Need cheering up? Have a tapas party

2014-04-09T00:00:00Z Need cheering up? Have a tapas partyBy Arlene Burnett Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Arizona Daily Star

I’d had enough of the snow and freezing temperatures. And I was bored. So, it was time to throw a party — a tapas party.

Tapas, popular throughout Spain, are the Spanish version of appetizers. They can range from small plates as simple as cubed cheese, ham and olives to more elaborate dishes.

Here are three tapas recipes you can make at home.

I was leafing through the cookbook “Spain” by Jeff Koehler when I spotted a beautiful photo of empanada de lomo. The recipe takes time (about four hours) because the dough has to rise and there is plenty of slicing and frying. I made a few changes to the recipe. Instead of hand-kneading the dough, I used my stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. And the directions for placing the dough in the pan seemed a little confusing, so I formed the dough my way. 

Let’s say this about the second recipe, ensalada Mediterranean — it is easy to prepare. The salad is studded with dried apricots and figs, which give the dish its flavor, while adding to its stunning presentation.

The final recipe is mini meatballs. The dried chili pepper spikes the flavor enough to make these meatballs special. The recipe calls for two fresh tomatoes, but fresh tomatoes this time of year don’t have enough flavor, so I used one 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes. I will make this recipe again when tomatoes are at their best.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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