The Spanish know better than anyone else that if you’re drinking, you should always eat with your beverage. They also know that eating slowly and in smaller portions can help you metabolize your food more efficiently, digest easily, and simply catch up with your friends and family! Tapas are a great way to serve finger food if you’re throwing a dinner party, but they also make a great meal by themselves if you want to have a tapas dinner with the family. You can even give the kids a little Spanish history or geography lesson as you serve different tapas. The best thing about tapas? These dishes are made to be shared, giving us a great opportunity to taste, sample, and pick our favorite of many small, easy dishes, rather than hovering over one, main dish. If you want to have a tapas night, you can easily make a menu that can help you plan out your meal. Try a menu plan that includes tapas like these:
- Patatas Bravas: Make some fried potato chunks for your own version of patatas bravas. Usually spiced with paprika and served with aioli sauce and ketchup on the side, patatas bravas go well with just about anything and are extremely inexpensive to make.
- Tortilla Espanola: Unlike the tortilla we’re used to in the states, the tortilla espanola is made out of potatoes and egg, for a quiche-like dish. Cut the tortilla into slivers or cubes and serve as a tapa. If you have leftovers, serve tortilla espanola as a wonderful breakfast treat. This tortilla keeps extremely well and tastes even better the next day.
- Croquettes: Cheese. Ham. Fried. These three factors combined give you a wonderful tapa: the croquette. You can make your croquette however you please, but we like ‘em with russet potatoes, ham, and, of course, breadcrumbs for adequate frying.
- Anchovies: Served on top of broiled and crunchy slices of baguettes and drizzled with olive oil, anchovies are extremely common in Spain. While some people hate them, this tapa may just change their minds about anchovies.
- Cheese and Olives: For a foolproof tapa, serve sliced cheeses, like Machego or Idiazabal cheese. You can also serve a bowl of Spanish olives for another no-brainer tapa.
- Chorizo or Jamon Serrano: Sliced meat, much like sliced cheese, makes a wonderfully filling and extremely easy tapa. Sliced chorizo, a spicier Spanish sausage, or jamon serrano, a Spanish ham, could be perfect for the occasion. Slice a baguette and serve it along with your tapas so that your family can make mini sandwiches with jamon serrano and machego cheese, if they please.
With a great tapas meal, you will be surprised at how much family bonding you can do over the right menu plan. Just make sure to plan in advance and find tapas that your family will love, and you’ll surely have a night to remember.