By Chef Ella Freyinger

May 2021

Serves 8-10

While it is high on my list, I have never visited Spain. However, all the places and cultures that I hold dear are rooted in the time spent together in the kitchen and around the table. My favorite meal is not one that you sit down to but one that you meander around. You’re likely not sure when the next delight will arrive, but you know with full confidence that your host is creating magic at every moment with little bites and treats. These 3 tapas are meant to be made and enjoyed together. The creamy and crispy bits of fried batter followed by sweet and spicy are finished with a tangy and briny snack to cut through it all.

Braised Greens Croquettes

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BATTER:
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • ¼ gallon whole milk
  • 1 cup braised greens, strained (see below)
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • All purpose flour, for breading
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs, seasoned with salt
  • Kosher salt
  • Sunflower oil, for frying

Steps

  • FOR THE BATTER
  • Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent and just beginning to brown at the edges. Season with salt and nutmeg. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it is light brown.
  • Once the flour is cooked begin adding milk, ½ cup at a time. This step will take about 15-20 minutes and is completely worth it for melt in your mouth croquettes!
  • Chop the greens into small pieces and add them into the croquette mixture, stirring thoroughly. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Oil a bowl just big enough to fit all of the batter. Add batter to the bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • Shape the batter into 24 balls or logs, whichever shape you prefer.
  • Bread the croquettes by first rolling them in the flour, then egg and lastly breadcrumbs. When I’m craving extra crunch I do a second round through the egg and then the breadcrumbs. All to rest for at least 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • Heat a dutch oven or deep skillet, filled with 2 inches of sunflower oil, over medium-high heat. Once the oil has reached 350* add the croquettes and cook for 5 minutes, turning as they cook, until they are a deep golden brown. Depending on the size of your dutch oven you will need to cook the croquettes in batches.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

"Chorizo" Stuffed Dates

Ingredients

  • FOR THE "CHORIZO"
  • 1 ½ cups toasted walnuts
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • 24 medjool dates
  • Olive oil
  • Flake salt

Steps

  • FOR THE “CHORIZO”
  • Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together. Season with salt, to taste.
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • Remove the pit from each date by slicing lengthwise with a small paring knife, through to the pit. Remove the pit and discard.
  • Into the cavity of each date place a teaspoon or two of the walnut mixture. The amount of mixture will depend on the size of your dates. Gently close the date around the filling.
  • Place on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flake salt.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Olive, Pepper & Anchovy Skewers

Ingredients

  • 24 pitted green Spanish olives, such as manzanilla
  • 24 marinated white anchovy filets
  • 24 pickled cauliflower florets (any delicious pickle will work here!)
  • 24 small skewers

Steps

  • Choose your own adventure! Onto each skewer place an olive, anchovy filet and pickle.
  • Enjoy!