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This is a traditional Spanish tapas that I always order when I’m at a tapas restaurant. I love it so much that I usually have to have my own, so when I make it at home, I make it as a main dish. It’s so simple and quick, that it’s the perfect weeknight dinner. With four ingredients, it doesn’t get any simpler and you really do need to try this.

Spanish Shrimp with Garlic

1 pound shrimp, cleaned

4 cloves garlic, sliced

2 dried whole chilis or chili flakes

3 tablespoons olive oil

Saute the garlic in the olive oil for 30 seconds and add the shrimp. You do not want the garlic to brown yet because it will burn by the time the shrimp is done. I generally keep the heat pretty low to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Cook on one side until they start to turn pink and curl a little. Flip to the other side and cook for another minute. The garlic should be lightly browned and the shrimp just cooked through.

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Seared scallops are one of my favorite things, and I make them a lot. My recent favorite was the scallop crudo I made a couple weeks ago, it was amazingly delicious and will definitely show up on a dinner party menu soon. Today I picked up some at the farmers market, and made a quick lunch. I already had the piquillo pepper sauce left from a previous dinner and some baby spinach that I needed to use.

Seared Scallops over Spinach with Pine Nuts

1/2 pound scallops, dried and seasoned

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 bag baby spinach

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 handful toasted pine nuts

Sear the scallops in a hot pan with half the olive oil. Once they start to brown (about 4 minutes), flip to finish on the other side for another 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the garlic and spinach in the remaining olive oil in another pan. Add the sherry vinegar and some salt to season. Cook for a minute and add the pine nuts. Remove to a plate and arrange the scallops over the top.

Piquillo Pepper Sauce

1 cup piquillo peppers (a spanish sweet red pepper roasted and canned or bottled)

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend. Taste to make sure the seasoning is correct, depending on the amount of salt in your peppers, you may need to add more or less.

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Well, this is really more assembling than cooking, but it’s fantastic. I had this for the first time in San Sebastian, Spain, the home of tapas (or pintxos). The key is the right balance between the goat cheese and the strawberry. It’s also dependent on the quality of your strawberries, so fresh, summer strawberries are perfect. You can toast the bread with some olive oil or just use it fresh.

Goat Cheese and Strawberry Tapas

Baguette, sliced into crostini

6 ounces cana de cabra or bucheron goat cheese, room temperature

5 strawberries, sliced

Spread the goat cheese on the bread slices and top with strawberry slices. You can also toast the crostini with some olive oil or warm once you’ve topped with the goat cheese for a slight variation.

 

 

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