Ok, these snacks/sides are not Spanish, but Tapas just fit well in the title ;)

Garlic and Leek Polenta Cakes and Lemony Green Beans


Polenta Cakes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, thinly sliced cross-wise
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups stock, chicken or veggie
3/4 cup polenta, dry
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions (optional)


I did this in an Enamel Dutch Oven, so i would only have to use one pot.  You can use a large skillet AND a medium-large soup pot instead.  heat Dutch Oven or skillet up over medium-high heat.  add oil and leeks.  cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  then add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.  heat up stock either directly in Dutch Oven with leeks and garlic (after they have cooked) or in separate pot, bring to a boil.  reduce heat to low and slowly add polenta while at the same time stirring vigorously with a whisk.  once all polenta is added, keep whisking for 2 minutes.  add leeks and garlic if not in there already.  cook for about 20 minutes on low, stirring every 3-5 minutes.  add salt, pepper, parm, and scallions, mix thoroughly and taste to see if you'd like to add more seasoning.  pour evenly into lightly greased muffin top tins (or regular muffin or mini-muffin tins), should make about 8-9 large cakes or double that if using mini tins.  place in fridge and allow to set and cool for at least one hour.  you can enjoy these at room temperature or heated up.  great side dish to roast pork loin. 

Green Beans
12oz green beans, long and thin (Haricot Verts), ends cut off
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, preferably grated or pressed, finely minced works too
zest of one lemon
1 tbsp minced parsley
1/4 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp dijon mustard


first, make the dressing by combining all ingredients except green beans.  blanch the beans by placing them in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then immediately plunging them in ice water.  leave them in the ice water until the ice melts.  drain well, then mix with dressing.  so simple.

questions?   let me know!!!


check out my kitty in the background!