Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tapas Party!!!

Jennifer and I were planning to go to the Va Renaissance Faire this year (we've wanted to go, and never realized that the other wanted to also). But since we're both a bit short on money we decided to wait. I've wanted to have a Tapas party for a while, so I decided to stop by Grayhaven Winery and see about picking up some of their wine for their sangria. When Jennifer and I decided to start learning about wine years ago, we went to the Powhatan Festival of the Grape. One of the things we fell in love with was their Sangria, and then we found out that it was made right up the street from me. They didn't have the wine used in the one we liked, but the person there suggested their Touriga wine (she said if they had Pinotage you could use that too). I bought that and while it was good, it was a bit stronger than we liked. Luckily I had a cheap bottle of sweet champagne in the fridge (from our anniversary that I didn't use). I added that and it helped it a lot. For the wrapped figs I used proscuitto instead of ham, and they were wonderful. And they are good out of the fridge the next day too. The Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies were actually dinner. I served Tapas for lunch and Jennifer and Mike were still here for dinner. When I asked if they wanted anything for dinner (we had plenty still let from lunch), Mike asked for cookies - so I made these, I added a bunch of things to them: chocolate chips, Heath chips, mini Reeses cups, butterscotch chips, and peacans. The recipes that are listed are ones that I've made for dinners (the only one still left to make is the stuffed mushrooms. I figured I may-as-well make tapas for dinners and continue to use the same ingredients. It's worked out well- and I'm serving them with the leftover sides.

Rendezvous Red Sangria
From Grayhaven Winery (

3 bottles of Rendezvous wine (Claret style red)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
3 oranges
Juice of 1 lime

Combine sugar and water in sauce pan, add cinnamon sticks and bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Slice orange in bite-size pieces that will fit into a wine glass. In a large pitcher, combine wine, oranges, and lime juice. Add sugar syrup 1/2 cup at a time until the sangria is as sweet as you like it - add cinnamon sticks. Store sangria in fridge overnight, serve chilled.

Remove cinnamon sticks after 24 hours. Makes about 1 gallon.

Assorted olives: POINTS value per serving (10 small or 6 large): 1 (I had pimiento and garlic stuffed)
Spanish semi-soft cheese, such as Manchego: POINTS value per serving (1 inch cube): 3 (I had Manchego and Iberico)
Warm crusty bread: POINTS value per serving (1-ounce slice): 2
Marinated mushrooms (from deli or jar)
Grape tomatoes, halved and drizzled with low-fat vinaigrette
Marinated Artichokes
Membrillo paste (quince paste)
Fig and almond cake (from Whole Foods- basically dried figs with whole Spanish almonds)

Spicy Red Peppers
Not just for tapas, these savory strips are fabulous layered in a sandwich, and they make any salad special. Roast a double batch when red peppers are on sale; they'll last up to a week in the refrigerator and up to a month in the freezer. For best flavor, omit the lemon rind when preparing the peppers for freezing, then add it to the thawed peppers just before serving. To freeze the peppers, place them in a zip-close freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. This recipe makes wise use of the juices created by roasting peppers - a clever idea anytime. Roasted pepper juices add wonderful flavor and body to salad dressings and are also tasty in poultry or vegetable marinades.
Serves 6 POINTS 0

4 red bell peppers
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Arrange peppers on the baking sheet and roast, 15 minutes. Turn the peppers an roast until they are softened and blistered, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes, to allow the peppers to steam. Peel, core, and seed the peppers, reserving the remaining juice in the bowl, and cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add the pepper strips, crushed red pepper and salt; cook 3-4 minutes. Add the reserved pepper juice and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated lemon rind. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving (1/3 cup): 22 cal, 1 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 4 mg chol, 98 mg sod, 4 g carb, 1 g fib, 1 g prot, 6 mg calc

Shrimp in Garlic Sauce
This tapas classic can be found on the menu of almost any Spanish restaurant, here and abroad. The key to this dish is a quick saute over fairly high heat. The addition of fresh parsley at the end helps mellow the garlic. This dish is even more flavorful when made in advance. Cook the shrimp through, then refrigerate until chilled, at least one hour or up to a day ahead. Bring to room temperature, then toss with the parsley and serve.
Serves 6 POINTS 1

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon dry sherry
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onion and garlic begin to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the shrimp, paprika, cumin, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, just until the shrimp are opaque, about 4 minutes. Add the sherry and lemon juice, and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve warm or a room temperature.

Per serving (1/2 cup): 70 cal, 2g fat, 0 g sat fat, 81mg chol, 290 mg sod, 3 g carb, 1g fib, 9g prot, 29 mg calc

Figs Wrapped in Ham
This classic dish, which combines the sweet, soft figs with the salty bite of ham, condenses the best of a tapas bar into a single bite. In Spain, this dish is traditionally made with jamon serrano. This is a great do-ahead dish, too: Prepare the figs to the point of baking, then cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours overnight. When ready to use, simply uncover and bake as directed. For a nuttier flavor, heat the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about one minute, before stuffing the figs.
Serves 6 POINTS 3

18 dried figs
1 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
18 whole almonds, blanched
2 ounces deli-sliced boiled ham, cut lengthwise into 18 (3/4-inch-wide) strips

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Combine the figs, orange juice, and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let stand until the figs are softened, 10 minutes. Drain, discarding any remaining liquid, and let cool 5 minutes.

With the tip of a sharp knife, make a 3/4-inch incision in each fig. lace one almond into each fig. Working one at a time, roll a ham strip around a fig and place seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining figs. Bake until the ham begins to brown slightly and the figs are hot, 10-12 minutes. Serve immediate or at room temperature.

Per serving (3 figs): 201 cal, 3g fat, 1 g sat fat, 6 mg chol, 149 mg sod, 42g carb, 6 g fib, 5 g prot, 95mg calc.

Spanish Potato Tortilla
Though Americans think of the tortilla (literally, "little cakes") as the wrapper for a taco or a burrito, Spaniards use the term to refer to flavorful omelets like this one. Serve it hot or make it up to a day ahead (wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate), then serve at room temperature. For a striking presentation, garnish with habanero peppers (but don't eat them). This recipe also makes a wonderful main dish for four on it's own; serve it with a green salad or a side of crisp cooked green beans dressed with vinaigrette.
Makes 6 servings. 4 POINTS

1 3/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 large eggs
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Place the potato slices in a large pot and add enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and let cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Swirl in 1 teaspoon of the oil, then add the onion. Saute until softened but not browned, 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Whisk the eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the warm potatoes and onion, mixing well to coat; let stand 15 minutes.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Swirl in the remaining 3 teaspoons oil, then add the potato-egg mixture, patting with a spatula to form a disk. Cook undisturbed 3 minutes; reduce the heat to medium and cook until the tortilla is golden on the bottom, about 8 minutes longer. Invert a large plate over the skillet and flip the skillet over to drop the tortilla onto the plate. Return the skillet to the heat and slide the tortilla back into the pan, uncooked side down. Cook until the bottom is golden, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the plate in hot, soapy water (to prevent bacterial contamination from the raw eggs).

Invert the plate over the skillet again and flip the skillet over to drop the tortilla onto the plate. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and cook about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving (1/6 of tortilla): 200 cal, 7 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 142 mg chol, 473 mg sod, 27g carb, 3 g fib, 9g prot, 33 mg calc.

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen.

1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
2 eggs
3 cups Quaker® Oats (any variety, uncooked)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°F. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and

salt; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.

Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Nutrition Information (1 cookie): Calories 100; Fat 4 g; Sodium 75 mg; Dietary Fibr 1 g

-Stir in 1 cup chopped nuts.
-Substitute 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces or candy coated chocolate pieces for raisins; omit cinnamon.
-Substitute 1 cup diced dried mixed fruit for raisins.
Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies: Spread softened ice cream on bottom side of one cookie; top with second cookie. Wrap securely; freeze.
For bar cookies bake 30-35 min in ungreased 9x13 baking pan.

Chorizo-Stuffed Mushrooms
WWM Nov/Dec 2006 Serves 8 Points 2

40 fresh cremini mushrooms
1 (3 1/2 oz) chorizo sausage, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled and finely chopped
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop finely; set aside. Put the caps, stem sides up on the sheet.

To make the filling, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, occasionally, until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Add the mushroom stems, onion, garlic, and thyme; cook, stirring until the vegetables just begin to brown, 6-7 minutes. Add the apple and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, 2-3 minuets. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Stuff each mushroom cap, mounding the filling in the center. Bake until the filling in the center. Bake until the caps are browned and sizzling, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Per serving (5 stuffed mushrooms): 104 cal, 5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 11 mg chol, 264 mg sod, 9 g carb, 2 g fib, 7g prot, 15 mg calc.

Savory Potato and Ham Chunks
WW Simply Delicious 4 Points Serves 4
The combination of paprika, tomato paste, and vinegar in this sweet-and-tangy dish is a typical sauce used in many classic Spanish tapas recipes. Crunchy carrot spears provide a nice contrast to this savory mix. Paprika is a powdered blend of sweet red peppers that can range in favor from mild to hot. Most varieties sold in supermarkets that are simply labeled “paprika” are mildly spicy. If you can find it, use smoked paprika for extra flavor. Or, to bring out the flavor of a mild paprika, roast it in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, then cool before using.

4 oz thickly-sliced lean ham, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Spray a very large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the ham and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Transfer the ham to a large bowl.

Heat the same skillet. Swirl the 2 teaspoons of the oil, then add the potatoes and cook, stirring often, until golden, 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover an cook until any remaining liquid evaporates. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl with the ham.

Swirl the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the same skillet, then add the flour and paprika and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth, and the vinegar, stirring to keep the mixture smooth. Add the tomato paste and cayenne. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is smooth and thickened, 6-8 minutes.

Return the ham and potatoes to the skillet and stir gently until evenly coated with sauce. Serve hot.

Per serving (1 cup): 241 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 15 chol, 413 mg sod, 37 g tot carb, 4g fib, 11g prot, 24 mg calc

Sauteed Clams and Chorizo
If you're following the Core plan, substitute Canadian bacon for the chorizo and use reduced-sodium chicken broth instead of white wine.
Serves 4 Points: 3

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium red onions (3/4 pound), finely chopped
1 ounce chorizo sausage, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry white wine or reduce-sodium chicken broth
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the red onions, chorizo, bay leaf, and salt; cook; stirring, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes, add the wine or broth and bring to a boil.

Stir in the clams and cook, covered, shaking the pan occasionally, until they open, about 4 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and any clams that do not open. Stir in the cilantro. Serve at once.

Per serving (6 clams): 144 cal, 6g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 g Trans fat, 36 mg chol, 210mg sod, 8 g carb, 1 g fib, 13 g prot, 55mg calc.

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