Spanish Paella Dinner Menu - Menu and Recipes

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Tapas - What are Spanish Tapas:

"Taoeo" is a term used to describe the Spanish tradition of going out before lunch or dinner to mingle with friends while drinking an aperitif, and sharpening the appetite for the main meal ahead by choosing from the myriad of tempting appetizers (tapas) on offer in the bars throughout Spain.

The art of tapeo represents the perfect marriage between food and drink, because, unlike the more well known concept of food supplemented by good wine, in the case of the art of tapeo, it is not the wine which lubricated the ingestion of good food, but quite the contrary; it is the food which really acts as an accompaniment to the series of sips of good wine.

By Alicia Rios, from On Fasting and Feasting - A Personal Collection of Favourite Writings On Food and Eating, by Alan Davidson, 1988.


Tapas: the delicious little dishes of Spain, consumed with great gusto at bars and taverns before lunch and again before dinner, have been a tradition in Spain for as long as anyone can remember.

The Origin of Tapas: Sherry, in fact, is probably responsible for the development of the tapas tradition in Spain. Tapas as a way of life, most generally agree, go back to the nineteenth century and began in Andalucia, where all Spanish sherry is made. Sherry is not considered appropriate as a dinner accompaniment because of its strength (over 18 percent alcohol)...

Originally the tapa was a slice of cured ham or chorizo sausage placed over the mouth of the wine glass (some say this was to keep flies out of the drinks) and served compliments of the house.

The verb "tapar" means "to cover"; thus the origin of the word "tapa." Since these meats were salty, they produced thirst, and smart tavern owners embraced the tapa as a means to increase their wine sales.

By Penelope Casas, from Tapas - The Little Dishes of Spain, 1985.


Food Safety Pages. Check them out!

Buffet and Party Safety
Also includes what to do if your guests have been delayed at least an hour

Golden Rules of Food Safety
IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT! If you have any question in your mind about the freshness or safety of eating a food product, throw it out. It is better to be safe than sorry!

Summer Safety Tips
Summer is the time for barbecues and picnics. The biggest party crasher at summer picnic and buffets is food borne bacteria. You can't see them and you can't taste them, but you sure can feel them if illness occurs hours or days later.

Check out all of Linda's wonderful Dinner Party Menus (includes recipes)

Check out Dining Etiquette Guide - Restaurant and Dinner Party Manners and Etiquette.

Appetizer Recipes (Hors d' oeuvres, Starters, Amuse-Bouche, & Snacks)

Appetizer Hints
How many appetizers to make for your party?

Check out more of Linda's delicious Fish and Seafood Recipes


Spanish Paella Dinner

Read about our travels and culinary adventures through Andalusia, Spain: Travels in Andalusia, Spain.
This Spanish Paella Dinner Menu was based on the delicious foods we enjoyed in the cities of Andalusia.

Pepe's Spanish Sangaria
Pepe's Secret Spanish Sangria Recipe

Summer Sangria - Red Wine Sangria
Red Wine Sangria

Fresh fruit and wine combine to create the perfect beverage for warm summer get-togethers. Sangria is a refreshing drink that is simple to make and yet elegant enough for any occasion.

Depending on the ingredients used, sangria can be a light thirst-quencher or a potent cocktail that can set heads spinning. Adjust the amounts of liquor according to mood and your guests.


First Course - Tapas

Tapas are Spanish-style small bites. They are great for a relaxed and informal dinner party. According to how many dinner guests you will be serving, will determine how many tapas to serve. Serve enough for everyone to be able to sample each tapa. Remember that tapas are to be considered appetizers and not a main course. Or more information on tapas, see the left column on this page.

Tortilla Espanola - Spanish Potato Omelet
Spanish Potato Omelet
(Tortilla Espanola)
The Spanish omelets is, without a doubt, Spain's most commonly served dish. It is a favorite appetizer served in Spanish cafes and bars. It can also be eaten at breakfast or as a light supper.


Spanish Tomato Toast
(Pan con Tomate),
This simple but delightful combination of toasted bread and tomatoes is a classic Catalan tapa served before the meal. In every village and restaurant in Spain, they make this simple tapa.


steamed clams
Spanish-Style Steamed Clams
What could be easier to make and more delicious than steamed clams with butter? I can't think of anything else!



Spanish Marinated Olives
Andalusian Marinated Green Olives
Fragrant with herbs and spices, these olive are fantastic! Olives are a typical appetizer and partner particularly well with a glass of chilled dry sherry, which also comes from Andalusia.

Fried Eggplant with Molasses (Berenjena Frita con Miel de Cana)
This Fried Eggplant with Molasses Tapa recipe is from Andalucia (southern Spain). The combination of savory and sweet in this tapa recipe is sensational!


Mini Meatballs in Saffron
Spanish Mini Meatballs in Saffron Sauce
(Albondigitas al azafran)
These tiny meatballs in a wonderful sauce of saffron with a last minute punch of garlic will surely enhance uour tapa party. Everyone loves these meatballs and will beg you to make more "next" time.


Spanish potato salad
Spanish Potatoes in Garlic Mayonnaise
(Patatas Alioli)
Spanish Potatoes in Garlic Mayonnaise is another very popular Tapa at bars in Spain. This tapa is often served compliments of the house when you order a drink.

Fresh Figs with Fleur de Sel, Aged Balsamic, & Hazelnuts
Fresh Figs with Fleur de Sel, Aged Balsamic, and Hazelnuts
The syrupy twang of good aged balsamic vinegar and the gently floral flavor of fleur de sel meld with the juicy interior of the opened figs. And the toasted hazelnuts layer a faint autumnal smokiness over the whole thing.




Second Course - Soup

Spanish Gazpacho Soup
(Serve in a small dish or cup)
A light, cool, refreshing soup from Spain. The Spanish call Gazpacho "salad." However, to an American it is a soup. Spanish Gazpacho is a cold tomato-based raw vegetable soup, originating in the southern region of Andalusia in Spain.

Third Course - Main Course

Seafood Paella
Spanish Mixed Paella
(Paella de Mar y Montaņa)
Spanish paella is a spectacular dish with a rich history. It originates from a region of Spain called Valencia, which is in Eastern Spain. Today, paella can be found in most seaport cities of Spain. Every Spanish cook claims to make the best paella in the country.


Shrimp Paella
The amounts of the ingredients are relative when making Paella and it does not matter if you use more of one and less of another or chose not to use some at all. The vital thing is the preparation of the rice so that it comes out loose.


Fourth Course - Dessert

large Orange Flan
Spanish Orange Flan
(Flan an de Narajanan)
A very light and tasty custard to end the meal. Flan may be prepared in a large flan dish or in individual ramekins.


Churros with Chocolate
Churros with Chocolate
(Churros con Chocolate)
Churros are coil-shaped, fritter-like pastries that are eaten plain or covered with cinnamon and sugar. When prepared, they should be crisp and have a lovely golden-brown color, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. If you have never tried a fresh and crispy churro that has been dipped in thick hot cocoa, then you certainly have not experienced one the great foods of Spain.




A good way to end a meal is with a (decaf) latte or a perfect cup of coffee.

How to make a perfect cup of coffee

How To Use a French Press coffee press, plunger press and/or press coffee

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