Tapas dinner to chase the winter blues away

I was clearing out my fridge, there were some things still lingering after the holidays and I thought I would have a little clear out. I came across a chorizo, the gorgeous kind, made from Iberico pork, matured in sunny Spain and I knew it was time to defy this cold rain and make some tapas for dinner. I love sharing dishes, there is something so social about it, you can just tuck in, compare the dishes and share the flavours. Tapas are not difficult to make, it is more the timing of the different dishes, they all need to come together at the same time.


The garden also got a clear up and M took up the last of the parsnips. We have only eaten a couple of the parsnips from this crop and they were both small and had a very strange shape, the remaining ones came out looking perfect!




I wanted to cook the parsnips and after some research I decided to replace the patatas with chirivía, parsnips in the patatas bravas. Patatas bravas are crispy potatoes with a delicious tomato sauce.


Start with the parsnips as they take the longest to cook.


Chirivía bravas
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 30-35 minutes
oven 180C or 350F
serves 2

  • 2 parsnips
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Peel the parsnips and cut them in to wedges. Mix the spices and oil and  toss the parsnips in until covered.




Roast until the parsnips are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.


Whilst the parsnips are roasting make the bravas sauce to go with them. This is a brilliant recipe, again from saveur.com. I only changed it a little so I am writing down the ingredients but not the measures, head over to Saveur’s recipe. It is such a quick sauce and it tastes great.


Bravas sauce

preparation time 5 minutes

cooking time 5-10 minutes

 serves 2


  • tinned tomatoes
  • garlic cloves
  • smoked paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • onion
  • olive oil
  • sugar

Peel and roughly chop the garlic and onion. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and mix. Place in a pan and gently simmer until you are ready to serve on top of the roasted parsnips.





My friend Sus told me how she makes a “cheats” risotto with risoni pasta, pasta shapes like rice. As I was cooking I decided to make a chorizo & risoni risotto. Sus is so right, this was super simple and very delicious. It might not be a strictly Spanish dish but it tasted lovely. The recipe is easy to douple, or even triple and serve as a stand alone dish.


Sus risoni and chorizo risotto 

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 20 minutes 

serves 2


  • salted water for boiling the risoni
  • 1 1/2 dl or 3/4 cup risoni
  • chorizo, about 10 cm or 3 inch
  • 1 heaped tbsp soft cheese
  • 1 heaped tbsp cream
  • 1 spring onion
  • salt and pepper to taste

Boil the risoni, it takes about 15 minutes. Slice the spring onion and set aside until serving. Remove the skin from the chorizo and chop.




Pan fry until crispy, remove the chorizo from the pan and set aside. Keep the chorizo oils in the pan for frying the lamb chops, it will add a lovely flavour.

When the risoni is cooked drain it and mix with the cream and soft cheese, add more if you think it is too dry. Add the cooked chorizo and spring onion and serve. Add some grated cheese if you like.




The two last things to do is to pan fry the lamb chops and the prawns. De vein the prawns and place in oven proof ramekins with sliced garlic, chilli and butter and place in a hot oven. The prawns will cook in 5-8 minutes. This is a decadent dish but so delicious and the best part is when you soak up the butter, garlic and chilli with chunky bread!




Pan fry the chops on high heat. Salt and pepper them and then fry them for 1-2 minutes/side. make sure the pan is hot to get that caramelized flavour on the outside and keep it pink on the inside.





It was a great little selection and it worked extra well with a glass of red Rioja. I loved the crispy parsnips with the tomato sauce, and I loved the risoni risotto, It doesn’t have to be paired with chorizo but it worked very well. It felt like a little bit of Spain came to dinner!






5 Responses to “Tapas dinner to chase the winter blues away”
  1. Loretta says:

    What a great idea, love tapas, and love all your servings 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      Hi Loretta
      Thank you. It made for a nice dinner in the end, they were such different things and I wasn’t sure it would work but it did 🙂

  2. Lovely collection! Your parsnips look perfect 😉

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