For people crazy about wine!

Spicy Pork Skewers with Romesco Sauce

These pork skewers are a nice way to portion out tapas.  The romesco sauce is a rustic sauce that gives a wonderful dimension of taste to the pork skewers you'll be making.

Preparing the Pork

1 pound (or more) of pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes

Romesco Sauce

1 tomato seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves
½ cup almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 slice of homemade bread cut into cubes (to fit into the food processor)
1 12-oz jar of roasted peppers (piquillo if you can get them), drained and chopped (goes into the food processor later)
¼ cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
¼ cup olive oil

Prepare the Pork and Marinade

  • Cut the tenderloin in half and then cut strips along the length.  Cut the strips thick enough to thread onto a skewer. 
  • For the marinade, combine the paprika, cumin, cinnamon oregano, wine and olive oil in a medium mixing bowl. 
  • Whisk together and then add the pork to the bowl and work into the marinade.  Completely coat the pork.  Cover and put n the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Prepare the Romesco Sauce

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place tomato and garlic onto a roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 
  • Toss to coat, and transfer to the oven to roast until slightly browned (about 10 minutes).
  • This sauce will be made in a food processor, so get the bowl set with the chopping blade. 
  • Add almonds and bread to the processor and process until fine. 
  • Add the roasted tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and peppers.  Process until it becomes a puree.
  • Periodically scrape-down the sides.
  • While the processor is running, add 1/4 olive oil in a slow stream.
  • Transfer to a bowl or pan to warm (you don't want to cook this, just  have it warmed for serving.  You could use a slow cooker or crock pot on low for serving).

Finishing the Pork Skewers

  • Thread the pork onto the skewers.  Think one skewer per appetizer, so you can spread these out.
  • If you can, grill these on a fire or use a broiler to get them finished and nicely browned.
  • If broiling, place these about 6" from the broiler on high, flipping them 2-3 minutes per side.


  • Place skewers on a warming plate.
  • Serve with romesco sauce spooned over the skewer.

Rioja Style Potatoes with Chorizo

These potatoes are great as tapas with baguette crostini to sop up the juices.

4 ounces Spanish chorizo (Boar's Head puts this up, and you can find it at Harris Teeter in the cheese shop)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 bay leaf
½ cup Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
1 ½ cups water
Sea salt and ground pepper


  • Using a large nonstick pan on medium heat, add oil.
  • When oil begins shimmering, add onion and cook, stirring often, until tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add potatoes and cook until just starting to pick-up color (about 5-8 minutes).
  • Stir in the red pepper and chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (about 3 minutes).
  • Add the paprika and bay leaf.
  • Add wine and cook until reduced by half (about 3 minutes)
  • Add water and increase heat to high.
  • When boiling begins, reduce to medium-low and cook until potatoes are tender and the liquid is absorbed (about 10 minutes).
  • Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.


  • Transfer potatoes to warmed serving bowl or use a crock pot on low to keep warm.

Marinated Olives with Rosemary and Chile

This can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.  To serve, heat olives and all seasoning in a saucepan on low heat until olives are warmed through.

1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 strips orange zest
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dried red chile flakes
3 cups brine-cured green Spanish olives


  • Add oil to a saucepan on medium-low heat.
  • Add rosemary, garlic, zest, paprika, and chile flakes.
  • Heat oil until it begins to shimmer (about 5 minutes).
  • Remove from heat, add olives and allow to steep for 10 minutes.


  • Transfer olives with oil and seasonings to a serving bowl.

Perfect Crostini

Making crostini couldn't be simpler.

1 baguette, cut into about 1/4" slices
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper (if desired)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Arrange baguette slices on two large rimmed baking sheets.
  • Brush both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through (if undersides are not browning, turn crostini over once during baking).
  • Let cool on baking sheets.

Seared Saffron-Tomato Shrimp

This brings a great seafood addition to your tapas menu.

  • ½ cup Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads (add these to the wine now)
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup seafood stock (you can substitute vegetable stock, but it won't be as good; conversely, you could make a seafood broth from boiling the shrimp shells with celery, carrot and onion if you're bored with life and didn't remember to get seafood stock at Harris Teeter)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large can (14½ ounce) crushed tomatoes with juices; you can use the whole can, if you want to make this more of a soup.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (can substitute extract);  Note: you can make this optional, but it is an essential part of the taste in this dish.
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • Sea salt and ground pepper

Prepare the Shrimp

  • Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • When foam subsides, add shrimp and cook until brown (about 2 minutes).
  • Remove and transfer to a plate.

Prepare the Sauce

  • Using the same skillet as for the shrimp, add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter and set heat to medium.
  • When butter is melted, add shallot and cook stirring until soft (about 3 minutes).
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Deglaze the pan with the wine and saffron mixture, allowing the wine to reduce by half (about 3 minutes).
  • Stir-in tomatoes, vanilla, and honey.
  • Allow mixture to simmer until it starts to thicken (about 5 minutes).
  • Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add shrimp back to the skillet and coat with sauce.  Cook for an additional 2 minutes.


  • Spoon sauce onto serving platter and garnish with chives.
  • Alternately, you can put into a crock pot on low to keep warm.  Have chives on the side to be used when served to a plate.