This week, we decided it was high time we hosted a dinner party. Last year was all about the “dinner parties”, but this year now that we’re all a bit older and a bit more grown up we decided to do it properly and go all out. We decided on a tapas theme, threw together a quick shopping list, spent an absurd amount of money in Waitrose, and then Mae, Tas and I set to work in the kitchen.
Fast forward about an hour and a half and a bottle or two of wine later, and we all sat down to an authentic Spanish feast. Lucky for us, Tas hails from Gibraltar and so is an expert on real tapas, so we know we were doing it right!
Most, if not all, of the dishes we ate are actually really simple and quick to make so I’ve highlighted a few of my favourites in case you guys want to try it yourself. Keeping things simple, we started off with the requisite bread, balsamic vinegar & olive oil (seriously is there anything better?!) as well as manchego cheese dressed in olive oil, serrano ham, and some of Waitrose’s finest sundried tomatoes.
Possibly the prettiest dish on the table was the prawn and avocado escabeche, a recipe for which can be found here. We actually made this one time last year but it didn’t look or taste nearly as good then. It’s basically lime juice, prawns, tomato and avocado in lettuce cups, so super healthy, fast, and so tasty.
This was my absolute favourite and Tas’s speciality – gambas pil pil or spicy prawns, which are cooked in lots of olive oil, chilli, garlic, chilli powder and paprika. Tas assures me you can actually buy a special spice mix but you’ll probably have these things in the cupboards anyway and they were seriously delicious.
Here we have some grilled calamari. Squid was actually surprisingly cheap at the fish counter and we literally just cut it into rings and chucked it on the George Foreman before serving it with some sweet chilli sauce, enterprisingly served in a shot glass. Calamari, student style.
Also on the table we had chorizo fried with garlic and red wine, which were a particular hit with the boys; patatas bravas, which is SO easy to make and so good; a potato salad; olives; and “boil in the bag” mussels, which we were a bit sceptical about but which actually worked really well.
We finished the meal with a plum tart and vanilla ice cream, but unfortunately by this point we had lost interest in cooking/become more interested in drinking wine and so the tart ended up charred to say the least. Regardless, we all had such a fun night and were frankly all very impressed with ourselves and our culinary skills. Tapas is such a fun concept and an easy way to make sure everyone gets something they like!