Manda Cooks: Tapas

One of my favorite weeks of the year is the week between Christmas and New Year’s — my office is closed, the hustle and bustle leading up to the holidays had died down, and it finally starts to get pretty cold in New York. I love spending a good stretch of days in my apartment, sleeping in, watching movies and opening up a bottle of red wine at 2pm (because #staycation). This year I finally went through my stack of Food & Wine and Bon Appetit magazines from the past few months – I have a binder that I fill with recipes that I rip out from magazines. Food & Wine’s September issue was all about Spain — rioja wine, tapas and jamon — which seemed like a perfect theme for New Year’s eve dinner. I made this vegetable tortilla and these meatballs.


I studied abroad in Madrid and my senora would often make us tortilla espanola — I loved it and wrote down her recipe, but had never attempted it on my own. I loved that the F&W recipe incorporated other vegetables too — a colorful addition! The “vuelta” (flip) was intimidating, but with the help of a friend and a large cutting board it was a success. It came out looking just like the photo, which always makes me happy. The meatballs were also great — they didn’t quite taste as good as all of the work that went into them, but worth trying.



After I returned from Spain, my brother gave me a tapas cookbook for my birthday — it’s been a while since I used it, but the fried goat cheese and caramelized onions on the cover were calling my name so I made that too.

I picked up meat, cheese and olives as well and my sister made delicata squash “doughnuts” and little lentil pancakes. In true tapas style, we prepared and brought out the dishes over the course of about an hour, and played a few rounds of What Do You Meme? in between “courses”.  Flize ano nuevo!

PS – how pretty is this saffron dissolving in water?!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *