I think I could eat tapas style dishes every night of the week as I have a smaller appetite but like to sample everything. If I have the company of my husband or one of my kids, it only increases the amount of things we can try. Sure, there are times when I just want a regular dinner of a protein and veggies, but most nights I’d prefer tapas dining.
Tapas eating isn’t limited to dinners at home. When my husband and I go to a restaurant, we start by deciding how we’ll order. Will it be separate dinners, or will we be sharing small plates of food? I’d estimate that 75 percent of the time we opt to share plates. It works for both of us. I get to do lots of sampling, and he’s assured that he’ll get more than half of the food ordered. Win-win.
When we go out to eat not only does it save me from home cleaning, it also provides inspiration for my cooking. Sure, I can be inspired by recipes I see online or cooking shows that I watch, but actually getting to taste the food has its benefits. It allows me to contemplate the flavors used, consider the textures of the ingredients, and ponder how an item was cooked.
Earlier this year I went to two new restaurants, both with great menus of small plate dishes. After having fabulous meals at each, I came home inspired to create my own play on their recipes. Later this week you’ll see these restaurant-inspired dishes. Until then, I’ll share a couple classics that were inspired by other restaurant trips.
Beet Tartare– Last year we were at our go-to restaurant for a late night meal. As I was reading the menu, I noticed that there had been an update, which included the addition of beet tartare. I’m not a fan of the beef version, but beet seemed intriguing. After enjoying it at the restaurant, I was determined to make my own at home. Voila!
Nachos with a Greek Twist– There’s a Greek-Italian restaurant that has a few locations nearby that we like to visit. During one excursion we decided to give the nachos a try. Ground lamb and feta eaten on pita bread- what’s better than that? When you make it homemade and transform the feta into a sauce!