26 February 2012

Tapas - Sunday Lunch

A Sunday luncheon party with friends makes for fun nibbling. Making a few tapas platters is the perfect way to let those who are hungry knosh and those who are dieting nibble. Enough said. There's a bit of the decadent and a bit of the conservative here - roasted potatoes with shallots, garlic, rosemary and alioli for dipping, salmon in a roasted red pepper sauce, a cool chicken salad with raisins and pignoli, a platter of black olives and Manchego served with a flatbread bedecked with artichokes, onions, pimientos, and bits of black olive, Spanish Rioja and beers ... and that Coconut Lane Cake for dessert with tea or coffee.

In between our chatting and nibbling, we'll be planning a Springtime trip to Toronto to see a Blue Jays/Red Sox game ... the opening of the baseball season approaches! ... a side trip to Niagra Falls, and a review of B&B's in Toronto before booking our spot. Sounds like a fun afternoon! What are YOU doing with your Sunday?

I'm sharing an incredible salmon dish today ... seared bite-sized salmon bits dropped into a smooth spicy roasted red pepper sauce that is warm with smoked paprika and garlic. The crusts of the flatbread are used for dabbing up any sauce left on the plate ...

My only criticism of this dish is that it tends to cool off quickly, so I suggest having a hot platter and a hot sauce boat for serving and perhaps a warm tile under the platter to keep the warmth up. If you make it like I did with an assortment of other tapas platters, serve it first and follow up with the cool tapas offerings and green salads.

Fresh Salmon in Red Bell Pepper Sauce - printer friendly

Salmón fresca en salsa de pimiento roja
Fresh Salmon in Red Bell Pepper Sauce


2 red bell peppers
about 4 tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ lb. fresh salmon
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
⅛ tsp. smoked paprika
6 tbsp. dry white wine
a generous ⅓  c. heavy cream
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
chopped flat-leaf parsley

 crusty bread for serving (optional)

Making the Dish:

  1. Heat the oven  to 400° F and place the peppers on a foil-lined cookie sheet to roast. Turn them every so often to blacken all sides – total roast time is about 40 minutes.
  2. When the skins have bubbled up and blackened, remove them and cover with a bowl to sweat them. Allow them to cool until they can be handled.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the salmon and cut the fillet into one inch square cubes. Pepper the salmon generously and set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a fry pan and toss in the onions. Cook them for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Cook another minute.
  5. Toss in the smoked paprika and let it cook for about 30 seconds, then add the dry white wine. Let the mixture bubble for one minute.
  6. Turn the hot mixture into a blender bowl and let cool a bit.
  7. Peel the skins and remove the seeds and veins from the peppers. Coarsely chop them and turn them into the blender bowl.
  8. Purée the mixture until it’s smooth.
  9. Drizzle in the heavy cream and whiz the sauce until it's a soft orange sauce.
  10. Place the sauce in a saucepan and keep warm (don’t let it boil, though).
  11. Heat the other 2 tbsp. olive oil in a non-stick fry pan.
  12. Add the salmon pieces and sear over high heat, turning them gently when they brown. Brown all sides and then gently turn them onto a heated platter.
  13. Salt them to taste and drizzle on some of the red pepper sauce. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley.
  14. Place the rest of the sauce in a sauce boat for serving alongside.
  15. Have a warm crusty bread or some other tapas bread for mopping up the sauce.


  1. What a fantastic spread!

    1. It was, Angela! I got out of it with just over 10 points ... it was hard not having more wine ... I concentrated on the chicken salad and green salad with just small servings of the salmon and potatoes ... cake? What cake?

  2. I'll be right over, save a piece of cake for me!!!!

  3. You do such a fantastic job on all your cooking. The compliments must have been spilling out of your guests happy lips.

  4. I really like the tapas concept. It is such a wonderful way to get variety on the table. Everything you've done sounds really delicious. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  5. Love tapas and this recipe sounds and looks wonderful; such a fun meal.


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