I’ve been to Chile twice. I loved the country and I loved the food! So, I was delighted to be invited by Kitchen Play to participate in a blogging event with Foods from Chile. The #CookChilean challenge went like this … they sent me a mystery box of food … I offered readers the opportunity to suggest what I should make with the ingredients … and now I’m happy to reveal that the winner is Erica of My Colombian Recipes who suggested ‘seafood tapas’.
Those 2 words gave me the idea (and excuse) to make a tapas party so I invited a couple of wine-toting friends over for a fiesta. “Tapas” are universal these days and the food ingredients I received lent themselves perfectly to the “little dish” theme.
The following menu is a balance of flavors with the fruits and jam adding a hint of sweetness to the smokey fish — and the vinaigrettes and sauces bring it all together with a zip of freshness.
Tapas Party Menu
Pincho: Manchego Cheese, Apple Slices, Jamon Serrano and Merlot Onion Jam on Garlic Toast
Arroz con Garbanzos: Baked Rice + Garbanzos Topped with Smoked Fish, Chive + Apple Slaw
Chorizo Cooked in Lemony Onion Jam
Smoked Salmon + Mussels Deviled Eggs with Herb Vinaigrette
Trout with Purple “Patatas Brava”
Trout and Roasted Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
Clementines, Manchego Cheese, and Roasted Marcona Almonds
Although not required, the mystery box ingredients were so good I took the challenge a step beyond and used all the food ingredients … creating delectable little bites with the salmon, trout, mussels, olive oil, merlot onion jam, lemon, apple and clementines. [See descriptives under photos.]
The smoked fish was perfect and delicious. To cook it would have been a crime, so I created a menu of typical tapas and incorporated the fish ‘as is’.
The merlot onion jam was the ideal spread for this bite as it bridged the gap between sweet and savory — and we all know apple is a perfect accompaniment to cheese.
Smoked Salmon + Mussels-Deviled Eggs with Herb Vinaigrette
To Do: Season yolk with mayo, dijon mustard, lemon juice, splash of hot sauce, dry seasonings including smoked paprika. Mix with minced smoked salmon and mussels. To finish: Top with a strip of salmon, piquillo pepper and chives. Place on herb vinaigrette.
The fresh combination of salmon and mussels in the mashed yolk was a unexpected treat and the salmon strip on the top sealed the deal! My guests loved this one.
Baked Rice and Garbanzos Topped with Smoked Fish, Apple and Chive Slaw
To Do: Cook dry beans in chicken broth with chopped tomato and garlic. Mix cooked beans with rice and chicken broth, saffron (or a package of Sazón) and bake. Finish with squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, capers, olives and piquillo peppers. Serve at room temperature and top with Salmon-Apple Slaw (julienned apple, chopped chives and thinly sliced salmon and trout dressed with vinaigrette made from a piece of apple emulsified with olive oil and lemon juice).
Here I used the salmon, trout and apple with a little vinaigrette made with apple and the delicious fruity olive oil.
This was one of the favorites. The jam glazed the chorizo and provided a hint of sweetness to the otherwise salty and smoky flavor of the sausage.
Trout ‘Patatas Brava’
Halve potatoes and bake with olive oil and salt till tender. Top with ‘brava’ sauce (blend of mayo, hot sauce, olive oil, garlic, roasted tomato) mixed with flaked trout and chives.
Another favorite — the flaked trout took the sauce to another level, both texturally and taste-wise.
A perfect bite with the trout marrying well with the asparagus and sauce.
And to Finish
Clementines, Manchego Cheese, and some roasted Marcona Almonds to pick on.
Want to Participate?
Register here for tonight’s Twitter party where you can win your own Foods From Chile prize! Speaking of which, here’s my clue for the Twitter party treasure hunt: Nearly 1 billion pounds of fresh fruit are shipped to North America each year from Chile. See you there!
[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for which I will be nominally compensated.]