A gathering like this calls to mind the balmy days of late summer and early fall, but high quality tinned fish makes this as close to a year-round feast as we’ve seen.
So if you’re craving some bright flavors to perk up a gloomy winter, you can still pull off this menu – and your guests will think you have a secret cupboard full of Mediterranean sunshine in your kitchen.
We serve this lovely menu with our mellowed-out version of a Sazerac that’s been vacationing in Spain.
#1 Ling Cod, Spanish Style, double recipe
#1 Boquerones with Piquillos and Olives, double recipe
#2 Cockles with Tomatoes & Parsley, double recipe
#4 Fennel Sazeracs
Prepare the day before:
- If you’re making your own chile powder for the ling cod dish, do that ahead of time.
- The ling cod can also be cut into 8 portions ahead of time.
- Make the fennel pollen syrup for the Sazeracs by combining 1 cup water, 2 cups sugar, and 4 tsp fennel pollen. Simmer over low heat for an hour. Strain and chill for tomorrow.
Before the party starts:
- Make the parsley oil for tapas #2.
- Roast or char the Roma tomatoes for tapas #2. Any you don’t use can go into the ling cod dish.
- Make a base for the Sazeracs, by combining in a pitcher:
- For 8 Sazeracs: 2-1/4 cups Rye, 1/2 cup Fennel Pollen syrup, 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Aromatic bitters, and 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp Peychaud’s bitters.
- For 16 Sazeracs: 4.5 cups Rye, 1 cup Fennel Pollen syrup, 2.5 Tbsp Aromatic bitters, and 4.5 Tbsp Peychaud’s bitters.
- Don’t add ice yet; hold it in the fridge or freezer to get very cold.
- Slice and toast all the crostini bread before guests are due to arrive.
- To finish your pitcher Sazeracs, fill a pint glass with ice, pour in your Sazerac base, and stir well with a bar spoon. Wash 3-4 rocks glasses with Pernod, pour in the base (use a bar strainer to keep the ice in the pint glass), and garnish with lemon twists.
- With all the ingredients already prepared, the two tapas will come together quickly.
- The ling cod recipe is best when prepared & served fresh.
40 Small Bamboo Skewers
2 lbs Ling Cod, skinned & boned
2 tins Cockles in Brine
24 Boquerones (white anchovy fillets)
Heavy Cream (1-1/3 cup)
Crème Fraiche (2/3 cup)
Unsalted Butter, 2 sticks + a bit
12 Roma Tomatoes
2 lbs Fingerling Potatoes
1 bunch flat leaf Parsley
A bright fruity Chile Powder (or blend your own)
1 tin Fennel Pollen
2 Jars Piquillos (or other Roasted Red Peppers)
32oz Jarred Tomatoes
1 cup Arbequina Olives
Smoked Arbequina Olive oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Dry White Vermouth
Scrappy’s Aromatic (or Angostura) Bitters
For anyone who’d prefer wine to a cocktail, the bright and light Viognier family would be a lovely pairing for both the appetizers and the ling cod entrée.