Meatless Monday: Tapas and Sangria Edition

This absolutely lush weather has made me start craving tapas and their best friend (and a close one of mine as well) sangria. Now, my all time best sangria was made a couple years back in Palm Springs using some Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joes, but I will try to recreate it here for you sans Chuck. There are so many traditional tapas you can make that are meatless, and here I'm going to give you two of my favorites. Patatas Bravas

The traditional patatas bravas are a little on the spicy side, which I love, but if you're making them for kids just leave out the spice. We like to make two batches of sauce, one spicy and one non and serve them on the side. The kids think being able to eat anything using toothpicks is pretty amazing so we let them stick one in each potato.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large Russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha (more or less depending on taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil for frying

For the sauce: In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is soft. Turn off the heat, and add the paprika, sriracha, and thyme, stirring well. Transfer to a bowl and add the ketchup and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the potatoes: Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt and pepper. In a large skillet fry the potatoes in 1 cup of olive oil until cooked through and golden brown, stirring occasionally. (Be careful when adding the potatoes to the saucepan because the oil will splatter due to the salt). Drain the potatoes on paper towels, check the seasoning, add more salt if necessary, and set it aside. Mix the potatoes with the sauce immediately before serving to ensure that the potatoes stay crispy. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm.

Tomato Bread

This recipe seriously could not be any easier and probably shouldn't even be called a "recipe", but this is a great one to have the kids make all on their own (once everything is sliced of course), plus they just love it. We always grow our own tomatoes and the kids go nuts over being able to eat something they've grown themselves.

  • rustic-style bread (baguettes work best)
  • 2 large, round, ripe tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

First, cut pieces of the baguette about 4-5 inches long. Then, slice the pieces horizontally, as you would when making a sub sandwich. Toast the slices lightly on both sides. Peel the garlic cloves and slice a bit off the ends and rub the cut ends over each slice of bread. The cloves will eventually wear down after being rubbed against the toasted bread and you will end up with stubby little pieces that are impossible to hold. Slice the ripe tomatoes in half across the middle. Then, using the tomato half, rub the cut side of the tomato generously onto each slice. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over slice of bread. Add salt to taste.

Now for the really fun part, the sangria! I prefer white wine sangria, and this recipe is really easy to whip up.

  • 1 bottle dry white wine I like to use a Vinho Verde but you can easily use a Pinot Grigio instead
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 10 strawberries, thickly sliced (you can also use raspberries here if you prefer)
  • orange and lime slices
  • 1 1/2 cups sparkling sweet cider (or use hard cider for some extra punch)

In a large glass pitcher, combine the first five ingredients and set aside for at least 15 minutes. You can make this up the night before and let is chill overnight too. Just before serving, add the sparking cider and some ice. Stir well and serve immediately. More into a red sangria? Click here for a great recipe using red.