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Baby Shower "Tapas"/"Pintxos" for 20


Chris Amirault
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I just committed to making "tapas" and "pintxos" for a baby shower that 20 people will attend. I wrote "tapas" and "pintxos" in quotations (and started this in the general Cooking forum, not the Spanish cooking forum) because I'm quite sure the request is based on a broad definition of the terms, one that doesn't necessarily need to conform to any claims of authenticity in regards to the particulars of what Madrid or Barcelona bars serve.

Here are the basic menu criteria:

  • It'll be in mid-March, so I have time to prepare sausages, cure fish, etc.
  • The menu must be celiac-friendly -- that is to say, I want to make sure that one of the guests has the ability to eat a selection of good food without gluten. (Other items can certainly have gluten; I'd like to have at least some pintxos on bread.)
  • It will be at my house, giving me access to a stove, oven, fryer, grill, etc., so I can either prepare a la minute or hold.
  • I need to balance interesting, challenging food with food that a less food-focused guest will want to try. That is, it can't be all baby squid. Sadly.

I'll try to document the whole thing here as I'm able. First off: let's hear ideas.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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One of my favorites from Amada in Philadelphia is potato (cut into a small cylinder, like a "tot" shape/size) roasted with smoked paprika (or it might be fried, it's been a while and memory is fuzzy) and served standing on end with a squirt of spicy mayo (?) on top. Broad appeal/"safer" selection :wink:

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Hard boiled eggs can hold all sorts of stuff in a gluten free way. Besides deviled egg, you might fill with lox+onion+caper, a reuben-type filling(broiled or torched), or chinese dumpling meat.

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When making tapas for guests, I always like to make ensaladilla russa (potatoes, carrots, peas, homemade mayo) because it can be made a few hours in advance and can sit at room temperature - in fact, it's supposed to be served at room temperature. This gives me time to prepare other more time-sensitive tapas when guests arrive. Also, it's gluten free and it's a starch (which is nice, since starch in tapas frequently comes from bread).

I also like to make swiss chard with pine nuts and bacon, shrimp with garlic, potato tortilla, small stuffed squids, octopus with paprika, green beans with garlic.

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Here are some ideas that come to mind:

Marinated olives

Garlic soup

Mushrooms escabeche

Roasted bell peppers

Patatas bravas

Blood sausage (homemade if you are brave!)

Chorizo, Serrano

Boquerones

Some type of shellfish a la plancha - could be clams, razor clams, squid...

Gambas

Cheese such as a good manchego

Iberico de Bellota would be great too but may not be an option for 20 people!

And plenty of sangria too...

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Stuffed vegetables!

Chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad, seasoned ground meat, saute mushroom, potato/cauliflower (mashed, curried), couscous (roasted vegetables, mushroom, etc.), variety of cheese, dips, pate, etc.

in/on top of

cucumber, celery, tomato, mushroom, zucchini, bell pepper, cabbage, etc.

A few more things I did for a friend's baby shower (all finger food for 60 people!):

*Lamb kofte bites (in phyllo)

*Curried potato purses (used wonton wrappers and baked)

*Poached chicken meatballs (served with several dipping sauces)

*Mini quiches (can make a tortilla and cut into squares)

At a tapas party, a friend of a friend from Spain make a croquette. From what I gathered, it's just a thicken white sauce with some ham and cheese stirred in. Refrigerate till solid, cut into rectangles, crumbed and fried.

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I'm planning such a meal for a smaller group. Have you access to a little charcoal grill (of course, you could do these on the stove, no problem)? What about some marinated chicken and lamb skewers? You could grill them in the morning and reheat them in the oven later. Nice and accessible for people who aren't 'food-focused'--everyone loves a stick of animal.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Hello, I'm currently living in Spain, so I'm going to put in my two cents in what I've had this week at a tapasteria:

Tortilla española, very easy, very labor friendly and approachable.

Rabbit kidneys, and liver.

Pan tumaca, it is a type of uncooked tomato sauce spread on bread and topped with jamon.

Tartar is good here, they use Veterano, egg yolks and anchovies for flavor, for me personally, a revelation.

Marinated cheese, cut into cubes, stored in olive oil with different aromatics.

Shallots poached in vinagre of Jerez.

Can you get your hands on fish heads? There is a traditional dish called cocotxa pil pil that is amazing.

Do you own an isi whip? You can make different types of cheese foams by melting in reduced cream, charge, pipe on piece of... baked puff pastry and garnish with some chives or what-have-you.

The perfect vichyssoise is served hot and made with equal parts of butter to potato.

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Rob (gfron1) did a dinner in which he served a course with olives that had been warmed for several hours in a crockpot with olive oil, orange zest and fresh fennel. I wasn't at that dinner but I did the olives and they were really good. Silky, flavorful, put the crockpot on low in the morning and forget it and the oil in the pot is really good as a bread dip. I don't know if that fits into what you have in mind but I thought I'd toss it in the mix anyway.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I'm assuming the guest of honor is pregnant? :raz:

Having said that, A lot of pregnant women will not eat anything raw, organ meats, blood, etc. And of course, no alcohol. I'd seriously, just for this event, try and be a little pedestrian for most of the tapas. Or, at least make sure there are things she can eat, as well as avoid. And, I sincerely doubt she will eat fish heads, no disrespect intended.

Edited by christine007 (log)

---------------------------------------

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A nice do-ahead tapas standby is goat cheese & orange segments on endive spears. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and drizzle with a syrup of reduced balsamic vinegar and orange juice.

I think those potatoes at Amada (a slightly fancied-up patatas bravas treatment) are quickly deep-fried.

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

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tortilla espanola--easy to make ahead, serves at room temperature

bacalao (codfish) fritters--you can make the mixture ahead of time and fry a batch or two a la minute. Assuming you use potatoes and no flour, it's gluten-free

chorizo in cider--it dresses up plain chorizo and is easy to make ahead, just needs reheating

Manchego and membrillo (quince paste)--a fantastic combo

flan--you need some sweets, right? This one is simple and gluten-free


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gambas al ajillo--shrimp in garlic-is quick and easy, traditional and delicious!

ETA: and gluten-free

Edited by chezcherie (log)

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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Date is set: March 3. A few comments/questions:

Can you get your hands on fish heads? There is a traditional dish called cocotxa pil pil that is amazing.

Yes, I probably can. Do you have a recipe to suggest?

I'm assuming the guest of honor is pregnant? :raz:

Having said that, A lot of pregnant women will not eat anything raw, organ meats, blood, etc. And of course, no alcohol. I'd seriously, just for this event, try and be a little pedestrian for most of the tapas. Or, at least make sure there are things she can eat, as well as avoid. And, I sincerely doubt she will eat fish heads, no disrespect intended.

You don't know the mom-to-be! She is the one who asked for tapas, and eats and drinks everything.

flan--you need some sweets, right? This one is simple and gluten-free

Someone else is providing dessert, so I'm off the hook there.

Jamon is going to be off the list, sadly: can't blow half the budget on a few ounces ham. :hmmm:

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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For me, tortillas espagnol is essential at a tapas party. Make a few hours ahead, turn on a wooden board, serve with marinated roasted red pepper seasoned with smoked paprika, s, p

Really good dates, stuffed with almonds or goat cheese

little veal meatballs in a peppery brandy sauce

some shrimp, served room temp-in romesco, or with aioli

cod and chorizo fritters, some sort of tomato-based dipping sauce

a piece of manchego and some rough apricot paste made by stewing CA unsulphured apricots

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Coca Majorcan (sort of a spanish flatbread pizza ) would be good, Croquetatas are always a hit, patatas bravas are tasty, cheap and easily done too. A nice heirloom tomato salad or baby gem with anchoives could be good as well, tortillas espagnol is a big winner where im concerned too. Olives, pan con tomate and some nice manchego with membrillo as well

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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