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Old 08-15-2008, 09:11 PM   #1
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Paella dinner - what goes with it?

Hi, all. DH and I are having two couples over for dinner tomorrow night and I'm making paella and sangria. I need some ideas for Spanish-inspired appetizers and dessert. Thanks
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:58 PM   #2
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How about Tapas? There are many recipes out there for these little appetizers and they are very tasty! Also a nice crisp salad to clear the palate.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:59 PM   #3
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Authentic Spanish Recipes and Customer Favorites from LaTienda.com Try this link. It has lots of Spanish recipes from appetizers to desserts.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:18 PM   #4
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How about a little Hungarian Tapas (um....that would be ME)

How about a little gazpacho in cucumber cups? Or just a bowl will do too!

Or some Spanish prosciutto (Italian is fine also) wrapped around some cantelope?

Right now I have acid reflux so even looking at recipes is "bothersome" - here is a link that may or may not be of use. Can't really look at it Sorry!
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Old 08-16-2008, 02:31 AM   #5
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Tapas Recipes, Small Plates and Spanish Cooking Ideas: Parties: Party Ideas: Food Network
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:54 AM   #6
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Oo! GREAT link, i.c.

I love tapas and the problem I always have is deciding what to leave out. I always make way too many dishes.

Lee
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:58 AM   #7
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Thanks for the ideas. I found a recipe for serrano ham-wrapped melon balls marinated in sherry vinegar, lemon juice and a few other things that sounds perfect for an appetizer. And I think I'm going to take it easy on dessert and buy a pound cake from a local bakery. Maybe a lemon pound cake and make mint sauce.
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:30 AM   #8
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The last time I made a big paella dinner I kept it pretty simple. Margheritas with tortilla chips, salsa, & guacamole; followed by Gazpacho with lots of different add-your-own toppings; pitchers of both white & red Sangria; the Paella & a big green salad. Dessert was homemade flan in individual custard cups that I unmolded on dessert plates.

Both the Gazpacho & the Flan were made the day before, so I only had the Paella, salad, drinks, & dips to contend with on dinner day.
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:37 AM   #9
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Hey, Breezy, that does sound good Unfortunately, gazpacho is not a favorite of mine - I'm not crazy about the flavors of raw garlic, onion and peppers. I have several heirloom tomatoes from the garden and, although it's not really "Spanish," I'm going to make this tomato salad I saw this morning on Jamie Oliver's show: Recipes : The Mothership Tomato Salad : Food Network, using sherry vinegar.
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:51 AM   #10
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GG - I do something VERY similar with tomatoes except I add roasted shallots to mine. The roasted shallots add a really nice sweetness to the dish.

Sounds like everything is coming together!!! I agree with using Sherry vinegar - it's good stuff!
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:59 AM   #11
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I agree with using Sherry vinegar - it's good stuff!
Sherry vin is one my favorites to use. It has such a clean flavor that is much more versatile than balsamic, yet it isn't so acidic like something like white wine vin. Sherry, Banyuls, Rice Wine, and Balsamic are probably the four vinegars that get the most usage by me.

GG, another type of cuisine which would go well with your theme would be Basque cuisine. Do a search on it and you'lll probably find some recipes that would appeal to you.
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Old 08-16-2008, 11:21 AM   #12
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Or some Spanish prosciutto (Italian is fine also) wrapped around some cantelope?
One day I had the best prosciutto at the most heavenly store but I didn't buy it as it was $129 a pound. The one I tasted it with and I enjoyed it soooo much............now go take a prilosec
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I love tapas I always make way too many dishes.Lee
There's no such thing as too much of a good thing
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Hi, all. DH and I are having two couples over for dinner tomorrow night and I'm making paella and sangria. I need some ideas for Spanish-inspired appetizers and dessert. Thanks

How bout starting with a little tapa salad.
I love those little frozen bags of seafood medleys. They're small and cook up in seconds.
They probably only hold about 1 cup worth total.
Arugula on a plate tossed with spanish olive oil and a good sherry vinegar with salt and pepper, as the base and quick fry up that defrosted packet. Make sure it's not wet, wouldn't hurt to open package and place on strainer before dropping in fat. The one I got yesterday contains: squid/shrimp/crab/lobster/clams/octopus/salmon/halibut. Lightly toss in seasoned flour, pat off excess, drop in a heated nonstick skillet with butter and olive <but not much of either, you're just barely dropping in the skillet getting color, cooking it through, it won't take more than about 2 minutes total [don't over cook or you'll end up with rubbery pieces that are hard to chew] then drop on salad. Eat/serve as soon as it's done and top with fresh lemon zest, shards of parm cheese and specialty spanish olives from your supermarket deli section.
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Old 08-16-2008, 11:32 AM   #13
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That was some awesome prosciutto, wasn't it? So very dark and rich!!!

OH - thanks for the reminder to take a Prilosec - - going right now!
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:11 PM   #14
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All of it sounds wonderful. I wouldn't know where to begin and when to stop. I'm sure your affair will be perfect.
Enjoy!


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Old 08-16-2008, 12:36 PM   #15
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You really don't need much! a couple of my favorites:

Alcachofas con jamon... canned artichoke hearts wrapped with Serrano ham
Grilled bread with sautéed mushrooms on...

serve with a glass of Cava (Spanish Sparkling wine -- yummy and very reasonably priced)

dessert? the only REAL Spanish desserts are fresh fruit or flan.

I like to end a Spanish meal with a cordial glass of Licore 43, a delicious (imho) Spanish liqueur.
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:03 PM   #16
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I'm just remembering this thread and wondering how your dinner went and what you wound up serving for appetizers.
Any pics?

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Old 08-22-2008, 05:40 PM   #17
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Hey, quicksilver. It went great - I didn't see most of these suggestions, since they were posted the day of, and I was cleaning and then out shopping all morning, and cooking most of the afternoon.

For an appetizer, I marinated canteloupe balls in sherry vinegar, olive oil, one sliced hot red pepper, and S&P, then topped them with pieces of prosciutto (couldn't find serrano ham) - a combo of KitchenElf's suggestion and something I found on the La Tienda site. They were a hit

Then I made the tomato salad as I mentioned above, and we had the paella with shrimp, lobster and clams (mussels were only available in 3-lb. bags, so I didn't get any and doubled the clams). Then I took it easy and asked a friend to bring dessert - she brought lemon-poppyseed cake and rocky road ice cream.

I have enough of the basic ingredients (saffron, Spanish short-grain rice, olive oil) left to make another batch, so I'll incorporate more of these ideas next time. Thanks so much, everyone, for your suggestions

The only pic I got is of the paella:
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Old 08-23-2008, 11:34 PM   #18
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about saffron, does anyone really think it's worth that much per little tiny container? I used mine, think it was like $45 in the cutsie little glass bobble it came in, a couple of times this month. either my mouth is dead or it's just not that amazing of a flavor. just my 2¢
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:53 PM   #19
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bump.

whenever we eat in fairly authentic spanish/portugese joints, the appy we order is always shrimp barely cooked in salted garlic oil, grilled octopus legs (also in a garlic oil, but not swimming in it like the shrimp) drizzled with a bit of reduced (syrupy) vinegar, and paella is always served with a side of freshly made potato chips rounds, which are slightly "meatier" than regular potato chips or crisps, but not quite french fries.

yeah, i'm jonesin' for a trip down to the ironbound section of newark - the best spanish/portugese food west of the azores.
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:11 PM   #20
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I usually do gazpacho as a first course (can be made the night before the meal if you are pushed for time on the day) and, if you really must, you could serve a green salad with the paella.There's such a variety of "bits" in paella that it doesn't really need a lot of fussy accompaniments.

As it's pretty filling, something light and refreshing that you can make ahead of time for dessert such as ice cream or fruit salad (with cream if required) or even just a platter of fresh fruit - melon, water melon, grapes, mango, peaches, apricots - whatever is in season. Paella requires most of your attention immediately before serving so you don't want to get snarled up with complicated dessert prep at the same time.

I don't usually bother with a cheese course when I do paella but you could hunt out some Spanish cheeses if you wanted to serve cheese.
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