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If you are feeling inspired to cook up a delicious and healthy dinner, but you don’t want to spend a long time in the kitchen, Spanish cuisine is actually a perfect fit. Spanish cuisine is not about complicated recipes. In general, it is all about using a top quality ingredient and treating it minimally, with respect. Here are 3 easy tapas recipes that are delicious and are a breeze to make.
1. Smoky Mussels With Paprika & Lemon
Cooking time – 5 minutes.
Sure enough, I prefer to use the Valencian type clòtxinas. They are smaller and tastier than the mussels from the North of Spain. However, any mussels will do. And the quantities of ingredients are not strict at all and will depend on your taste.
Spanish smoked paprika (non-spicy “dulce” or the spicy one “picante”)
A couple of bay leaves
A couple of garlic cloves
- Place the mussels in a suitable sized pan – I use medium.
- Sprinkle the paprika – I use 1 tsp.
- Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice over the mussels – I use half a lemon only.
- Add a couple of bay leaves.
- Peel a couple of garlic cloves and cut them up in half and add to the pan.
- Add black peppercorns to taste.
- Cover with a lid and carefully shake the pan to distribute all the ingredients thoroughly.
With the lid on, cook for about 5 minutes on medium-high, occasionally giving the pan a shake. Once the majority of mussels have opened, the dish is ready.
This dish is best to serve immediately, while mussels are hot. Use the mussels shells to slurp the tasty sauce.
Remember to discard the mussels that have not opened during the cooking process – they are not edible.
2. Simply Delicious Padrón Peppers
Cooking time – 7 minutes.
These adorable little peppers grow in Galicia, but have gained popularity all across Spain. (They are always a hit on my food tours in Valencia).
In Galicia they have a saying dedicated to this pepper, which warns you that although the majority of these peppers are non-spicy, some of them can be spicy: “Os pementos de Padrón, uns pican e outros non”.
- Wash padrón peppers and dry them with a towel.
- Heat some olive oil in a sauce pan on medium-high.
- Place the peppers into the sauce-pan and give them a stir occasionally, making sure they get nicely marked, but not burned.
- Once they are nicely browned on both sides (about 7 minutes), transfer them into your serving dish and sprinkle generously with coarse salt.
3. Piquillo Peppers Stuffed With Cheese
Cooking time – 3 minutes.
If you love pepper and cheese, you will find these little delicacies are quite moreish.
- Take out enough canned piquillo peppers from a jar, cut up your favorite cheese into triangular shape and insert a slice into each pepper.
- Pre-heat a little olive oil in your sauce pan on medium high
- Roast the peppers for a couple of minutes, until the cheese starts melting.
- Serve immediately.
Serve these 3 easy tapas dishes along with good quality rustic bread. Slice some great chorizo, Spanish cured ham and cheese and put out on platters. Put out some Spanish olives into a bright Spanish bowl that you may have brought from a trip to Spain. Open a bottle of Spanish white wine, for example – Verdejo.