Cousins

Inlaws and Tapas

I’m feeling quite excited. It’s been a while since my brother and sister-in-law have visited: we usually go to stay with them now that they have made the move out of London and taken up residence on the beautiful Jurassic coast. But this weekend they are coming to stay with us. Which is great, because they are gorgeous and we love them, but means that I have to think of something delicious to feed them: they are foodie aficionados extraordinaire.

It also has to be quick to prepare and/or possible to prep in advance, as we will be spending most of the day walking (got to get the exercise in!) In addition, it must be light, as we are stopping off for lunch at a local pub that serves great food along the way and it must appeal to their kids who are younger than ours, with palettes still in development. Oh yes, and it has to cater to the pescatarian teenagers and be suitable for my diabetic man.

The solution: tapas. Full of delicious flavours, lots of protein, loads of veggies, only good fats and a little bit of carbohydrate. Plenty to keep all tastes satisfied…the youngsters can just gorge on patatas sans bravas and Spanish omelette if that they fancy, but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of new tastes we can tempt them with. A quick trip to Waitrose to stock up on olives, Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, really good quality chorizo and readymade calamari (easy and loads less fat than attempting to deep fry my own) and we’re on our way to a Tapas feast to suit any foodie hedonist, diabetic or otherwise. And, for the grownups, plenty of Rioja Reserva to wash it down with.

I will be making, the day before they arrive, the topping for the bruschetta; the sauce for the patatas bravas; the marinade for paprika prawns; the fillings for smoked salmon rolls and the Spanish tortilla. The morning before they arrive, I’ll take the tortilla and bruschetta topping out of the fridge to ensure they are room temperature when we return; chop and par boil the new potatoes for the patatas bravas; pop the prawns into their marinade and some wooden skewers in to soak; chop the chorizo into chunks and finish off the smoked salmon rolls which everyone can tuck in to, along with the olives, ham and cheese, while I finish off the rest. All I have to do once everyone is ensconced in the kitchen is roast a few new potatoes, bake the frozen calamari and the chorizo and slice and toast the bruschetta. While that’s all happening, I’ll reheat the sauce for the patatas bravas, spoon out the aioli and chop a few lemons for the calamari (too much entertaining to do to make my own aioli!) and grill the prawn skewers.

The husband’s in charge of drinks, my kids are in charge of their kids and everyone is well fed, quickly and healthily with no stress and plenty of time for another glass of Rioja. Can’t wait.

Smoked salmon rolls
Filled Smoked Salmon Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Smoked salmon rolls
Filled Smoked Salmon Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 150 grammes smoked salmon
  • 100 grammes puy or small green lentils cooked weight
  • 50 grammes gherkins finely chopped
  • 25 grammes capers finely chopped
  • 1 bunch spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp olive
  • 1 tsp mild mustard
  • 4-6 tbsp light mayonaisse
Instructions
Fillings
  1. Mix together the chopped gherkins, capers, spring onions and herbs
  2. Add half the mix to the mayo to make the tartar sauce.
  3. Mix the rest of the chopped bits to the lentils and stir through with the oil and mustard.
Making the roll
  1. Spread a sheet of clingfilm over a work surface and layer the slices of smoked salmon over it, Try and make a wide oblong shape, without gaps so that the filling doesn't escape.
  2. Spread a thin layer of tartar sauce right to the edge of the smoked salmon sheet,
  3. Spoon on the lentils, to a depth of 1/2 cm or so, leaving a 1 cm gap round the edges,
  4. Using the cling film to help you lift the salmon, roll it into a log. Be careful to make sure the plastic doesn't get rolled in too.
  5. Slice the log into 1 cm thick discs and serve.
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Paprika Prawns
Paprika Prawns
Print Recipe
Paprika flavoured, marinated prawn skewers.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3-5 minutes 15+ minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3-5 minutes 15+ minutes
Paprika Prawns
Paprika Prawns
Print Recipe
Paprika flavoured, marinated prawn skewers.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3-5 minutes 15+ minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3-5 minutes 15+ minutes
Ingredients
  • 12 large prawns
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked spanish parika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
Instructions
  1. Whisk the marinade ingredients together then mix the prawns in by hand to ensure a thorough coating, without damaging the delicate flesh.
  2. Cover and leave in fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Thread onto pre-soaked wooden skewers, alternating with cherry tomatoes or small, jarred piquant peppers if desired.
  4. Cook under a hot grill for 1 or 2 minutes each side until prawns are opaque,
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Potatos bravos
Patatas Bravas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Potatos bravos
Patatas Bravas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
  • 500 grammes new potatoes cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 100 ml passata
  • 1/2-1 tbsp dried chilli flakes to taste
  • handful chopped parsley to serve
Instructions
  1. Par boil the potatoes in salted water for 5-10 minutes, drain then toss in fry light before tipping into a baking tray and roasting at 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes cook, soften the onions, garlic and bay leaves in a few squirts of fry light.
  3. Add the wine, soy sauce, sugar and passata and bubble for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes and chilli flakes. Simmer until sauce has reduced to a thick, coating consistency.
  4. Tip potatoes into a serving dish, dollop sauce on top and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Add a scoop of mayo or aioli if you're feeling indulgent,
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Spanish tortilla
Spanish Tortilla
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Spanish tortilla
Spanish Tortilla
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
30-40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 400 grammes new potatoes cut into 5 mm slices
  • 150 grammes peas
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 10 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 ttbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Firstly, get the onions gently softening in your frying pan in a few squirts of fry light.
  2. While the onions cook, boil the potato slices for 5 minutes before adding the peas and cooking for a further 3. Drain.
  3. Once the onions are soft, add the crushed garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, before adding the peas and potatoes and cooking for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. Whilst the onions, potatoes and peas cook, whisk the eggs, season to taste and stir in the chopped parsley and quartered tomatoes.
  5. Just before you pour in the egg mixture, add the oil to the pan and heat it up before adding the eggs. Turn the ring down to a lowish setting and cook for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, turn the grill onto medium.
  6. Pop the pan under the preheated grill and cook for a further 5 minutes or so. Keep an eye on it: you might want to cook it for longer if the eggs don't appear to be fully set and cover it with a sheet of foil if the top seems to be browning too quickly.
  7. Remove from grill and leave to cool before loosening tortilla from edges and bottom of pan and turning out onto a plate. Slice and serve warm immediately, or at room temperature later/ next day.
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Bruscheta
Bruschetta
Print Recipe
Marinated tomatoes, onions and basil served on crispy wholemeal or seeded baguette,
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Passive Time
1 or more hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Passive Time
1 or more hours
Bruscheta
Bruschetta
Print Recipe
Marinated tomatoes, onions and basil served on crispy wholemeal or seeded baguette,
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Passive Time
1 or more hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Passive Time
1 or more hours
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf wholemeal or seeeded baguette
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 50 grammes fresh basil
  • 30 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch Salt
Instructions
  1. First dice the tomatoes and then place in a sieve to drain.
  2. Very finely dice the red onion and add to the drained tomatoes, along with the chopped basil.
  3. Mix the vinegar and oil together with a little salt and stir marinade into tomato mix. Cover and leave for at least an hour.
  4. When you are ready to eat, slice the baguette into 1cm slithers (on the diagonal) and rub the surface with a garlic clove. Place the slices on a large baking tray, then bake in a medium oven for a few minutes: keep an eye on them as they won't take long.
  5. Remove bread from oven, and load each slice with tomato mix.
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