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Spanish Food Tapas

In the tapas bars of Spain many dishes are pre-prepared and left in chiller display cabinets so that the customer can choose whatever takes their fancy. The servings are apportioned depending upon whether a tapas, medio ración, or ración is required. In other words - a bite, a small portion or a full portion. (Children don’t get a special ‘kids menu’ here – they just get a smaller portion of what the adults are eating!).

All the recipes on our web site can be adapted and served as tapas but here are a few simpler ones just to get you in the mood!

Instant tapas – no preparation required:

Slice of Manchego cheese (cut from the triangular end of the wedge) with a small slice of ham and a small breadstick (here they are usually about 8 cm long).

A couple of thin slices of chorizo (bellota), lomo and ham drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil.

Small cubes of ham with fresh fruit (figs or diced melon are good)

Small wedge of tortilla with a little cured meat.

Quick tapas – minimal preparation required:

Cubes of ham and/or cheese pricked over with a cocktail stick and left to marinate in flavoured oil (rosemary, thyme chilli or garlic).

Cubes of chorizo (herradura) and cooked potatoes fried (no extra oil required – the chorizo has enough). Chunks of sweet red pepper can be added too.

Lightly toast a round of barra (baguette) drizzled with oil and top with a thin slice of ham, lomo or chorizo bellota.

Fry slices of chorizo (herradura) with garlic and red pepper.

Rounds of toasted barra (baguette) spread with olive tapenade (homemade is always best) or pimiento and anchovy paste.

Slices of manchego cheese (1 cm thick) dredged in flour, dip in egg and then breadcrumbs and quickly deep fry to golden.

Pre-prepared tapas – time required:

Pinchitos (kebabs). Traditionally pork but also good with chicken. Small chunks of meat marinated in paprika, ground cumin, oregano, onion and garlic powder and lemon juice. Thread 3 or 4 chunks onto a skewer and cook on a barbeque (traditional) or under a grill.

Empanadas. Small ‘cornish pasty’ style pies filled with finely chopped meats (or fish) and red pepper, tomatoes, garlic, onion, olives cooked down to a thick sauce, wrapped in the pastry and deep-fried.

Croquetas. Very finely minced meat in a thick béchamel sauce* and left to chill. Shape into a small sausage or ball and then dipped in egg and breadcrumbs before deep-frying.

More Tapas recipes:

El queso del manchego ( Marinaded manchego cheese)
Albondigas en salsa de azafran (Meatballs in a saffron and almond sauce)
Cazon en adobo (Marinated fried fish)
Remojon (Cod and orange salad)
Salpicon de mariscos (Seafood salad)
Gambas pil pil (Sizzling chilli prawns)

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Tapas links: Tapas Madrid | Tapas recipes