Tapas at mine!
First up, a few pintxos.
A pincho or pintxo (coming from the verb 'pinchar', meaning to pierce) is a small snack, typically eaten in bars in Northern Spain and especially popular in the Basque country. Traditionally pierced with a cocktail stick, to attach it to the piece of bread that they invariably come attached to.
One of my favourites is the most simple - griddled and charred bread, a ciabatta works well, rubbed with a cut garlic clove and then a cherry tomato or tomato pulp, add a generous drizzle of olive oil. Delicious!
On top of this, you can add a thin slice of manchego and some serrano ham, piercing with your cocktail stick to keep it all in place.
Alternatively, stick a slice of goats cheese on the bread and grill for a few minutes with some halved figs, topping the cheese with the figs and a drizzle of oil and balsamic.
Vary the toppings, fish works well, particularly grilled sardines and prawns. Or try quince, ham and blue cheese, or pork with apple and bean puree.
I also like to serve up a selection of cured meats; here we have jamon iberico, serrano and salchichon sausage dressed with roasted red peppers and rocket.
Now, I'm not going to finish there, you have to leave room for dessert of course!
My absolute favourite is a crema catalana, Spain's answer to the French Creme Brulee. The cream is infused with vanilla, cinnamon and (my choice) orange peel, but you can use lemon also. Cornflour is used to thicken then it's left to set in the fridge. Before serving, sprinkle sugar on the top and torch it (or grill if you don't have a cook's blowtorch).
Dinner's at 8... see you later.