Going out for tapas is, without the shadow of a doubt, one of the most deep-rooted customs in our country. It has become a real visitor attraction as tourists seek out a different gastro-experience.
There are many versions of the origin of tapas. Some people state that Alfonso X “el Sabio” (the wise one) declared that the Castilian taverns, could not serve wine if it was not accompanied by something to eat, so that the alcohol did not go to the patrons’ heads. The food that was served – generally a slice of ham, a few rounds of chorizo or other cured meat, or a chunk of cheese – was placed on the top of the wine jug or glass, thereby explaining its name, as ‘tapa’ means ‘lid’.
Others tell that it was Alfonso XIII, on a visit to the area around Cadiz who, on his way back to the palace, stopped off at Ventorrillo del Chato, between Cadiz and San Fernando. The monarch asked for a glass of Jerez sherry and the waiter served it covered with a slice of ham to stop sand from the beach getting into the wine. When the king took a sip, he asked in surprise: “What’s this?” And the waiter answered, “Forgive my audacity your Majesty, I put a lid on it so that sand didn’t get into the glass.” Alfonso XIII ate the slice of ham and asked for another Jerez but “with the same kind of lid”. Everyone laughed at the royal ingeniousness and copied the king by asking for the same thing. No matter how it happened, tapas and ham are now an inseparable duo.
At La estrella del jamón, we believe that the best ham tapas is simply a good plate of ham with a knife. However, we would not say no to a delicious plate of ‘broken’ fried eggs with ham or some tasty croquettes. As we’ve already talked about these classics from our cuisine, today we’re going to show you three different tapas that we think you’ll love.
Volcano of figs, foie and PDO Teruel ham
- 4 ripe figs
- 50 g micuit
- 4 slices of PDO Teruel ham.
Wash the figs, cut off the top and empty out some of the flesh with a spoon (you can keep the insides to make a tasty vinaigrette).
Put a little micuit inside the fig, cover it with a small slice of PDO Teruel ham and put it in the oven under the grill, until the ham fat turns transparent. It’s a whole world of contrasts.
Decorate it with a Pedro Ximenez reduction.
Tomato and ham French toast
- Bread for making French toast (consistent crumb and soft crust).
- Blended tomato.
- Grain-fed Iberian ham.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Sherry vinegar
Spread the blended tomato over a tray and soak the slices of bread in it properly – 15 minutes either side should be enough.
Heat a grill and when it is hot enough, toast the slices for 3 or 4 minutes either side until the tomato on the outside browns a little.
On the other hand, dress the rocket with a little extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar and put it on your French toast. Cover it with plenty of ham and it’s ready to eat. Doubtlessly, not your everyday French toast.
Serrano Ham and scallop skewer
Ingredients (for 4 skewers):
- 4 scallops
- 2 slices of Serrano Ham.
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 6 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil.
- 4 springs of chives.
- Lime juice
- Salt and pepper
Separate the coral from the scallop medallion and put to one side. Make a couple of cuts in the medallions, season and macerate them for half an hour in a mixture of honey and extra virgin olive oil.
In a frying pan at high heat, cook the medallions and the coral for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the chopped chives and a few drops of lime juice to the mixture used to macerate the scallops and blend it.
Cut the Serrano Ham into strips and assemble the skewers as follows: ham, scallop, ham (folding the slice), coral and ham again.
Serve it seasoned with the honey, chive and lime sauce. Enjoy this surf and turf skewer!
We hope you like these three tapas that, while they don’t exactly follow the principle of covering a glass of wine, are bound to please even the most demanding palates.