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Help with Spanish themed meal

I am hosting 6 of us for a wine tasting/Spanish meal. I am not familiar with cooking Spanish food and our fresh seafood is severely lacking.

I really have no clue about Spanish food, but have some ideas here for what I want to serve:

nibbles: (I have a hunk of manchego that needs to get used up? Have made manchego/chorizo puffs in past, could do that again)

appetizer: seafood??? I would love to do clams or mussels, I may be able to order them in at my grocery store. OR should I do a salad here?

soup: chilled or hot almond soup (I need a recipe)

main: meat (chicken or beef, lamb or veal is a potential, but maybe too expensive), what starch/veg to serve?

dessert: I have no clue? Maybe a flan?

Once I have the menu, I will work on wine pairings.

definitely want to make as much ahead as possible.

NO olives, legumes, artichokes, avocado or eggplant

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  1. How about a paella, one pan wonder.

    1 Reply
    1. re: treb

      I did consider paella, but one of the guests makes paella every year for New Years, so felt it might be a little close to that. Also again, the problem with fresh seafood. Doubt I could even get squid. I suppose I could just do sausage, chicken and shrimp though.

      If I go this route, should I go salad instead of seafood app?

      1. re: Nunzio

        Pernil is a Puerto Rican dish - not so much a Spanish dish.

      2. tortilla espanola is a great starch side for a spanish menu. also makes a good main course for vegetarians. eggs, potatoes and sometimes onions. easy and can be done ahead. i serve it with romesco sauce (roasted peppers, sherry vinegar, hazelnuts or almonds). googling will get you tons of recipe variations on these simple spanish staples..

        1 Reply
        1. re: chez cherie

          Recently spent about ten days in Barcelona an tortilla espanola was a fave. And, as you mention, it can be served at room temp which for me is a plus.

        2. Look for ajo blanco recipes for your almond soup.
          Also I think pisto manchego would be a good side dish.
          Pollo al ajillo is decent if you want chicken. Breaded beef round steak would go well if you want beef.

          Dessert, there are lots of nice cakes. I like torta de Santiago served slightly warm.

          Don't bother with the tarts for nibble. Just put out the manchego with some membrillo and dried chrorizo.

          1. Garlic shrimp is a very traditional app.

            We do a lot of chicken braised with chourico or ham, braised rabbit is also popular. Salt cod casserole with potatoes is very traditional as is the potato tortilla.

            Flan is one of the more traditional desserts. There are also many almond or citrus based cakes made.