Thursday, April 4, 2013

Casual Tapas Party

 About once a week, Sarah and I, our kids and husbands, and another family get together for a little casual dinner party that we have dubbed "family dinner." It is a great way to scratch that weird entertaining itch, experiment with new dishes, and (most importantly!) socialize with friends. Everyone brings a dish, but it could just be out of pantry staples, or a loaf of bread that was picked up on the way home from work. Or it could be something special that took all day to make. Anything goes, everything gets eaten, and it is super low pressure. It has definitely helped us to be more confident entertainers.

After keeping this up for the past couple of years, we started to get a little desperate scrambling to get meals together at the last minute (this is always a weeknight event.) Only recently we decided to pick a theme ahead of time, and work around that theme. I've been dying to do a tapas dinner party forever, and when I hosted last night, that was my request. This came together really easily (and was so delicious!) so we wanted to share our recipes which we pulled from different sources.
I chose this classic garlic shrimp recipe, or gambas al ajillo. So good and so simple. I kept it light on the red pepper flakes in the hopes that kids would eat them (some did, but not mine. waah waah.)
Sarah whipped up these bacon-wrapped dates, but she subbed in a firm aged goat cheese for the chorizo. I mean, just look at them. Look at their bacon-y goodness. (Not you, vegetarians... avert your eyes!) Another classic tapas dish, and just so darn good.

To round it out we also had:
  • A cheese plate with two Spanish cheeses, itsy bitsy Spanish olives, and a chocolate fig cake (I couldn't resist). And a cured sausage. (I couldn't resist that either.)
  •  A fruit plate, because it is always good to have a pile of fruit when picky 3-year-olds are in the mix.
  • And Rachel brought a batch of spiced roasted chickpeas. Yeah, it was a bit of a feast.
  • Oh, and Spanish wine, of course! Sarah brought a nice tempranillo which disappeared quickly.
This all came together really easily at the end of the day. Of course, it wouldn't have come together nearly as easily without the help of lots of friends and cooks in the (not quite big enough!) kitchen. So call up some friends, get some ideas flowing, and maybe start with some tapas. And Spanish wine.

8 comments:

  1. Tapas night.. what a great idea! Will definitely be trying this with my girlfriends. Everything looks delish!

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