Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mixed Tapas Platter

It's still super hot here and we are having company for dinner. I wanted to prepare something light, refreshing, flavorful and, of course, special. I love to eat tapas, so I decided to prepare a mixed tapas platter. I decided on three different salads, one chicken and one salmon tapa. Salads are easy and quick to prepare, and the ones I chose had very different flavors. I also made some bread to go with dinner. For dessert we had HubbyGrouch's favorite again: Raspberry Dream. I didn't have enough merengue left and didn't find them in the store! I had two choices: not to make the dessert or to come up this a replacement ingredient. We had animal crackers at home so I tried those. HubbyGrouch was of course skeptical at first, that I might have spoiled the dessert. But far from it. We all had seconds and finished the whole bowl! In case you were wondering how someone with two small children could have time for all this on a weekday, here is how. LittleGrouch was in daycare. All recipes were quick and easy to prepare, and the chicken and salmon were done on arrival of the guest.


This was today's Tapas selection:
Tomato, Cucumber, and Olive Salad
Zucchini Salad with Raisins and Pine Nuts
Fennel Salad with Oranges
Fresh Salmon with Mojo Sauce
Garlic Chicken
Bread Machine French Herb Bread

Raspberry Dream

 Fennel Salad with Oranges

Ingredients:
4 large juicy oranges, skin removed completely and sliced, juice reserved
1 bulb fennel, finely sliced
1 onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
12 black olives, pitted and sliced

Arrange oranges, fennel, and onion on plates. Top with olives. Whisk together oil and orange juice, and drizzle over salad.


 Fresh Salmon with Mojo Sauce

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds fresh salmon fillet
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Mojo Sauce
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp ground cumin
4-5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Remove skin from salmon (you can leave it on if you prefer. Cut fish into 2 inch sized cubes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add salmon and cook on all sides until just opaque in center, about 10 minutes. For the sauce, Whisk together all ingredients. Transfer salmon to serving plates and drizzle with sauce.


 Tomato, Cucumber, and Olive Salad

Ingredients:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4-5 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 tsp paprika powder
4 tomatoes, diced
12 stuffed green olives, halved lengthwise
1/2 cucumber, diced
2 small shallots, minced
1 tbsp capers, drained
salt

Whisk together vinegar, oil, garlic, and paprika. Season to taste with salt. Place remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss with vinaigrette.


Garlic Chicken 


Ingredients:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 4-5 pieces
1 tbsp paprika powder
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
8 garlic cloves
2 tbsp minced flat parsley

Sprinkle chicken with paprika, salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add chicken in badges, using remaining oil, and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add all the chicken to the pan and add sherry. Cook for 1 minute. Add broth and bay leaf, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Mash garlic and mix with parsley. Add to chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes. Server hot.


 Zucchini Salad with Raisins and Pine Nuts

1 pound small green zucchini, thinly sliced
4 tbsp garlic olive oil
2 ounces pine nuts
2 ounces raisins
3 tbsp fresh mint, minced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and fry until they soften, stirring often. Place zucchini in a bowl. Add pine nuts, raisins, mint, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Let salad cool and put in the fridge for 3 1/2 hours before serving. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. Add more lemon juice, olive oil, salt or pepper if desired.


 Bread Machine French Herb Bread

Ingredients for one 2-pound loaf:
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried, crushed French Herbs
1/4 tsp dried, minced garlic
1/4 tsp garlic powder
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp active dry yeast

Place all ingredients in the above given order in the bread pan of the bread machine. Choose program for French Bread (or White Bread).


Raspberry Dream

You can find the recipe here. Just substitute animal crackers for half the merengues.

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