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Spicy Tapas
July 29, 2007

It's been quite a long time since our last newsletter... As you might guess, we've been a bit busy creating and uploading new content to our sites ( and But we're back!

So Hi again to everybody!

In this issue, as requested by many of you, we've prepared a selection of Spicy Spanish Tapas. There are many of them, and we've picked just a few (but we'll be adding more in the future, I promise).

Spicy Tapas

Spanish food is not particularly spicy, but tapas - by the small quantity served - are often used to liven up a meal with some hot flavor which is usually drowned with a glass of excellent Spanish beer or wine. So, if you enjoy the spicy side of life, you'll find it in our Spicy & Hot tapas selection... Check it out!

Our Spicy & Hot Tapas Selection

  • Barbecued Mini Ribs: These tasty ribs are known as Costillas in Spain. They are delicious cooked on a barbecue and almost as good when cooked under a hot grill. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, use freshly squeezed orange juice instead of the sweet sherry.
  • Ceviche: You can use almost any firm-fleshed fish for this Spanish influenced dish, provided that it is perfectly fresh. The fish is 'cooked' by the action of the acidic lime juice. Adjust the amount of chilli according to your taste.
  • Patatas bravas: A classic! Spicy and hot fried potatoes, with a Brava sauce to match!
  • Stuffed Mussels (Tigres): In Bilbao, these stuffed mussels are called Tigres because of their fieriness.  I fondly remember the crowded little bars in the old part of Bilbao, where orders of tigres would emerge by the dozens from the tiny kitchens.
  • Bread with Mushrooms and Alioli: This tapa recipe comes from a bar in Madrid. I used to jog around the Retiro and then eat these tostadas washed down with a nice cold caña! When I serve this recipe at a party, it is always the first to go!
  • Pulpo a Feira (Galician Octopus): Though it originated in Galicia or the neighboring region of Leon, pulpo a feira, as it is known in Galician, or pulpo a la gallega, as it is called in Spanish, is now popular throughout Spain. It is usually served on wooden plates with cachelos, potatoes that have been boiled or roasted in embers with their skins on.
  • Spiced Clams: Spanish clams, specially in the North, are much larger than clams found elsewhere, and have more succulent bodies. This modern recipe uses Arab spicing to make a hot dip or sauce. Serve with plenty of fresh bread to mop up the delicious juices!
  • Garlic-marinated Black Olives: Attesting to the simplicity of tapas, a handful of marinated olives is often ample accompaniment to a glass of chilled sherry in most Spanish tapas bars. Marinated to piquant perfection, these olives are far from ordinary.
  • Champiñones al ajillo: Few tapas taste more Spanish than champiñones al ajillo (ajillo mushrooms), dripping with olive oil, garlic and dry Spanish Sherry.
  • Pinchitos Morunos: Small Spicy Moorish Kebabs Europe's first kebabs were brought by the Arabs from Africa. Pinchitos morunos are eaten everywhere in Spain as a tapa, though nowadays they are made of pork, rather than lamb. Spices for them are sold ready-mixed in the south. I have used curry powder as part of my mixture as it contains cumin and very similar herbs.
  • Gildas: Gilda means lollipop, and the classic Gilda is a simple assembly of a guindilla (Spanish chile pepper), an anchovy and an olive. The combination of good-quality pinkish anchovies, smallish, crisp, unwrinkled chillies and a freshly pitted olive produce a sophisticaded mélange

Have them with...

Spicy tapas have one thing in common: they require plenty of liquid to wash them down. So if you're in one of these spicy days, don't forget the typical Spanish drink: Sangria! Here are some nice sangria recipes:

  • Basic Sangria recipe Our standard sangria recipe. Try this one if you want to taste the original!
  • Strong Sangria This is the Strong One! Only for over 18s!
  • White Sangria Softer, almost alcohol free... Try changing the wine for grape juice, and you'll get a perfect kids' drink!
  • Party sangria Are you holding a party, and want to add some spanish flavor? Just try our special party sangria recipe!
  • Spicy Sangria If you're looking for a real HOT sangria recipe... Try our special spicy sangria recipe!
  • Peach and Orange Sangria This sparkling sangría uses white wine instead of red, to better partner the vibrant peaches and oranges. A bit more potent than its sweet taste suggests, this sangria should be savored slowly.

  • Citrus SangriaThis zesty sangria is specially refreshing thanks to the orange, lemon, and lime. Tangy and sweet, this drink tastes just like summer.

  • Sangria ClaraWhite sangria may seem more pure than the original red version, but it is every bit as potent. Here, the fresh mint leaves infuse the sangria with an unforgettable zesty freshness.

  • Fruity SangriaThis simple sangria requires some patience, but minimal effort. If served at a party, guests will delight in nibbling on the wine-flavored apple and pear chunks remaining in their cups after their sangria has vanished.

  • Cranberry and Strawberry SangriaThis playful sangria is sure to become one of your party staples. It is only slightly more tedious to prepare than the other sangrias, but well worth the extra little effort. This fruity, delicious sangria is practically a fiesta in itself but with sangria like this, why wait for the guests?

See you in September!

Have a nice time! Buen provecho!

Jordi Vallés

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