Tapas Recipes from Chef Chris Koetke

March 20, 2009 12:17:38 PM PDT
Upscale tapas restaurants and tapas bars are common in Chicago and many cities, but you can also make tapas at home. Chef Chris Koetke from Kendall College shares some recipes with ABC 7 viewers.Empanadas

1/3 cup blanched almonds
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground sirloin
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
1 ½ cups chopped onion
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup golden raisins, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups diced canned tomatoes, drained
2 Serrano chilies, seeded and finely diced
Juice of two limes
1 teaspoon cumin ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 packages frozen puff pastry, defrosted (4 sheets)
2 large egg yolks + ½ teaspoon water (egg wash)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Toast almonds on a sheet pan until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, and then roughly chop. Set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Brown ground sirloin with 1 Tablespoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook completely (approximately five minutes), remove and drain meat. Return pan to medium heat with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes until onions are lightly brown. Stir in garlic, raisins and almonds and cook for 2 minutes.

Return browned meat back to the pan. Stir in tomatoes, chilies, lime juice, cumin, cinnamon, parsley, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook 10 minutes, until all the excess liquid evaporates. Adjust seasoning and cool completely before assembling empanadas.

Roll out puff pastry just enough to be able to cut out 9 - 3 ½ " circles per sheet. Moisten the outer inside edge of each circle with egg wash. This will help seal the empanadas. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of each circle. Fold the dough in half over the filling and press edges. Using the tings of a fork, crimp the edges of the empanadas. Any extra filling can be frozen for later use.

Let empanadas rest in the refrigerator on a parchment lined baking sheet for at least thirty minutes. The empanadas can also be frozen at this point for later use. Once frozen remove them from the baking sheet and store them in a freezer bag.

Before baking, egg wash the empanadas by brushing the tops and sides using a pastry brush. Bake 18 - 20 minutes until golden brown. Serves: 36 empanadas.

Gambas a la Plancha

16 large shrimp, preferably unpeeled
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. lemon juice

In a hot saute pan, sauté shrimp in olive oil until cooked through. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is cooked. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve immediately. While cooking the shrimp with their shells gives the best flavor to the shrimp, it is not necessary if your guests will not appreciate peeling the shrimp at the table. Ultimately, this is a rustic dish. Serves: 4 as appetizers.

Romesco Sauce

½ cup blanched almonds
¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup firmly packed french bread, no crusts
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
¼ cup piquillo peppers (approximately 5)
3 plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded (approximately 1 ¼ pounds)
4 Tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Fry the nuts with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat, until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Place nuts and bread into a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add garlic, peppers, tomatoes, vinegar, red pepper, and salt & pepper. Process into a paste. With the processor running, slowly pour in ¾ cup olive oil. Once all the oil has been added, stop the processor and adjust seasoning. Remove from processor and place in a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This traditional sauce is perfect to serve with cold boiled shrimp or grilled shrimp.