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How to Make a Tapas Party with Foods from Chile

August 6, 2013 by Joan Nova in Appetizers, Blogging, Fish/Seafood, Food Challenge, Party Food, Recipe Development, South American, Spanish/Tapas | 11 Comments

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’.

To Do: Toast baguette rounds, rub with raw garlic while hot and top with merlot onion jam, Manchego cheese, Jamon Serrano, apple slice, Spanish olive and chives.

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.

Chorizo with Lemony Merlot Onion Jam 
To Do: Slice fresh chorizo and bake with mix of onion jam and lemon juice.

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. 

Trout and Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
Roast Asparagus and toss with trout and romesco sauce made from roasted peppers, almonds, olive oil, garlic and a dash of sherry vinegar.

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.]

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Liz says:

    Wow! Each dish is a unique Foodalogue creation. Looks great and, I’m sure, tasted terrific.

  2. patti says:

    Not only was the presentation beautiful it was extremely palatable……. yum
    Thank you Joan!

  3. Just wow at every level, Joan. Gorgeous presentation of delectable-looking foods, made with creativity and love. Imaginative and lovely. I was so happy to see a closeup of the garbanzos because I was intrigued by the little woven goodies you placed around the dish. Nice touch.
    Victoria of Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Italian-Style Savory Spinach-Stuffed French ToastMy Profile

  4. OMG some of my favorite foods, chirizo, manchego, marcona almonds,smoked salmon. I think I love this kind of food forever. Great job. I would have loved to be a guest.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette DressingMy Profile

  5. I’m always so impressed with your dishes! What a fun way to use your ingredients, love it!!

  6. Lori Lynn says:

    This is fabulous Joan! Absolutely love how you plated everyone. Erica’s idea was a good one! And your execution, flawless! Very creative dishes. Love how you used the jam.
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Start the Party with Grilled Oysters!My Profile

  7. Erica says:

    Great job, Joan!I am so happy to be the winner!
    Erica recently posted..Pasteles de Jamón y Queso (Ham and Cheese Pastries)My Profile

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