If you’re looking for ideas for a Spanish tapas night, the following are fun tapas that you’ll enjoy making and serving. We’ve provided a varied list so your guests will enjoy a wide range of flavors and types of tapas. There are many variations on tapas recipes (each of which could merit an entire blog post), but you’ll get the basic ideas of what is involved from these basic descriptions. For recipes, look up authentic and modified recipes online and check for reviews. It’s a good idea to test all tapas recipes before serving to a crowd or guests. Here is the top ten tapas from Spain.
1. Tortillitas de Camarones – These shrimp fritters are fabulous. They hail from Andalusia, where the Spanish love to deep-fry their food. This tapas is easy to create since the ingredient list is small (shrimp, flat leaf parsley, olive oil, scallions, pimento, chickpea flour, salt) and the process is pretty simple. If you can serve these right out of the fryer, they are particularly good (but this is hard to pull off during a party unless you have someone dedicated to cooking and another person dedicated to serving during the party).
2. Costillas – These barbequed miniature ribs can be cooked on the barbeque or under a high heat grill. Some people use sherry in the recipe, but orange juice makes for a sweeter sauce.
3. Ceviche – While this appetizer is sometimes made with shrimp, the Spanish prefer to use a firm-fleshed fish such as sea bass, salmon, or halibut. It’s served cold (and looks lovely in a parfait glass) and is a refreshing combination of lime juice, tomatoes, avocadoes, olive oil, cilantro and chilies. The nice thing is the fact that you can make it ahead of time and serve it chilled while you are finishing up tapas that need to be served fresh and hot.
4. Stuffed Tomatoes – This is another appetizer you can make ahead of time and serve while attending to dishes that must be served immediately after cooking. Stuff tomatoes with a mixture of boiled eggs, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, parsley and salt and pepper. This is refreshing yet rich at the same time.
5. Croqueta de Gambas – These shrimp croquets can be fried in the same oil you used to make your shrimp fritters. Croquets are popular in Spain; you’ll understand why after you taste these delicious delicacies. Combine minced shrimp with butter, milk, flour and tomato puree (and salt and pepper), roll the mixture in breadcrumbs and refrigerate overnight. Fry the croquets the next day and serve piping hot. Some people like to serve them with a sauce. Enjoy!
6. Brochetas de Gambas y Bacon – This shrimp and bacon tapas is easy to make and delicious to eat. Simple wrap large prawns in bacon, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with black pepper, and grill or pan fry them. Drench them with fresh lemon juice and serve immediately. You can do the prep work a couple hours in advance, cook them as guests arrive and serve immediately.
7. Gildas – This simple tapas is simply a skewer of a chili pepper (the Spanish usually use guindillas), an olive, and an anchovy. Delicious and easy!
8. Patatas Bravas – These fried potatoes are hot and spicy, and they will be a hit at your party! They’re delicious when served with brava sauce, which is tomato-based and spicy also. They’re easy to make and will be a favorite for certain!
9. Mejillones a la Vinagreta – These muscles are so delectable that you’ll have to serve an ample amount to satisfy your guests. You’ll steam the muscles and then dress the opened muscles with a vinaigrette made from olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, minced peppers (green, red), parsley, onion, and salt.
10. Pa Amb Oli – This simple bread with olive oil is usually served in Majorcan and is a staple in tapas menus. Use rye bread and plenty of tomato and garlic in the olive oil for dipping. Be sure to test recipes ahead of time until you’ve perfected your menu. Have fun!