Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I may not speak Spanish but when it comes to international dishes, I am pretty fluent in speaking "food". That is to say, I could not tell you what tapas means or where is originates from but I do know that it describes small plates of various dishes to be consumed while drinking massive amounts of alcohol over a few hours...probably derived from Spain.  I gathered the last tidbit of knowledge (whether true or not) because Fork2 was gracious enough to bestow a wonderful Tapas cookbook to me from her recent stint in Madrid.

Everything in this cookbook looks amazing.  How long would it really take me to whip several of these dishes? Between going to the grocery store, preparing the food and cooking everything, I was really looking forward to the drinking part of this meal.  Looking back, I think I was nuts to make this much food for two people (oh, did I leave that part out?) but they were fun to try.  This post will only cover two of the recipes made; however, the sauteed lemon mushrooms and the ham and goat cheese Empanadillas are definitely going to be shown soon.

The chorizo and garbanzo beans has lasted for several dinners worth but the cherry tomatoes stuffed with spinach dip will be on my snack list for a long time.  WOW, so refreshing and healthy... if you leave out the bad parts of the dip.  I would serve these puppies as an appetizer at any party.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Adapted from A Passion for Tapas

1 pkg. Knorr Vegetable Dip Mix
1 (16 oz.) Sour cream
1/2 c. mayo
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry of liquid
2 containers cherry tomatoes

Mix the dip mix, sour cream, mayo and spinach in a large bowl.  Cover and set in fridge for min. of 2 hrs.

To prepare may have to cut a small slice off bottom.   With a pairing knife, slice the top off the tomato and gut the insides.  Turn tomato upside down on paper towel for a few minutes to let the inside drain. 

Using a small fork, stuff a small amount of the spinach dip into the cherry tomato. 

Serve Chilled

Chorizo and Garbanzo Beans
Recipe from A Passion for Tapas

1 pkg chorizo, casing removed & sliced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
6-8 slices pimentos, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp sherry vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley

In a medium pan, drizzle  about a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the diced onion till translucent.  Add the minced garlic and cook about 30 seconds.  Into the pan, add the chorizo and continue to saute till sausage is cooked and browned along the edges, about 5 min. 

In a medium bowl, place the beans, pimentos, parsley, and sherry.  Toss in the onion, garlic, and chorizo mix and toss.

Serve warm with some crusty bread.

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