3 montaditos trayIt’s summer so keep life easy.   If you’re going camping and want to pull out a tapas array that’s ready to eat, this newsletter is for you.   If friends or family are coming over, make these recipes in advance and spend your time enjoying the guests. These recipes are just the beginning; the pictures provide ideas and inspiration for making additional combinations.  To make it even simpler, we’ve paired each recipe with a delicious wine, so keep reading!   (All ingredients marked * are available at Paris-Madrid Grocery; and the wines are all in stock.)

Montaditos with Alioli, Piquillo Peppers and Sardines  Makes 12 Montaditos
Montaditos are open-face sandwiches that can be put together quickly if ingredients are sliced and chopped in advance.

3 – 3 oz Tins Matiz Sardinillas (small sardines)*
6 Piquillo Peppers, cut in half*
12 slices Bread (ovals 3 inches, or so, wide will fit best under the piquillos)
12 Tablespoons Alioli (garlic Mayonnaise)*
2 Tablespoons     Chopped parsley
3 hard boiled eggs

Drain sardines in colander.   Spread 1 Tablespoon of Alioli on each slice of bread.
Then lay a half slice of piquillo pepper on top of each.   Put one sardine on top of piquillo pepper.
Grate the hard-boiled egg over each sardine and finish each montadito with a garnish of chopped parsley.
Pair with Armas de Guerra Rosado

armasArmas de Guerra rosado Mencia, Bierzo 2020 ($12.99)  Made from 100% Mencia, this comes from Bierzo in Northwestern Spain and is a favorite here at the shop.  Bright and dry with hints of road dust and mineral.  It offers up freshness and notes of strawberry, from vines over 55 years old, grown at 1722 feet in elevation.   Very light and delicate on the palate.

Octopus SalpiconSalpicon (Chopped pepper and tomato salad with octopus and olives)  6 servings
Depending on the inclination of the cook, the seafood can range from surimi crab chunks, to canned mussels escabeche to freshly caught shrimp.  If ripe or heirloom vegetables are used, the flavors will be sublime.

1 large Red bell pepper
½ English Cucumber
1 large Yellow Tomato
1 large Red Tomato
¼ cup Green onion, chopped
1/3 cup Pitted Spanish green olives, chopped*
Two – 4 oz tins Albo brand Octopus*
pinch Fine Sea salt*
2 tablespoons Sherry Wine Vinegar*
2 tablespoons Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil*

Chop the vegetables to a uniform size.
Match the chop size to the seafood, finer for baby shrimp, larger for mussels or octopus.
Mix vegetables and seafood together and add salt.
Toss with vinegar and olive oil.  Adjust seasonings to taste.
Pair with Aizpurua Txakolina

aizpuruaBodega Aizpurua Txakolina, Getariako 2020 ($20.99) A vivacious white wine such as Txakoli is a perfect match for salpicon.  Airpurua is made by a small, family-owned and operated winery that has been operating for over 100 years along Spain’s historic Camino de Santiago.  Grapes are organically grown on a 14 hectare plot, fermented with native yeasts and aged in stainless steel tanks.  A classic Txakoli, Aizpurua offers up incredible freshness, zippy acidity and characteristic slight effervescence.  Bone dry, clean and approachable with ample tart fruit and an exciting mouth-feel, this wine has a quality of the briny sea and is perfect with many types of fresh shellfish, however can also pair beautifully with, and cut right through rich and hearty meats.

piquillos stuffed with mackerelPiquillo Peppers stuffed with mackerel salad    Makes 12 tapas:

1 jar Whole Piquillo Peppers, drained*
Two – 4.4 oz tins  Cole’s brand Wild Mackerel packed in Olive Oil, drained*
12 Lemon stuffed olives, chopped*
4 Tablespoons Capers*
½ teaspoon Sherry Vinegar*
⅓ cup Mayonnaise
1 bunch Chives or Parsley

Mix the stuffing ingredients together.
Drain the piquillo peppers, then holding them point down in the circle formed with your thumb and forefinger, use a small spoon to fill them with the stuffing mixture.   With kitchen shears, snip the chives into small pieces and use to garnish the top of the stuffed peppers.
Variation:   For extra depth, substitute anchovy-filled olives for the lemon-stuffed olives.
Pair with Vinho Verde

alr vinho verdeALR Vinho Verde 2019 ($15.99) Vinho Verde nomenclature is confusing as it covers two very different styles of wine, both called Vinho Verde.  The high-volume, easy-to-drink wines typically sold for less than $10.00 with a bit of sweetness and a signature spritz from added CO2 are called Vinho Verdes.  But there is also a world of small producers making dry, complex white wines in the Vinho Verde region.  ALR wines fall into the second category.  The 2019 ALR is made from biodynamically grown indigenous varietals – Loureiro (60%), Avesso (30%), Arinto (5%) and Azal (5%).   It is a single vineyard wine and the grapes are grown in granitic soils located 8 km from the Atlantic ocean. It  ferments in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts.  Light-weight, it clocks in at just 10.5% alcohol so it’s perfect for daytime picnics or warm evenings.  Very dry and food-friendly, with an undertone of petrol and honeyed, lime notes.  The slate notes and brilliant acidity makes it quite Riesling-like with a gorgeous persistence and vitality.   It delivers a fresh, saline edge and feathery weight.  This is a still wine with no spritz and no added CO2.   This style of vinho verde deserves greater recognition!

Bocadillo Pata NegraMontadito with Jamón Serrano and Roasted Peppers  Makes 18 Montaditos

1 jar P. Listo Wood-Roasted Red Pepper Strips*
18 thin slices Baguette*
9 slices (4 oz) Jamon Serrano*
18 Tablespoons Romesco Sauce (from jar or freshly made)*

Cut Jamon Serrano slices in half.
Spread 1 Tablespoon Romesco Sauce on each slice of baguette.
Lay a half slice of Jamon Serrano on top of each baguette.
Top with several slices of red pepper as desired.  Secure it together with toothpicks.
Variation:  Substitute slices of cheese for the roasted peppers to make a tidier dish.
Pair with Deutz Brut Champagne or Esporao Tinto Reserva

Deutz Brut ChampagneNV Deutz Brut Champagne Tradition SALE – $38.00 (Normal price – $50.00)  Pairing Champagne with this tapas elevates it to a special meal, and Champagne pairs well with almost any dish.  “Apple blossom and graphite aromas lace flavors of Asian pear, blanched almond and lemon curd in this sleek Champagne. Fresh and linear, with a fine, creamy mousse. Drink now through 2023.”    Wine Spectator, 91 Points

Esporao ReservaEsporão Tinto Reserva 2017, Alentejo Portugal ($22.99)  This is a great choice if you’re in the mood for a red wine to pair with this recipe.  Esporão Reserva is one of the best red wine values in our shop.  With a bouquet of ripe red and blueberry fruit, it shows balsamic hints. Coffee, black pepper spice, and faint toasted notes add complexity.  In the mouth, it is intense, bright, and flavorful, showing finesse and excellent balance.  Structured and robust tannins have hints of cedar from the barrels.  The finish is focused and dry with mineral notes.   Delicious!    Blend: Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez (Tempranillo), Trincadeira and Cabernet Sauvignon aged 12 months in oak.

Ferrer Romesco SauceRomesco is a Catalan sauce of tomatoes, red ñora peppers, garlic, vinegar and hazelnuts or almonds with stale bread as a thickener.  It is one of those sauces of infinite variation with every cook having different proportions and variations on the ingredients.

4-5 Dried Ñora peppers, re-hydrated with boiling water*
2 tablespoons Olive oil for frying*
1 slice (½ cup) Stale Bread
1 clove Garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Coarse sea salt*
¼ cup Blanched Marcona Almonds*
1 Tomato, Peeled and seeded.   (Roasting the tomato adds depth).
1 sprig Parsley (optional)
1 tablespoon Red Wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (optional)*
4 tablespoon Reserved liquid from ñoras
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil  (if needed)*

Break ñoras in half and cover with boiling water.  Allow to steep for half an hour.
Reserving the liquid, remove stems and seeds saving flesh and skin.
Fry nuts in olive oil until brown, remove with slotted spoon.
Fry bread in olive oil adding more if needed.
Put garlic and salt in a mortar and blend together with a pestle or put them in food processor and give it a couple of bursts.
Add cooled nuts with bread and grind.
Add ñora and blend in.
If using tomato, blend it in now.
If using parsley, add it now.
Season with a splash of vinegar.  If serving with vegetables, go a little heavier on the vinegar.  If using with fish, use a lighter hand or omit.
If too thick, add a splash of extra virgin olive oil.
Use Romesco as a spread on bread, with seafood, cheese, meat or vegetables layered on top.  It is delicious served on the side with grilled shellfish or vegetables.