Tapas Week pt 1

So I wrote this last week but incorrectly published it….so here is my original tapas blog from last Monday! Better late than never!

I cant even type the word tapas without salivating so last night when Cesar and I had to cancel our tapas dinner my tummy was devastated. However, it did give me the opportunity to try some tapas recipes of my own. For those that are wondering “WTF are tapas?!” they are traditionally a Spanish style of food which is comprised of many small plates from which the dinner chooses a few to make their whole meal. In the US and UK they have evolved into their own style of cuisine not necessarily Spanish in style. I love tapas especially for eating with friends because everyone shares their food and you are focused more on enjoying each other and the experience as opposed to your own plate of food. Also Im a sucker for appetizer snacky type food ;)

So last night I made some tapas of my own! Eggplant, Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Empanadas, Garlic Roasted Mushrooms, and a Sardline Lemon Salad. All were quite excellent if I do say so myself and since Im going to two parties this weekend Im making some more…so as I try more recipes I’ll post em up! Today I’ll start off with the Empanadas and Roasted Mushrooms.

The Garlic Roasted Mushrooms are the easiest so I’ll start off with those.

Garlic Roasted Mushrooms
Ingredients

Assorted mushrooms (button, oyster, shitake)

Garlic

Olive Oil

Rosemary

Salt and pepper

Water

Preheat the oven to 450. Gently wipe the mushrooms clean (dont wash them! wipe them with a towel!) and place them in a baking pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and fresh minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. You could also add other spices like oregano, thyme, or basil! Make sure the mushrooms are evenly coated and pop them into the oven. Cook until they are brown (about 20 to 25 minutes). Remove from the oven and add a little water to the pan to soften the dried brown garlic bits and stir (it creates a nice little sauce). Serve immediately!

Eggplant, Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Empanadas

Ingredients

2 cups Cornmeal

2 cups Water

1 cup diced eggplant

1 cup diced red peppers

1 cup diced mushrooms (oyster or button)

1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 cup onions

1/2 cup goat cheese

garlic

salt and pepper

cumin

In a bowl mix 2 cups cornmeal with some salt…slowly add warm water and mix with your hands until it is elasticy and sticky. you want it to be firm and pliable but not liquid like pancake batter. cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Cover the red peppers in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt…roast in a 450 degree oven until they are soft.

For the filling, use a saute pan to heat some vegetable oil and saute the onions, garlic, eggplant and mushrooms until the eggplant is soft. Add the red peppers and spices and give it a few quick tosses. Remove from heat and mix in the goat cheese and cilantro.

Take a ball of the dough and place it on a piece of plastic wrap and place another piece on top. Using a rolling pin or cup roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 5 inch cookie cutter or a cup make circles (going thru the top layer of plastic wrap). Pull of the plastic wrap and remove the excess dough from around the circles. spoon about a tablespoon of filling on each one filling only the lower half, use the plastic wrap to help fold over the top of each empanada. pinch it with your fingers to seal it shut.

Once you have your empanadas made, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a pot or fryer. Drop and few in at a time and cook until golden brown then flip. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.

I served mine with a tequila lemon hot sauce…basically take any red chili hot sauce, add some tequila and lemon juice and ketchup then mix until its a nice consistency.

Hope you enjoy! I’ll post up a few more recipes to enjoy tomorrow!

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