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Make a Tapas night bring the flare and taste of Spain right to your home

Tapas are a staple of Spain in its most basic form these are a small snack or appetizer served with a drink or two for lunch or early evening. Its more a way of eating rather then cooking, sociability, friends and family.

The Spanish will rarely drink with out eating you can also look  back at my other entries and look for my recipes on Sangria  to accompany your Tapas!!!

Enjoy and Buen Provecho.

1.Mejillones a la Marinera (mussels made the “sailor” way)

1 1/2 kg. mussels
1 clove of garlic
4 tbsp of fried tomato paste
4 tbsp of olive oil
1 onion1/2 cup of white wine
1 basil leaf
1 tsp of paprika
salt,
pepper
flat parsley

Clean the mussels well; use cold water and scrape with a knife all the dirt from the shells. Put in a pot with 1/2 a cup of water and 1 basil leaf. The mussels will open this way.

In the meantime, put the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion and the minced garlic until they are almost transparent. Add the tomato paste, the wine, the minced parsley, and the paprika. Stir and add the salt/pepper. When this paste is ready, you add the mussels. You can sprinkle some more parsley. Serve right away.

2.Pulpo a La Plancha(Grilled octopus)

Ingredients

1.5 lb Octupus
1 spanish onion
2 bay leaves
2 garlic coves minced
2 potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
salt
pepper
olive oil

Directions:

Fill a large soup pot with water, enough to submerge the octopus.
Bring the water to boiling, and submerge the octopus 3 or 4 times, to scald it basically.
Bring the water back to a boil and place the octopus in the water.
This time we will leave it in there.
Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook the octopus 20 minutes– a larger octopus will require longer cooking time– up to 45 minutes.
Remove from water, and slice diagonally into rounds (ovals really).
The slices should be about 1/2″ thick.

Potato prep:

on large baking rack drizzle the cubed potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the are tender but not to soft.

Continuation:

Once your octopus is cut into pieces and the potatoes are cooked, in a large skillet drizzle some olive oil and add garlic sautee the garlic for bit and add your octopus to grill until edges are getting crispy then add potatoes and sautee for another 3 minute.
Serve on a large wooden or clay patter you can garnish with finely chopped parsley.

3. Patatas Brava (spicy potatoes)

Ingredients

1.5 lb of potatoes cut in medium to large cubes
Vegetable oil

Salsa Brava:
1/3 cup a tomato sauce made from pureed tomatoes, onion and garlic with a little sugar and vinegar
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp spicy paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
cayenne pepper (cayena) or Tabasco sauce (salsa picante) to taste

Preparation:
Parboil the potatoes with their skins still intact. The potatoes are finished boiling when you put a knife in them, and they are still slightly firm. Set the potatoes aside, so they can cool.
In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the salsa brava, adding white vinegar and cayenne pepper until the sauce tastes tangy and spicy. Set the sauce aside.
Drain, peel and cut the potatoes into 3 cm (1 inch) cubes. Deep-fry or sauté in oil at medium heat until golden brown. Remove the potatoes from the oil and pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess oil.
Put the potatoes on a serving plate, sprinkle them with salt and drizzle them with the bravas sauce. Some prefer to serve the sauce on the side, but traditionally the sauce is drizzled over top.

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About Nancy

Nancy was born and raised in Chicago’s Southside. Growing up in a Mexican casa, she always remembers watching her Mom and Grandmother cooking in the kitchen as a child and watching the vapors rise from the stove and the array of colorful ingredients that went into the creations. Dishes like Mole, Chiles Rellenos, and Pozole. The flavor in these dishes were amazing. Now as an adult, the flavors and the aromas in these dishes are pure nostalgia for Nancy. Nancy is a self-taught, with 26 years of learning experience and 3 years professional. Nancy and her business partner, who own Las Dos Fridas catering in Andersonville, have catered for the Mayor’s Office for Special Events such as Viva Latino Music Fest and the M.A.D.D. Candlelight Ceremony. They also cater to fashion shows with local designers like Horacio Nieto Jr. Recently, Nancy has also dabbled in giving cooking classes and it’s something that she loves doing and will continue to do. She specializes in all kinds of cuisine but focuses on vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free cuisine. Nancy’s motto is to keep it as authentic as possible, but also making it healthier without compromising flavor.

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