Monday, 29 August 2011

A good five years celebrated with tapas!

This weekend is actually our official five year anniversary.  We haven't done anything special (will save that for next year's wedding!) but I thought I'd treat Joe to some tapas at home.  We're thinking of going to Spain for a mini honeymoon next September so this was a warm up!

I have never made tapas so did some searching for inspiration on t'interweb and decided on patatas bravas, chorizo with chickpeas, lemon prawns and champinones al ajillo.  I'll admit, they were a bit of an interpretation of tapas, but good all the same!  I've put a recipe for the patatas bravas at the bottom of the post, which was the most authentic of the dishes.
Champinones al ajillo - garlic mushrooms on chargrilled baguette (very Spanish! Ha!)

Chorizo and chickpeas in red wine

Patatas bravas

Prawns in garlic and lemon - I threw some roasted pepper and whole roasted chillis in with this.  Poor Joe swallowed a very hot chilli from this dish and is still feeling a little bit warm!

Joe's plate - a small selection of each, and the very hot red chilli!

Our Rioja - and half price in Co-op right now!


Serves two.  Heat the oven to 220 degrees for a fan oven

3 medium sized potatoes, cut into rough 1" chunks
half a tin of chopped tomatoes
1 chilli, finely chopped
half an onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove (or 2 if your garlic is not that strong)
large glug of red wine
chilli powder (as hot as you want - that might depend on your strength of chilli powder and how hot your chilli is!)
pinch dried parsley
small handful fresh parsley
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil

1.  Gently the onions until cooked down and transparent (over a slow heat for at least 10 minutes)
2.  Add the garlic, chilli and chilli powder and salt and pepper and cook for a few more minutes until softened
3.  Add the red wine, and simmer for a few minutes
4.  Add the chopped tomatoes and dried parsley
5.  Turn the heat down to a simmer.  Put the chopped potatoes onto an oiled baking tray and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes (until browned on the outside and soft on the inside)
6.  Simmer the tomato mixture for a least 30 minutes until cooked down - there should not be any excess liquid or your potatoes will be soggy!  It's also good if the tomato sauce can be left to "mature" for a while - so if you've got the time make the tomato mixture at least an hour before cooking the potatos.
7.  When the tomatoes are virtually done, check the seasoning.  Sometimes chopped tomatoes can be a bit sour, so add a splash of balsamic for depth of flavour and sweetness.  It should be deep, flavoursome and have a little kick.
8.  When you are ready to serve, stir the chopped parsley into the tomatoes.  Tip the potatoes onto your dish and top with the tomato mixture. Don't add the tomatoes to the potatoes until ready to serve! You don't want soggy potatoes!! 

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