World Bento Tour: Spain

spainbento

In Spain, tapas are appetizers that are eaten at any time of the day. Putting a few tapas together makes a complete meal. It is essentially “finger food” and the recipes and ideas below are a launching pad and you can create your own special menus consisting of your favorite dishes.  We love creating these little bentos with different international cuisines and since we have not done one for a while, we decided to make a Spanish Tapas bento.

This is our favorite type of meal – it’s a combination of store-bought, food-assembly and quick-cooking dishes, but the end result is a delicious and satisfying meal. Plus, everyone loves a dinner that consists of just little appetizers that you enjoy as the dinner conversation flows.

Kids also enjoy little bites of different foods and this is a wonderful way to get them to try new foods and a whole new type of cuisine. After the first “traditional” tapas meal, work with your children to create your own tapas party. You can also try a “tapas party” with foods from different countries and have a new theme each time – the possibilities are endless. Perhaps even host a tapas inspired birthday party for your little ones. Instead of sangria, the children can enjoy some fruit punch. 🙂  And this week we are cooking with kids at our summer camp and the first city we visited was Barcelona!!

Our Tapas Dinner Menu – you can buy/make some of these or all of them

Manchego Cheese

Assortment of olives

Spanish Tortilla

Melon wrapped in Serrano Ham

Roasted asparagus

Pan con Tomato (recipe below)

Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp (recipe below)

Here is how the kids can get involved with these recipes:

  1. In making the tortilla, the kids can help with the cracking and beating of eggs and cutting of what goes in the frittatas
  2. Once the melon is cut into wedges, the little ones will enjoy wrapping the melon with the ham
  3. For the roasted asparagus, the children can help with trimming the woody ends and dressing the asparagus before it goes in the oven
  4. For the pan con tomato, kids can help with slicing the bread and rubbing it with the garlic and tomato once it is toasted
  5. In getting ready for the meal – the kids can help with set up, making drinks and choosing the music

Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp

This is a classic Spanish tapas dish – the ingredients are simple, but it comes together beautifully. Kids love shrimp and they will enjoy these with plenty of bread to mop up the delicious pan juices.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1\4 cup olive oil
  • pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and chilli flakes (if using) and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Turn heat to high and add the shrimps and lemon juice.
  4. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Check seasoning & correct if needed and garnish with parsley.
  6. Serve hot with the rest of your tapas meal.

Pan Con Tomato

Ingredients

  • Slices of your favorite crusty bread.
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 red tomato cut in half
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Toast the bread in an oven or on a grill, until each piece is crispy.
  2. Rub garlic on each toast and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Then rub each toast with the halved tomato so that some of pulp is left on the toast.
  4. Season with salt.
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