Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Tapas Evening

Tortilla Squares baked in the oven
The Spanish love their tapas - and so do we! We wanted to invite some friends round for the evening and so we decided we’d try our hand at tapas with a Canarian twist. Now these were not as authentic as they might have been; they weren’t made by a native of Lanzarote for a start. We’ll never know whether they would have stood the Canarian taste test, as our friends on this occasion were entirely ex-pats and Brits who visit the island several times a year. We DO have Spanish and Canarian friends and one day, when we are feeling really brave, we may try these recipes out on them too.

We used a mixture of books and the internet to source the recipes, so we had a fairly eclectic mix. We didn’t have any fish as one of us doesn’t eat it at all and we thought it best to avoid it on this occasion, which was a pity as it would have added another dimension.

Ropa Vieja, or ‘Old Clothes’  for using up leftovers!

I’m not going to reproduce any of the recipes here as they can be found on many sites through the simple method of googling. There are whole blogs on the subject for heaven’s sake, and cooks who will speak with far more authority, and at great length on the correct way to do it. I’m just going to showcase some of the dishes we had to whet your appetite.  We could have bought a lot of this ‘ready-made’ but it was more fun to start from scratch, even to the extent of blanching our own almonds for the nibbles section, apparently this is far tastier. Not sure I’d bother again.

Spicy toasted almonds
Marinated olives (very lemonny and garlicky - that’s a technical term!)
Little portions of steak to dip in chilli sauce

Papas Arrugadas (Wrinkly Potatoes)
The next two go together. The wrinkly potatoes are very Canarian and very salty and they are served with Mojo sauces.

Mojo Sauces (very garlicky too!)

Tiny beef meatballs with tomato sauce

Tiny pork meatballs with almond sauce
We couldn’t decide on which meatballs , so we did both!

We eat a lot of aubergines here and these were marinated and served warm; lovely!

Marinated Aubergines

A variation on that good old standby Lemon Chicken

 A refreshing green salad to add some contrast to the palate and a selection of Canarian cheeses. These are curado (cured) and semi-curado goats cheeses and not like your average Cheddar.

I hope you enjoyed that little culinary tour. Of course you need a bottle or two of wine or a few beers to wash it all down. The company of friends makes the meal complete.


  1. This looks absolutely delicious! And a lot of work. It's making me hungry.

  2. Thank you Izzard - why not pop over?

  3. How charming and lovely!! I followed over from HATTATT, and found your party to be delightful. Did you have a great supply of "small plates" as in the "set one on the sherry glass" in Spain for one dish at a time, or do your guests put two flavors/sauces on one, letting them mingle at will?

    Wonderful post.


  4. my mouth is watering .. aside from the red meat ones, I'd love them all .. and those spicy almonds are making me really wish I had some right now .. yum!!!!


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