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30 Minute Tapas

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

I was very fortunate to spend the weekend in Madrid. Whilst we spent a lot of time sucking up the atmosphere and enjoying the tourist attractions, we also spent a great deal of time finding traditional Spanish eateries so that we could taste authentic tapas at every opportunity.

The food in Spain is full of flavour but relatively simplistic in its nature. It is based around good ingredients and the very ethos of its sharing style tapas lends itself to long lunches with excitable chatter and laughs.

I absolutely loved the vibe there and the slower pace of life. The culture is unhurried and this shows in the way they eat and serve food. When I create food from another culture, it transports me back to that place with a different way of life and a different perspective.

I wanted to bring a taste of these dishes to Oxfordshire and Adam Ball challenged me to create a tapas feast in under 30 minutes.

It required a few hacks but it is nice and quick for a weeknight…

chorizo with cider

Chorizo with cider (Chorizo a la Sidra)

I ate this dish in a lovely little restaurant in Madrid called ‘Espana Cani’. I asked the chef how he made it and when he explained there were only 3 ingredients I knew I wanted to try it at home. It’s so very simple but the cider removes the slight bitterness that can come from chorizo and gives it a sweetness that is so moreish. Great as part of a tapas meal or just a simple snack to have with drinks.



Half a bottle of Cider (250ml)

A small glass of White Wine

Salt flakes

Chop the chorizo into chunks and put in a pan. Add cider, wine & salt.

Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened a little.

Potatoes with Easy Aoili

Aoili is served with nearly everything in Spain and so it should be. The garlic infused mayonnaise is just fantastic with anything. If you haven’t the time to make your own mayonnaise then this recipe will give you that Aoili feeling just as well.


New Potatoes

Olive Oil


Garlic (2-4 cloves)


Lemon juice

Slice some new potatoes into quarters, cover with olive oil & salt and roast in the oven at 190 degrees for 30 minutes.

Crush 2 cloves of garlic and mix with salt to create a paste. The salt helps break the garlic down and gives it a smoother texture. Add mayonnaise to the garlic, then some olive oil & a squeeze of lemon juice. Give it a good stir and put it in the fridge for at least an hour if possible or up to a day.

Potatoes with aoili

Garlic prawns (Gambas al Ajillo)

I’ve been making this dish for years and depending on how much time I have, sometimes I marinate the prawns for a while before cooking and other times I throw it together in 10 minutes using ready cooked prawns. Either way it always tastes fabulous!


Large Prawns

Olive Oil


Chopped Garlic

Chopped Chilli


In a small pan, heat some olive oil, butter, salt, chopped garlic & chilli, for around 1 minute.

Place the cooked prawns in a ovenproof dish and pour the mixture over the top. Pop it in the oven at 170 degrees for 5 – 10 minutes. If you’re using raw prawns then increase the time to 10-15 minutes.


There you have it, 3 tapas dishes in less than 30 minutes. Add a lovely french stick to this and you’ll be in tapas foodie heaven.

Love & food,

The Oxfordshire foodie

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