The sun is setting, there's a warm breeze blowing and you've got friends coming over for a casual dinner. Stimulate their senses with a simple Spanish feast that's sure to have everyone talking.
If the thought of entertaining a group of friends is enough to send you running for the bedroom with a tea towel over your head it’s time to take a deep breath. Even if you’re less than your best in the kitchen, hosting a dinner party isn’t an impossible task so if you’ve decided on a summer celebration at your place, we’ve put together a no-fail menu that is sure to impress even the pickiest of partygoers.
So get your flamenco skirt on, sister, because it’s time to create a simple Spanish feast to impress your guests. Just follow these tips and you’ll be hosting your own taverna-inspired celebration in no time.
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Gather your ingredients. You want everything on hand and ready to go so you don’t stress yourself with any last-minute trips to the supermarket.
Bake the cake. Fresh out of the oven cake is great but do you really need that stress when you’ve got a house full of guests? Get it out of the way the day before so if anything goes wrong you have plenty of time to fix it.
Make the polenta chips. Leave the frying to the last minute but do everything else the day before as the polenta needs plenty of time to set.
Chop up all the ingredients you need for the chorizo stew and make the gremolata.
Make the gazpacho and pop it in the fridge ready for your guests when they arrive.
Make the sangria and keep it well chilled in your fridge.
Make the chorizo stew. It only takes 10 minutes so you can serve it up piping hot straight off the stove.
Fry the polenta chips. Keep them crispy in a hot oven on a metal baking tray.
Put everything into a food processor and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, blend with a stick blender in a large jug. Chill in the fridge until it is cold and serve in cold shot glasses.
Put the peaches and the lime into a large jug or punch bowl.
Sprinkle the sugar over and cover with the triple sec. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
Just before serving, add the rose and the sparkling water to the triple sec mixture and stir until combined. Serve in chilled wine glasses or old jam jars.
Saute the onion, the capsicum and the chorizo in the olive oil until browned. Gently stir through the cannellini beans until warmed through. Remove from the heat and place into a large serving bowl.
In a small bowl mix the finely diced garlic, lemon zest, juice, parsley and salt to make a gremolata. Sprinkle this over the chorizo stew right before serving.
Bring the stock to the boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Using a whisk, pour in the polenta and stir constantly until all the polenta is incorprated into the stock. Reduce the heat and continue to stir using a wooden spoon for two minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan.
Spread the polenta mixture into a greased brownie tin and pop it in the fridge to set for a minimum of four hours.
Once the polenta is set, turn it out onto a clean cutting board and using a sharp knife cut it into even chip-sized strips. Fry in a pan of hot oil until golden and dry on some paper towels before serving with lemon wedges and a decent sprinkling of salt.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Grease and line a 20-centimetre springform tin.
Beat the egg yolks and the sugar in a large bowl until thick and pale. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Mix the ground almonds, zest and spices into the egg yolk mixture then very carefully fold through the egg whites until everything is combined.
Pour the mixture into the pre-prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes, covering with foil at 30 minutes if the edges start to brown too much.
When the cake is baked remove it from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin. Gently slide a knife around the edge to loosen it before sliding it onto a serving plate and generously dusting it with icing sugar.
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