José Pizarro’s Spinach, Blue Cheese & Pine Nut Empanadas
José Pizarro’s Black Pudding & Apple Croquetas
José Pizarro’s Wild Mushroom Tortilla
José Pizarro’s Patatas Bravas
Chorizo with Red Wine
Grilled Scallops & Jamón
Due South’s Basque cheesecake
The menu below serves 4 people for a sit-down meal or 8 people for canapés.
Tapas is a style of food that lends itself really well to celebratory gatherings, such as New Year’s Eve, where guests would rather mill about than sit down for a formal meal. The rustic Spanish style is also far less time-consuming and stressful than preparing endless fiddly canapés.
Although it’s possible to cook every element on the EGG, especially if you happen to have more than one, the method below also includes some kitchen cooking to save you time. Don’t worry though: anything that can benefit from a lick of fire or a hint of smoke is cooked on the EGG.
Our timeline involves you cooking as many of the dishes in advance as possible, then heating them through later, meaning you can spend more time socialising and less time standing around the EGG. Just lay everything out on a table (along with a few extras like some smoked almonds, a plate of manchego, some Ibérico ham and a bowl of olives) and you’ve got yourself a feast. That said, if you prefer to prolong the theatrics, you can stagger the final stage so that the dishes come out one by one over the course of the party.
All that remains is to open several bottles of cava or make some jugs of sangria.
This recipe is designed for Large and XL owners who have an EGGspander System (a helpful accessory that allows you to cook or reheat several sides at once).
If you own a different sized EGG or are not in possession of an EGGspander, you can of course cook all the elements one at a time. If easier, you can find the individual recipes on our main recipe page or by clicking the links above.
PREPARE THE CROQUETAS AND EMPANADAS
Start by getting all the fiddly prep out of the way. For ease, you may want to do this whole section in your kitchen. If not, load and light your EGG and set it up for direct cooking with your ConvEGGtor Basket at the bottom and Stainless Steel Grid on top (the ConvEGGtor Basket will be of use later, so it’s worth getting it in there now). Your target temperature is 180˚C.
Start by making a bechamel sauce for your croquetas. Heat the milk and stock together in a Dutch Oven. In another pan, melt the butter over a medium heat, add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned. Gradually add the milk and stock mixture, until you have a thick, smooth bechamel. Season, add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
Heat a little oil in a Cast Iron Skillet and fry the morcilla until it starts to crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Add a knob of butter to the pan and, when foaming, add the apple and sugar. Cook for a couple of minutes until lightly caramelised. Fold the morcilla and apple into the bechamel.
Spread the mixture out evenly in a couple of shallow trays and press down. Cover with a sheet of baking paper or cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the pastry for your empanadas. Tip the flour and salt into a bowl and rub the butter in with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix the egg with the cold water and vinegar, add to the bowl, and mix in quickly with a flat knife. Bring together with your hands and knead briefly until smooth, then shape into a disc. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Now prepare the filling for your empanadas. Heat a little oil in a very large skillet and sauté the spinach until really wilted (you may need to do this in batches). Place in a colander and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then finely chop and tip into a bowl.
Add the cheese and pine nuts to the warm spinach and season with salt, pepper and lots of fresh nutmeg. Allow to cool.
It’s time to shape the empanadas. Divide the dough into six even pieces and place under a damp tea towel to stop them drying out. One at a time, roll them out on a lightly-floured surface until 16-18cm in diameter.
Place a sixth of the mixture into the centre of one half of the circle. Brush the edge with the beaten egg yolk then fold over and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
Remove the croquetas mixture from the fridge. Put some oil in the palm of your hand and roll the mixture in 30g balls.
Put the breadcrumbs and eggs in two separate bowls. Dip the croquetas first in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs to coat all over (it helps to have one ‘wet’ and one ‘dry’ hand so that you don’t end up with very breadcrumbed fingers!). Lay the croquetas on a tray and place in the fridge to cook later.
PREPARE THE SAUCES
Your potatoes come with two sauces. First make the salsa brava. Heat the oil in a Skillet or Paella Pan, and gently fry the onion for 15 minutes until soft (your EGG should still be at 180˚C, although again this part can be done in your kitchen if you prefer). Add the garlic and cook for a minute more, then add the chilli and tomatoes. Stir in the pimenton, vinegar and sugar, season well and simmer for 20-30 minutes until you have a thick, chunky sauce. Cover and set aside for later.
To make the aioli, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the vinegar and some seasoning. Gradually whisk in the vegetable oil then olive oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking all the time until you have a thick glossy mayonnaise. Whisk in the garlic and lemon juice to taste. If too thick, whisk in 25-30ml of water. Cover and set aside for later.
MAKE THE CHEESECAKE
If you haven’t already, load and light your EGG and set it up this time for indirect cooking, with your ConvEGGtor legs-up in your ConvEGGtor Basket and a Stainless Steel Grid on top. Your target temperature is now 220˚C.
Line the bottom and sides of a loose-bottomed cake tin with parchment paper. You want to leave a good few centimetres of parchment paper overhanging the rim of the tin, so that you can lift the cheesecake out when it has cooled. This is even more important if you don't have a springform tin and are using one of our Skillets instead.
Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Place in the EGG and cook for 25-30 minutes until the mixture is set with a dark top and a slight wobble to it.
It's delicious on its own but feel free so also prepare any seasonal fruit such as poached pear or even some festive cranberries.
Set aside to cool completely while you move onto your other dishes. Don't be tempted to cut into it early – you'll most likely end up with a puddle!
Reduce the temperature of your EGG to 200°C. As it’s harder to bring EGG temperatures down rather than up, this may take a little bit of time.
COOK THE CROQUETAS AND EMPANADAS
In his original recipe, José recommends deep fat frying the croquetas. While this is fine on a kitchen hob, it isn't something that we would recommend in the EGG, for safetly reasons. Instead add 3cm oil to a large casserole dish with deep sides and allow it to get to the same temperature as the EGG – or hot enough for a cube of bread to brown in about 20 seconds. Shallow fry the croquetas in batches for around 2 minutes or until golden. Set aside on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil. Although shallow frying greatly reduces the risk, please continue to exercise caution throughout this step.
Place a full Baking Stone on top of your Stainless Steel Grid and allow that to get to the same temperature as the EGG. Brush the empanadas all over with the beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Set the empanadas aside to be warmed though later and remove the Baking Stone.
COOK THE POTATOES AND CHORIZO
Meanwhile, par-boil the potatoes for 15 minutes. Drain well and leave to steam.
Add the oil and chorizo slices to a Skillet or Paella Pan and cook until the chorizo starts to brown and give up its oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the red wine, honey and vinegar and set aside.
Heat a non-stick Drip Pan in the EGG with a splash of olive oil. Add the potatoes to the pan and return to the EGG, along with the Skillet with the chorizo. Cook both in the EGG for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are golden and the chorizo liquid is syrupy. Remove from the EGG and set aside to be warmed through later.
COOK YOUR TORTILLA
Congratulations. You're now into the final stages! Just a couple of small dishes and some re-heating to go.
To make the tortilla, heat a glug of olive oil and the butter in a non-stick frying pan or Skillet and fry the shallot for 10 minutes until lovely and soft. Add the garlic, thyme and mushrooms and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes until tender and golden. Remove from the heat, add the parsley and set aside.
In a bowl, beat the eggs, then add the mushrooms and plenty of seasoning.
Give the pan a wipe, and heat the remaining oil. When the oil is hot, add the egg mixture.
Swirl the pan over a high heat until the mixture starts to set around the edges, then cook for 4-5 minutes until the bottom and sides of the tortilla are golden, but the middle is still quite loose.
Cover the pan with a flat lid or board and turn the tortilla carefully onto it – don’t worry that it’s still quite runny; it will all come back together when you continue to cook it. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and, over a low heat, use a spatula to tuck the edges under to give it its characteristic curved look. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn onto a board to cool. It should still be lovely and juicy in the middle when you cut into it later.
WHEN YOUR GUESTS ARRIVE
Remove the ConvEGGtor and the Stainless Steel Grid and instead place a Half Moon Baking Stone on the bottom right lower tier of your ConvEGGtor Basket, with a Half Moon Stainless Steel Grid on the upper tier and your second Half Moon Baking Stone sat on top of that. On the other side, place a Half Moon Cast Iron Searing Grid on the upper tier. Add the 2-Piece Multi-Level Rack on top. You now have an indirect side (right) and a direct side (left).
Put the salsa brava and aioli in bowls on the table. Once your tortilla has completely cooled, cut into bite-sized slices and add to the table.
When you are ready to serve, place the empanadas on the Half Moon Baking Stone, and the croquetas, potatoes and chorizo on the Multi-Level Rack.
Toss the padrón peppers in a little olive oil and throw on the Half Moon Cast Iron Searing Grid. Allow them to char slightly, then turn over and repeat on the other side. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle liberally with sea salt flakes.
Place the scallops on the Half Moon Cast Iron Searing Grid for approximately 3 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Transfer to a serving plate. Drape the jamón over the still-hot scallops so that the fat just begins to melt. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
Your other dishes should now be hot. Lay these out, along with any extras you have to hand (bowlfuls of olives and smoked almonds, for example). Slice the empanadas in half if serving as canapés, and lay out some toothpicks or small forks for the potatoes and chorizo. All that remains is to pour yourself a glass of cava. You’ve earned it!