stuff as you would when you´re mixing that very same Gazpacho can make a great tasting, looking and refreshing salad. All you need is good vegetables and a bit of time.It´s the marinading that will make the difference when you make this salad, you need to let the vegetables rest for an hour or two to get that Gazpacho taste, if not it will still taste good but not as Gazpacho.
And if you´re not serving tapas then it´s of course great to serve as a side for a main dish or as a appetizer, if it´s the only thing you´re serving as an appetizer then add some bread or maybe some cheese.
If you´re looking for other types of Gazpacho you can head right over to my green Gazpacho recipe, if not then keep reading.
tomatoes, different sizes and colors
dried chili flakes
white wine vinegar
Dice and slice the cucumber, peppers and tomatoes, make sure to cut them in different sizes and shapes, this will make the salad look much better. Peel and thinly slice the red onion and garlic. Combine all vegetables and add olive oil, chili, red onion, garlic, parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper and then let marinate for at least one hour.
It´s fine to let it marinade for longer but serve it the same day as you made it, in my opinion it looses it´s freshness otherwise. When time for serving taste the salad and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve.
This is more of an traditional appetizer but as long as it tastes good it´s good enough. I shaved the fresh fennel and then wrapped it around the cod fillets and fixated it with cling film. Then I poached the fish in water for about ten minutes.
This may look a bit tricky and it can be but it´s a fun way to present the fish in a new way. It makes no difference for the taste of the dish so if you don´t want it to get to complicated then just serve the fish with the fennel lightly cooked on the side.
Cod with fennel, champagne sauce & fresh herbs
fresh cod fillets
fresh herbs, dill, cress, fennel dill,
Season the cod with salt and pepper, shave the fennel lengthwise and put them side by side on top on a sheet of cling film so that almost the whole piece of film is covered. Put the cod fillets on the fennel and wrap the whole thing around the fish. Make sure the film don´t get stuck in between the fennel. Steam or poach the fish for about ten minutes, you can carefully stick a thin knife to check if it´s done before opening the package.
Dice the shallot and cook on medium heat in butter until soft, season with salt and pepper and then add the champagne, let it reduce by half and then add fish stock and once again let it reduce by half. Add a bit of cream to the sauce and let i reduce a little bit more, season to taste and the mix the sauce using a handheld mixer. Before serving add a few drops extra of champagne.
Remove the film from the fish and carefully slice it and place in a deep plate, add the sauce and fresh herbs. Serve.
It´s great fun to take something that´s usually served as an main course and make it smaller, this is a variation to sliders with meatballs cooked in tomato sauce with loads of fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. Served on a bun with some extra cheese on top makes it a fun dish to serve tapas style.
Meatball sandwich with Parmesan & herbs
ground beef and pork
salt, black pepper
Roughly chop the herbs, garlic and onion and combine in with the ground meat. Add eggs, milk, olive oil, salt, grated Parmesan cheese and pepper. Use the same proportions as you would for normal meatballs or ground meat patties.
Take a bit of the mixed meat and fry it in a pan to make sure you´re satisfied with the seasoning. Once done roll all of the meat into meatballs. Fry on medium heat in some olive oil and butter, when the meatballs are starting to get some color then add the canned tomatoes and let the meatballs simmer for one hour on low heat. Season the sauce if necessary.
Cut the baguette into pieces that will fit one meatball, toast the bread in an toaster or dry pan. Add a meatball to the bread and grate some extra Parmesan on top. Put the lid on and put a wooden skewer trough the bread and meatball to stop it from rolling away, good luck.
Whipped ricotta is a great way to serve cheese, all you do is whip it until it´s creamy an smooth, you may need to add a bit of cream or milk. Another good thing about ricotta is that you can easily sweeten the cheese and use it as a base for desserts for example with marinated fresh fruit.
Whipped ricotta cheese with prosciutto, fresh figs & truffle honey
cress (for decoration, optional)
Put the ricotta cheese in a bowl and whisk it with a electric whisk until it´s creamy and smooth, add a bit of milk if necessary. Put a spoonful of the ricotta on a plate, add the prosciutto and the figs. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and a little bit of truffle honey on the ricotta. If you can´t find truffle honey you can add a little bit of truffle oil into the olive oil or if you´re not into truffle you can skip it, it will still be a great meal. Decorate the plate with some cress or any other mild herb you like.
Black cabbage or Nero di Toscana as it´s also known as is an Italian dark green cabbage that it packed with flavor and has a great texture. Serving cabbage on it´s own is not something you see that often but it taste really good so give it a try.
The secret behind almost all great tasting cabbage recipes is a healthy dose of butter and salt and that goes for this recipe as well. And of course this is great as a side dish to both fish or meat dishes.
Black cabbage with lemon, Parmesan & roasted garlic
black cabbage, nero di Toscano
Rinse and remove the thickest end piece of each leaf on the cabbage, the stem of smaller leafs are ok to eat, take a bite of a raw one and you will feel how much you need to take off. Peel and slice the garlic and heat some olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and let it get soft in the olive oil.
Add the cabbage and butter and roast the cabbage until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Put the cabbage on a plate and squeeze lemon juice on top and grate some olive oil on top. Serve warm.
Braised pork belly is one of the tastiest and cheapest part of the pig you can serve and if you do it right it will be simply amazing. It´s quite easy to get the belly tasting good, all it needs is loads of time. The ways of seasoning the belly is numerous but I chose to make it a bit asian with japanese soy this time because I like how it matches the crisp raw salad of the cucumber both in flavor and texture.
Since braising pork belly isn´t to much work once you got it in the oven or pot you can make a big batch and save some for dinner, tacos or some nice sandwiches. The extra effort in time is almost nothing but the reward to have some pre-braised belly waiting in the frigde.
Braised pork belly with soy & cucumber & fennel salad
Cut of the skin of the belly if it´s still left on, the season to belly with salt and pepper and then sear it on all sides until golden. Remove from the pan and transer into a pot and add the japanese soy, beef stock, fish sauce, dried chili and honey and then cover with water. Leave to simmer under a lid until tender, this takes about 4-6 hours, however it´s almost impossible to let i cook for too long so up to ten hours is not a problem. Once done remove the meat and reduce the liquid until it´s a thick sauce.
Cut the cucumber and fennel in thin stripes and combine with sesame seeds, olive oil, lime juice and a few drops of sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice the pork belly and plate it, drizzle with some of the cooking sauce, serve the salad on the side.
Making your own Grissini is really simple and a good way to make use of leftover or extra dough. I usually make Grissini whenever I make regular bread, just make a bit too much dough and make some Grissini with a small amounth of dough because it will make a lot of Grissinis. However if you´re not into baking then just buy some Grissinis, they usually available in most food stores.
Another great thing about Grissini is that they will keep for a long time so why not make a big batch while you´re at it. They are perfect for snacking or serving as a side for all sorts of stuff. Plus you can brag about them no matter what you´re serving for main course.
Grissini with Parma ham & cream cheese
cream cheese with herbs
Combine wheat flour, yeast, water, sea salt and olive oil into a dough (use same proportions as you would for regular bread) and knead the dough until it´s smooth and not to sticky. Cover the dough and let it rise for about one hour.
Put the dough and a baking surface and cut it into long Grissinis, roll or twist them to make the shape a bit irregular, let them rise again and then bake in oven until golden. If the Grissinis are not crisp but are starting to brown you can remove them and lower the heat in the oven and put them in later to let them get dry enough.
Smear some cream cheese on each Grissini and then roll the Parma ham around it. Serve!