Monday, September 7, 2009

Spanish Inspired Appetizer Platter




My Spanish inspired appetizer plate is super quick and can be served for your next Tapas party. Simply put your favorite crackers on a large platter along with Manchego Cheese, Marcona Almonds, Fig Cake and Quince Jam. All of the flavors compliment each other incredibly well. Serve with Sangria or your favorite Spanish wine.

Manchego cheese is a sheep’s milk cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain. Manchego is aged for three months or longer, and is semi-firm with a rich golden color and small holes. It ranges from mild to sharp, depending on how long it is aged. Let’s is sit out for about 30 minutes prior to your guests arriving; the flavors fully develop when it is not cold.

The Fig Cake was purchased from Whole Foods Market. It is a rich, dense and extremely tasty addition to your cheese platter regardless if you are having a Spanish theme. It is best at room temperature and pre-sliced to make it easy for your guests to enjoy.

Went to a popular fruit stand on highway 121 in Sonoma. From the road it looks like all they sell is fruit, but once you go inside, there is so much more. The selection of jams is wonderful. Picked up a Quince Jam made by Casa Giulia. Thought this would be a wonderful addition to the other flavors. Quince’s roots lie between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, a mountainous region called the Causasus that touches northern Turkey and Iran as well as Southern Georgia. The quince is not as shiny as an apple or as brilliant as a persimmon, but rather a cross between an apple and a pear. Since it is hard and produces natural pectin when cooked, it is ideal for jams and preserves.

Marcona almonds, native to Spain, are traditionally served after being lightly fried in oil and dusted with salt. These large, flat almonds are more crunchy and flavorful than the normal American kind. They are smoother and juicier with an incomparably sweet delicate taste.

1 comment:

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