As the year winds down, it’s a lovely opportunity to spend some quality time with near and dear ones. If you plan to forego the loud, over-crowded parties at bars with a carefully put together bash of your own then consider taking a page or two from the Spaniard’s guide to a good time. With a vibe that can be upscaled into an elegant soiree, enjoyed as a casual gathering of friends or host to an intimate party, hosting a Spanish themed party is a great idea. The focus on small bites of food in captivating flavours along with bold wines is definitely a culinary trend that is quickly picking as people look to curate ‘something new’ that is exciting yet easy to prepare.
A tapas party is marked by the variety of dishes, usually meats, breads, potatoes and fried foods; all of which are great to nibble on while enjoying a glass of wine or sherry. So triangles of hard cheese, hunks of crusty bread, paper thin slices of cured ham are must-haves at a tapas spreads for guests to eat in between dishes.
It’s a good idea to have bowls, plates and platters of food in different parts of the room to encourage conversation and nibbling through the evening. With low lighting and the strumming of Spanish guitars, your guests will find it a comforting, pleasant alternative to a rowdy evening on the town.
The tapas party aims to serve absolutely delicious food while giving people a chance to talk together. Plan to have plenty of bowls of fried olives on hand as they are a real crowd-pleaser. Simply coat whole green olives in an egg wash, roll in bread crumbs and deep fry till crisp.
A colourful dish from Spain is red and yellow bell pepper wedges stuffed with a mixture of chopped, garlic, anchovies, tomato, saffron, bread crumbs and oil. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley. These are perfect to make ahead of time and bake half an hour before the party. Serve it warm.
A permanent fixture on any tapas menu are patatas bravas; fried potato wedges, served with a spicy tomato sauce and a garlicky aioli. Play around with the party staple; devilled eggs. Top the creamed yolks with crispy chorizo, a drizzle with chorizo oil and dusting of smoked paprika for a mouthful of Spain’s classic flavours in one bite.
Stay with the Spanish tapas theme for dessert as well with churros fried as small balls and served with a luscious, dark chocolate sauce. It really is the perfect way to round out an evening of great food, wine and the company of friends and family.