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      RECIPE TITLE "Holiday Tapa Party For Eight" (Spanish appetizers)
    Sent in by Larry Holmes, Ontario, Canada, courtesy of

    yields serves 8 time---difficultyeasy

    Tapas: Back in the 13th Century, following a decree by King Alfonso X of Spain that taverns must serve food with wine, when a glass was poured, the tavern keeper would place a slice of bread or ham over the top. This met the king's decree but it also served a more important role: it kept the flies out of the wine! As time went on, the food offering expanded to create small one- or two-bite morsels - let's call them appetizers. Today, around the globe, one can find tapa bars in which the morsels have expanded to exotic and substantial levels.


    2 bottles dry red wine
    4 ounces brandy
    4 ounces triple sec
    1 cup sugar
    6 ounces fresh orange juice
    6 ounces cranberry juice
    diced apples, pears, orange and lemon wheels for garnishes

    Combine all in large bowl. Stir well. Refrigerate overnight. Pour into a large pitcher. Stir again. Add sugar or brandy to taste; it should be fairly strong and fairly sweet, almost syrupy. Add the garnishes and stir to mix in. Serve in wine glasses.


    2 6-ounce cans pitted ripe olives
    3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons olive oil

    In a jar or plastic container, combined undrained olives and garlic. Cover; refrigerate for 4 to 7 days.

    To serve, drain the olives, reserving ½ cup liquid. In the blazer pan of a chafing dish combine olives, reserved liquid and oil. Heat through. Place blazer pan over hot water sit over flame. (Or, heat olive mixture in heatproof serving dish; keep warm on heating tray.


    6 slices thinly sliced firm white sandwich bread
    1 3 ¼-ounce can water-packed tuna, drained
    2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
    2 tablespoons butter, softened
    1 tablespoon chopped green onion
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    mayonnaise or salad dressing
    12 pimiento-stuffed olives, halved crosswise

    Remove bread crusts; toast bread slices. Cut each slice into quarters. Wrap in plastic wrap.

    In small bowl, flake tuna. Add eggs, butter, green onion, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Cover; chill for 3 to 24 hours.

    Just before serving, spread tuna-egg mixture on toast triangles. Spoon a small dollop of mayonnaise atop each. Place an olive half, cut-side up, on mayonnaise.


    2 cups pine nuts
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt

    Spread pine nuts evenly in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in 325° F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted, stirring once during baking. Remove from oven. In a heat-resistant bowl, immediately toss nuts with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt; cool. Refrigerate in a tightly covered container for up to 3 months.


    1 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked, cartilage removed
    2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
    2 tablespoons snipped parsley
    dash salt and freshly ground pepper
    10 1 ½- to 2-inch fresh mushroom caps, washed and well drained
    sliced canned pimiento
    3 tablespoons butter, melted

    In a small mixing bowl combine the crabmeat, bread crumbs, green onion, snipped parsley, salt and pepper. Remove mushroom stems from caps; reserve stems for another use.

    Place mushroom caps in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan, crown side down. Mound crabmeat mixture into caps. Place a thin strip of pimiento on top of each cap. Cover and chill 3 to 24 hours.

    To serve, uncover, drizzle with butter. Bake in 350° F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.


    8 ounces chorizo sausage links or Italian sausage links
    ½ cup water
    2 sticks piecrust mix
    1 4-ounce carton semi-soft herbed cheese spread
    - or -
    ½ of an 8-ounce package soft cream cheese with onion and chives
    1 beaten egg

    Prick each sausage link with a fork. In a medium saucepan heat sausage links and water just to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 to 15 minutes, or until no pink remains; drain and cool sausage links.

    Meanwhile, prepare piecrust mix according to package directions. On floured surface roll half of pastry to 14x10-inch rectangle. Cut sausage links into 35 pieces. Place the slices on pastry in 7 rows of 5. Mound about ½ teaspoon of the cheese spread on each sausage slice. Roll out remaining pastry to 14 1/2x10 ½-inch. Moisten pastry with water. Place over first pastry, moistened side down. Press, then cut between the sausage mounds to make thirty-five 2-inch squares. Seal edges of squares together with a fork. Place squares on baking sheet; brush with beaten egg. Bake in 400° F. oven about 15 minutes or until pastry is browned.

    To make ahead: To refrigerate, fill empanadillas as directed above. After pressing edges, place on baking sheet. Cover and chill up to 24 hours. To bake, brush with egg; bake in 400° F. oven 15 to 18 minutes or until golden.


    3 tablespoons olive oil
    3 tablespoons cooking oil
    4 medium potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ½ cup chopped onion
    4 eggs
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

    In 10-inch skillet with nonstick coating, heat olive oil and cooking oil over medium heat until hot. Add potato slices a few at a time to prevent them from sticking to each other. Sprinkle with first ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook until tender and golden on edges, turning occasionally. Add onion; cook until tender but not brown, stirring occasionally. Drain vegetables.

    Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat the eggs with pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Add potato-onion mixture. Spread in hot skillet. Cook omelet until form but not dry, shaking skillet occasionally to prevent omelet from sticking.

    Remove skillet from heat. Place a plate over omelet; invert skillet over plate and turn omelet out onto plate. Return skillet to heat. Carefully slip omelet back into skillet, browned side up, to brown on the other side. Cook just until omelet is browned. Turn out onto a warm serving platter. Cut into small wedges and serve at once or serve chilled.


    1 10-ounce package frozen cut asparagus
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
    ½ cup butter
    1 cup water
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    ¼ teaspoon dried basil, crushed
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    4 eggs
    shortening or cooking oil for deep-frying
    grated Parmesan cheese

    Cook asparagus according to package directions until crisp-tender. Drain thoroughly; coarsely chop.

    In medium skillet heat the olive oil. Add onion; cook until tender but not brown. Add asparagus; toss lightly to mix. Drain vegetables and set aside.

    In medium saucepan melt butter. Add water; bring to boil. Add flour, basil and salt all at once. Stir vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball that does not separate.

    Remove from heat; cool about 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Stir in asparagus mixture.

    Drop dough by rounded teaspoons, about 6 or 8 at a time, into deep, hot fat (375°) for 3 to 3 ½ minutes or until golden. (If they do not turn over in the oil by themselves, turn them to cook evenly.) Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

    To make ahead: Prepare and fry as directed. Cool completely. Place in a moisture and vapor-proof container; seal, label and freeze. To serve, place on 15x10x1-inch baking pan and bake in 400° F oven about 10 minutes.

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