Last Thursday, a friend of mine came from Paris with two of his clients for a shopping trip in London. In order to surprise them, he asked me to organise a Cookery Class…. After a few phone calls and quite a lot of emails exchanged we came to a final decision: Tapas Class with a Wine Tasting!
For the wine, I asked my husband to bring me a nice selection from Lea & Sandeman, something original but classic and something tasty but light enough to match with the tasting of 7 different tapas…. What a challenge but he made it….
For the tasty as well as festive part he brought me a Larmandier-Bernier Champagne, a very delicate Blanc de Blancs. Small sparkling bubbles that transform your mouth into a nightclub but become velvet once you swallow them!
As a second choice, he surprised us with a Bolgheri Italian red wine – Le Macchiole – pretty light and very different from the many Chianti and Lambrusco that we are used to be proposed everywhere! It was perfect as a second choice. It did not overwhelm the tapas and left some space for the tastng of the last wine.
Last choice was the white wine, he chose a French one which might look as a classical choice but it was not. It was a Macon Vergisson La Roche 2008 from Burgundy; fresh and mineral…. very refreshing….
While they were enjoying the Champagne bubbles, we’ve been talking about the program of the evening, the importance of choosing products of quality as Tapas is mainly based on it. The point of doing Tapas is that it requires little cooking, last minute presentation for a lot of pleasure! The idea was to discover that pleasure within 7 steps and ” wines…
Here is the list of the Tapas program:
- Pecorino stuffed Dates in a Pancetta Crust
- Sugar Snap Peas sautéed with Chorizo
- Parmesan Sablés with a Sun Blushed Tomato and Green Olives Tapenade
- Skewers of Grilled Halloumi and Marinated Vegetables Ribbons
- Smoked Salmon and Goat’s Cheese Croustades
- Grilled Chicken Skewers with a Sate Dip
- Rose and Raspberry Financiers
Pecorino stuffed Dates in a Pancetta Crust
- 12 Medjool dates unpitied and half sliced
- 12 slices of Pancetta
- 120g of Pecorino
- 12 skewers
Preheat your oven to 200°
Slice your Pecorino about the lenght of the dates but smaller so that it fits in and 1cm wide. Insert each piece in a date.
Roll the date in a Pancetta slice and use a skewer to get everything to hold together.
Place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper or a silicon mat and cook for about 10 minutes until the Pancetta becomes crispy.
Let it cool down for at least 5 minutes. The Pancetta is crusty, the dates and Pecorino are melting in your mouth.
Sugar Snap Peas sautéed with Chorizo
- 200g of fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed, washed and dried
- About 8 cm of mild or spicy Chorizo
- 2-3 spring onions
- Reduced Balsamic Vinegar
Cut into 2 and in the diagonal the sugar snap peas.
Thinly slice the spring onions in the diagonal (about 2mm).
Cut the Chorizo into small sticks about 4cm high and 3-4mm wide.
Heat a pan without oil and sauté the chorizo until it gets crispy. Get rid of the excess of oil but keep some to sauté the sugar snap peas.Cook them 2 to 3 minutes and deglaze them with a little drop of Balsamic.
Place them in small plates and decorate with the spring onions.
Parmesan Sablés with a Sun Blushed Tomato and Green Olives Tapenade
Ingredients for the Sun-blushed Tomatoes and Green Olives Tapenade:
- 120 g of sun-blushed tomatoes
- 100 g of pitted green olives
- 2 tbsp of pine nuts
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 5-6 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
Pour all the ingredients in the bowl of your blender, blend it little by little using the turbo function if you have one. As a result, the tapenade will be grainy.
Taste and adjust the seasoning depending on your preference.
Ingredients for the Sablés:
- 150g cold butter cut into dices
- 200g flour
- 150g ground parmesan
- Freshly ground pepper
Preheat your oven to 200°.
In a large bowl or with the paddle of your Kitchen Aid, work together all the ingredients until you obtain a soft homogenous dough.
Divide it into small balls of the same size and press it at the bottom of your mini molds (1/2 high).
Cook it for 10-15 min depending on the size of the balls.
Let it rest in the mold until completely cooled down.
Once cold, put them on a plate and add a small spoon of tapenade on top.
Decorate with a baby leave of basil.
Skewers of Grilled Halloumi and Marinated Vegetables Ribbons
- 3-4 carots
- 2 courgettes
- Olive Oil
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 slice of Halloumi
- Fresh Herbs
Trim carrots and courgettes and peel the carrots.
With a peeler, cut thin ribbons of carrots and courgettes lenghtways. If you do it in advance, keep them in a bowl of cold water otherwise, the marinade will overcook them and you will loose all their crunchiness.
In a bowl, prepare the marinade: mix together the oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Put the ribbons in it for 15-20 minutes.
While that time, heat a grill and place the Halloumi on it. Press one side then the other in order to have nice golden brown grill marks on each side. Let it rest a few minutes then slice it into cubes about 1cm.
Roughly chop the herbs of your choice (charvil, parsley, basil, mint).
On a toothpick, alternate vegetable ribbons and Halloumi dice (2-3).
Sprinkle herbs on top of it.
Smoked Salmon and Goat’s Cheese Croustades
- 24 croustades
- 2 large slices of smoked salmon
- 200g of fresh goat’s cheese (no rind)
- Freshly grated lemon zest
- Freshly ground pepper
- Dill roughly chopped
In a bowl, crush the goat’s cheese with a fork.
Roughly chop the salmon and add it to the goat’s cheese, mix together and add the lemon zest, pepper and roughly chopped dill. If it’s too dry, add a little lemon juice until it gets softer.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Just before serving*, spoon a small amount of the filling in the croustade and decorate with fresh dill.
* Don’t fill the croustades too much in advance otherwise, they will get soft.
Grilled Chicken Skewers with a Sate Dip
Ingredients for the Chicken:
- 120ml of sunflower oil
- 15ml of dark soy sauce
- 30ml of oyster sauce
- 1/2tsp of ground turmeric
- 2 chicken breasts
Method for the marinade:
In a tall container, pour hot water and put the skewers in it. It will soften the wood and avoid any wooden pieces get stuck in the chicken.
Get rid of any excess of fat or bones then slice the chicken breasts lenghtways within pieces 2-3cm wide.
In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients of the marinade, then put the chicken breast pieces in it and get them well coated. Turmeric has a strong power of coloration. If the bowl has a lid, just check it carefully otherwise, you can wear chicken gloves. Let them rest at least 1/2hour.
Ingredients for the Sate sauce:
- 90ml of creamy coconut milk
- 1tsp Thai red curry paste
- 2 tbsp of ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp of caster sugar
- 1 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter
- Salt and pepper
Method for the Sate sauce:
In a small pan, bring to a boil the coconut milk then incorporate the red curry paste and give it a good whisk to get it dissolved.
Reduce the heat and add the turmeric, sugar, peanut butter, salt and pepper. Taste and add some more curry paste, sugar or peanut butter depending on your own taste.
Method for the skewers:
Pin each chicken stripes at the end of the skewer. Do not compress it as it has to grill homogeneously.
Pour a little oil on a very hot plancha or large frying pan and cook the skewers 2-3min on each side in order to have a nice golden brown coloration. If the pieces are too wide to get it cooked within that time, you can finish their cooking in an oven at 150°. In that case, cover them with the rest of the marinade and a piece of foil paper. It will keep them moist.
Just before serving, reheat the Sate sauce and give it a good whisk before pouring it in a bowl.
Place the skewers on a servind plate with the bowl next to it.
You can sprinkle some crushed roasted peanuts on top.
Rose and Raspberry Financiers
Ingredients: for 18 Financiers
- 170g of butter
- 120 g almond powder
- 140 g icing sugar
- 40 g flour
- 4 white eggs
- 1 tbsp of rose essence
- 18 raspberries fresh or frozen
Preheat your oven to 150°
Put the butter in a pan and melt it until it gets a hazelnut color…. don’t let it burn!
Mix well together the almond, flour, icing sugar and egg whites.
Pour the butter in the mix and keep on whisking.
Add the rose essence.
Pour the mix in your mold (silicon is better as you don’t need to fight to get the cakes out of it!) and press a raspberry in the center of each case.
Cook it for about 15′ until it gets a nice golden color.
Let them cool down on a rack and enjoy….