I really enjoy a feed of bite sized pieces of flavour punching food (other wise known as Tapas). Its always great to try tapas when out to dinner with friends, as you share all the food, get to taste lots of different things and don’t have to suffer the food envy of someone making a better choice than you!
I have often entertained the idea of making tapas myself at home but it always seemed like a lot of hassle to try a few different dishes for just one meal. However, the other day I was trying to decide what to make for lunch and couldn’t decide between two tasty snack-like dishes, so decided to try them both so we could eat ‘tapas’ style (admittedly, one should make more than two dishes for tapas… but I really couldn’t be bothered trying my hand at more than two).
The two dishes I thought I would try my hand at were Ham & Olive Empanadas and Halloumi fritters. They were both easy to cook (which helps when you are making two dishes simultaneously) but more importantly, they were extremely tasty!
2 hard-boiled eggs
40g stuffed green olives, chopped
95g ham, finely chopped
30g cheddar cheese, grated
3 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Combine eggs with the olives, ham and cheddar in a bowl. Cut puff pastry into 10cm rounds (5 rounds from each sheet). Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into the centre of each round, fold over pastry to enclose the filling and crimp the edges with a fork to seal.
Place the pastries on two baking trays 2cm apart. Brush with egg yolk and bake for 15 minutes, or until brown and puffed. Swap trays around after 10 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if browning too much. Serve hot.
2 medium zucchini
1 medium carrot, grated
1 husk of corn, cooked and cut from the cob
1 onion, grated
250g haloumi cheese, half grated & half in small cubes
1/2 up plain flour
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs chopped mint
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt & Pepper
Coarsely grate the zucchini, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place in a bowl and add the carrot, corn, onion, halloumi, flour, lemon zest, eggs and mint. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Form the mixture into about 25 bite-sized patties and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over over medium heat and fry, in batches until each side is golden. Drain on paper towel and serve the fritters with lemon wedges and a watercress salad.