Recently I came across some photos of a special family meal we enjoyed at my sister’s house during the holidays. Actually, this photo is not of the actual meal, but of the appetizers or tapas that we ate.
What’s on the table? From the left rear, going clockwise… First, fresh baguettes are a must! We always need bread for our cured meats, and to sop up the sauces. Next is a plate of cigalas and langostinos (large prawns) with the heads still on. In Spain we keep the heads on the shrimp because there is a lot of flavor there. These langostinos have been grilled on a flat iron, and sprinkled with coarse salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Next is a plate of pulpo, octopus made Galician style, sprinkled with Spanish paprika and olive oil. In front of the pulpo is a plate of small crabs called necoras. To the left of the crabs is a plate of cured meats – jamon (cured ham) and lomo (cured pork loin).
In the center of the table are baguette slices topped with cream cheese, mermelada de tomate (tomato jam), and anchovies. With so much seafood, we opted for rose wine, called rosado, which in Spain is dry, not sweet.