Chef Kelli's easy Spanish tapas and sangria - New York News

Chef Kelli's easy Spanish tapas and sangria

Posted: Updated:
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

With the weather slowly warming up, it's about time to ditch the heavy comfort foods. Chef Kelli Lewton from 2 Unique Catering and Event Planners has the following suggestions for a fun Spanish tapas party. Learn more about 2 Unique online at www.twounique.com.

Chef Kelli's Sangria
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
1 bottle Spanish red wine
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
4 Tbs. honey
1 cup fruit; diced orange with rind, plum, apple, apple, blackberries, peaches ect… are great)
1 cup sparkling lemon sparkling soda water (add at time of service)

Walnut and Blue Cheese Grape Globes
20 pieces

Ingredients:
6 oz. or about ¾ cup walnuts
6 0z crumbled Cabrales (Spanish blue cheese) or blue of your choice
4 oz. cream cheese
20 large seedless red grapes

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degree. On a sheet tray spread out walnuts and toast in oven for 5-7 minutes, remove cool and chop fine
2. In bowl with electric hand beater or small mixer; mix cream & blue cheese until smooth. Put a heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture into palm of hand and form around grape, drop into finely chopped walnuts, and roll in nuts transfer to tray and repeat.  
3. Once all the grapes are covered and rolled din nuts , place tray in fridge for at least an hour before service to allow get gold and for cheese to firm.  Store for up to 3-4 days.

2 Unique's Wild Mushrooms Empanadas 

Ingredients for dough (or use Danish or puff dough):
½ pound unsalted butter soften
½ pound cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup cornmeal
3 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch salt and cayenne pepper
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Ingredients for the Wild Mushrooms Mixture:
2 medium onions, finely chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms, finely chopped
2 small red bell peppers, finely chopped
1 (6-ounce) piece serrano ham or prosciutto, trimmed and chopped fine
1/3 cup cream Sherry
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, washed, spun dry, and minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
3 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:
1. In a 12-inch heavy skillet set over moderately low heat, cook onions in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in mushrooms and bell peppers and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mixture begins to brown. Add ham and Sherry and cook, stirring, until liquid is evaporated.
2. In a bowl stir together mushroom mixture, parsley, thyme and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cool, uncovered.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
4. On a lightly floured surface roll out 1 piece of dough at a time.  Roll dough to ¼ inch thick and cut with a 4- inch circle cutter to make 20-24 rounds.  
5. Divide filling amongst dough circles.  Close circles by folding in half and pinching together with your fingers or crimping together with the tines of a fork.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
6. Arrange pastries on a parchment lined cookie sheet and brush with egg wash.  Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature. Empanadas may be made 1 day ahead, cooled completely on a rack, and chilled, wrapped in foil. Reheat empanadas, uncovered, on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree F oven until hot, about 6 minutes.

Katie's Giant Chorizo Stuffed Madjool Dates with smoked bacon and piquillo pepper-tomato sauce

Chorizo Sausage gets its unique flavor from Spanish paprika and garlic.  It is served in both Spanish and Mexican cuisine.  In Spain it would be found fermented or smoke but in Mexico it would serve as a fresh sausage.

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh bulk chorizo sausage
2 pound of smoked sliced bacon, blanched
24 Madjool Dates
1 cup piquillo pepper-tomatoes sauce

Method:
1. Blanch bacon: Fill a large saucepan with 2 quarts cold water. Drop the bacon into it. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 6-8 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, and then allow to dry on paper towels.
2. While bacon is blanching cook chorizo over medium heat until cooked through.  Drain off excess fat.
3. Cut a slit in the top of the dates and remove pit.  Stuff ½ tablespoon of chorizo into pitted dates.
4. Wrap dates with blanched bacon until bacon over laps.  Cut off excess bacon with a knife.  Repeat with all dates. Place dates on parchment line baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes.  Brush dates with piquillo pepper sauce and return to oven for 5 minutes.   These may be made in advance and reheated at time of service.

Piquillo Pepper Tomato Sauce or use spicy tomato sauce of your choice, just a quick glaze over dates

Ingredients:
5 ripe plum tomatoes
¾ cups extra virgin olive oil
2 Spanish onion peeled and diced (4 cups)
1 teaspoon sugar
6 oz. ounce can piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers packed in oil, chopped
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. Spanish sweet paprika
1 bay leaf

Method:
1. Cut tomatoes in half.  Place grater over a large bowl and grate tomatoes from the sliced side.  Discard skins.
2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium low heat.  When oil is hot add onions, sugar and salt. Cook stirring occasionally until onions become soft and light golden brown, about 45 minutes.  If onions begin to darken to fast add a little water to keep them from burning.
3. Add tomato puree, peppers, paprika. And bay leaf. Cook for 20 minutes.  
4. Sauce is done when tomatoes and peppers have broken down and deepened in color and the oil has separated from the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Pan Con Tomate Y Jamon Serrono - Spanish bruchetta

Serves 4

Simple tomato toast with ham is the national dish of Catalonia, where you will find it at the start of any good tapas meal!

Ingredients:
4 slices rustic bread
2 ripe tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper to taste
4 thin slices of Serrano ham

Method:
1. Cut tomatoes in half. Using a hand grater over a bowl rub the sliced side of tomatoes into the grater until all the flesh is grated. Discard the skins.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the grated tomatoes and season with salt to taste.
3. Toast the bread in the over or in a toaster
4. Spoon tomato mixture over slices of toast. Place a slice of ham on top of each and drizzle with a little more olive oil.

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