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Mexican food with text: "Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Tapas"

Live, Laugh & Learn with Lillyan: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Tapas

Forget the chips and salsa, it’s time to step up your Cinco de Mayo menu and serve your guests fiesta tapas that they will never forget. This Cinco de Mayo, I had the chance to celebrate and cook with Chef Bill at Gourmet Gallery in Waco, Texas. Chef Bill transformed the ordinary kitchen into a fiesta with his Spanish-style recipes. From tomato and watermelon skewers to tortilla espanola to a potato chorizo clam stew, I left wishing everyday was May 5 and after you try these tapas treats, you will too. So grab your Spanish extra virgin olive oil, your favorite Spanish wine & gather your friends, it’s time to fiesta with style!

Tomato Bread with Serrano Ham

  • Sliced rustic bread
  • Two ripe tomatoes
  • Spanish extra virgin olive oil
  • Sliced Serrano ham
  • Chives
  • Sea salt

Cut the tomatoes in half and grate the cut side into a bowl all the down to the skin. Add olive oil to the tomato puree until satisfied. Toast the sliced bread and season with a touch of sea salt. Spoon the tomato on top of the bread, then add the sliced ham on top. Sprinkle a few chives on top for extra flavor and enjoy!

Tomato & Watermelon Skewers

  • Seedless watermelon
  • Plum tomatoes
  • Lemon
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Spanish extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Clementine
  • Rose bud (optional)

Slice the watermelon own to two-inch cubes. Slice the tomato and carefully remove the fillets, which are the seed filled gelatinous center. Put the tomato fillets on top of the cubed watermelon and insert skewer. Zest lemon into a bowl, then juice the remaining lemon into the same bowl. Add a touch of sherry vinegar and drizzle olive oil while shirring to make a quick vinegarette. Spoon the vinegarette over and around the skewers. If desired, garnish with an edible flower, such as a rose bud to add a touch of creativity.

Tortilla Espanola

  • 2 ¼ c Spanish extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. Idaho potatoes, peeled, quartered & thinly sliced
  • Onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • Salt
  • Chives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fry the potatoes in 2 cups of the olive oil until slightly browned and crisp. Strain the potatoes from the oil. Set the potatoes aside and use the leftover oil to sauté the onions. Add the onions to the potatoes. In a bowl, whisk the eggs three to four times to add air for light and fluffy tortillas.

Add the eggs in with the potatoes and onions. Heat oil in the pan and when warm, add the egg and potato mixture. As soon as the eggs enter the pan, shake the pan for 10-15 seconds. Then, let the eggs cook still in the pan for 30 seconds. Cook on low until the bottom of the eggs set, while the top is still soft. Flip the tortilla with the help of a plate, slide back into pan and bake in the oven until the eggs are thoroughly cooked. Remove the pan from oven, flip onto a plate, slice and enjoy. If desired, garnish with chives.

Clams served in a Potato y Chorizo Stew

  • Dozen littleneck clams
  • 3 Tbsp Spanish extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Onion
  • 7 oz. of chorizo
  • 1/2 lb. potatoes
  • 1 tsp paprika

Sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is lightly caramelized. Add the chorizo and cook until it browns. Add the potatoes and cook until slightly golden. Season with paprika, salt and add in enough water to cover and bring to boil.Once the liquid reaches a boil, reduce heat and slowly simmer until the liquid has reduced to stew consistency and set aside. Bring a quart of water up to boil and put the clams in for 10-15 seconds until they start to open. Remove from the pot and use a knife to make incisions on the side of the shell to open up the clam. Put the stew into a bowl, garnish with clams and a dusting of parsley.