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Summer is on its way, the nights are growing longer, the spring flowers are in full bloom and your thoughts turn to all the scrummy food you had on your last CLC World holiday.

If that CLC World holiday was in Spain, then you’re in for a treat. We’ve compiled our top 10 tapas dishes for you to try at home. They are all easy to make and will transport you back to the sunny shores of the Costa del Sol.

Once you’ve prepared the tapas dishes, pour yourself a cold drink, pull the kid’s sandpit close to the table and dig in your toes… you could almost be at that beachside chiringuito.

Chorizo, Manchego and Olive Skewers

Chorizo, olives and cheese tapa

Perfect with a cold beer or glass of white wine, you get the best of Spain in one bite. The spicy chorizo, the mellow cheese and the sharpness of the olive combine for a taste sensation. These skewers are a step up from the cheese and pineapple ‘hedgehogs’ of yesteryear and so simple to prepare!

Sliced Spanish Chorizo
Manchego Cheese
Manzanilla Olives
Honey (optional)

1. Layer Chorizo on top, olive in the middle and cheese on the bottom.
2. Optional – Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with slivered almonds.
3. Serve and enjoy!

Spanish Omelette

Spanish tortilla

Spanish omelette, or tortilla, is made with eggs and potatoes, optionally including onion. It is usually served at room temperature as a tapa but can be the mainstay of a meal with a crisp green salad. There’s no reason why you can’t be a little extravagant and add other ingredients such as red pepper, chorizo or spinach. That’s the beauty of this versatile dish.

500g new potatoes
1 onion, preferably white
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
6 eggs

1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into thick slices. Chop the onion.
2. Heat 150ml extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan, add the potatoes and onion and cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are softened. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Beat the 6 eggs separately in a large bowl, then stir in the potatoes and onion. Season.
4. Transfer the saved oil into a medium-sized pan and heat.
5. Tip everything into the pan and cook on a moderate heat, using a spatula to shape the omelette into a cushion.
6. When almost set, turn onto a plate and slide back into the pan. Cook a few more minutes.
7. Do this a couple more times cooking the omelette briefly each time and pressing the edges to keep the cushion shape.
8. Slide on to a plate and leave for 10 minutes. Serve.

Chorizo in Red Wine

Chorizo in red wine

“Everything tastes better with chorizo” – overheard in a supermarket as a man added around 3 large chorizo sausages to his basket. Not many would disagree with him. This paprika infused hunk of gorgeousness will happily make its way into a rice dish, stew or stand on its own with a few simple ingredients.

Make sure you use a good red wine, not least as it’s the chef’s prerogative to enjoy a good slurp while cooking!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g chorizo sausage, cut into chunks if large or left whole if small
100ml good red wine
1 tbsp clear honey
handful chopped parsley
crusty bread, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently sauté the onion for a few minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more.
2. Push the onion and garlic to the side of the pan and add the chorizo. Brown all over, then add the wine and stir in the honey.
3. Cook gently for 5 minutes or until the sausages are cooked through and coated with the sauce.
Add a splash of water if the pan is looking dry.
4. Serve scattered with parsley and some crusty bread to mop up those delicious juices.

Gambas Pil Pil

pil pil prawns

You hear the pop and crackle of the sauce , the aroma of garlic, spice and prawns wafts ever closer, you grab your fork in readiness then put it down again as you know it will be hot. Yes, Gambas Pil Pil is making its way to your table. No worthwhile tapas bar on the Andalucian coast would be without this dish – it just sizzles ssssummer!

20 peeled prawns
5 garlic cloves, sliced
Chopped parsley
Dried cayenne pepper
Pimentón (red paprika powder)
Extra Virgin Olive oil – generous amount
Bread for that all important dipping in sauce!

1. Cover the bottom of your frying pan or earthenware casserole with olive oil and heat.
2. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, chilli and parsley.
3. Once these ingredients are slightly cooked, add the peeled prawns and cook them for three or four minutes, until they turn pink.
4. Sprinkle a teaspoon of Pimentón (spicy or sweet) over everything and salt.
Very important: It needs to be served sizzling hot.

Padrón Peppers

green peppers

Small and perfectly formed, these bite-sized peppers are a great starter or tapa. They are incredibly moreish, so when you’re in the supermarket and can’t decide whether to buy a second kilo – do it! This has to be one of the simplest dishes to prepare and requires just three ingredients. Oh, you’ll probably want that second bottle of olive oil, too…

Padrón peppers
Olive Oil

1. Rinse the Padrón peppers and then pat dry.
2. Add the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the Padrón peppers and let them cook until they are blistered on both sides, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Remove from the oil and season with salt. Serve immediately.

Spanish Meatballs

Albondigas, or meatballs, are best eaten with a rich tomato sauce and, of course, the bread for making sure there’s not a drip of that sauce left on the plate. A glass of good red wine is the perfect accompaniment. The meatballs freeze well, so you could double the ingredients and stock the freezer while you’re at it.

For Meatballs:
250g minced beef
125g minced chorizo
2 crushed garlic cloves
½ Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp dry sherry or brandy
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp chopped parsley
½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp dried oregano
1 egg
Oil for frying

For sauce:
1 or 2 dried chilli peppers, deseeded and chopped
25g blanched almonds
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
150ml olive oil
1-2 tbsp wine vinegar

1. Prepare the Romesco sauce first, then there’s no rush (or cooling meatballs) at the end.
2. Dry fry the almonds until lightly golden
3. Add the almonds, chilli and garlic to a food processor and whizz until smooth. Then add the tomatoes, and bit by bit the vinegar and oil.
4. Season to taste with the salt and paprika. Place in a bowl and put to one side.


5. Mix together all the ingredients except the flour and oil.
6. Shape into balls about the size of large walnuts and then toss them in the flour. Make sure they’re thoroughly covered.
7. Heat the oil in the pan and fry the meatballs, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until they’re thoroughly cooked and evenly browned.
8. Serve hot and dip in that tasty Romesco sauce.

Patatas Bravas

Crispy potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce – this is taking chips and ketchup to another level! You can tell the quality of a tapas bar by the quality of their patatas bravas, a nice crispy potato is what makes all the difference. Add alioli for an extra garlic punch! It’s a simple recipe that you’ll make time and again.

For the potatoes:
2 medium white potatoes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
black pepper

For Brava Sauce:
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 Spanish pepper, finely diced
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup tomato puree
sea salt
black pepper
sprinkle of white sugar

1. Peel the potatoes and pat them completely dry, then cut each one into bite-sized pieces.
2. Transfer to a large bowl, drizzle in a generous tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, season with sea salt and a crack of freshly ground black pepper and toss together until well combined.
3. Transfer the potatoes into a baking tray lined with foil paper, make sure the potatoes are all in a single layer, add into a pre-heated oven bake/broil option at 250 C – 480 F for around 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile make the brava sauce. Fry the diced pepper and garlic in oil for about 40 seconds then add the paprika, making sure they are well combined.
5. Add the tomato puree, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and let it simmer until the potatoes are ready.
6. When the potatoes are cooked, put them in a shallow bowl, and spoon the brava sauce over the top.
Dig in!

Pan con Tomate

Bread with tomato is the Spanish equivalent of bruschetta and you’ll find it enjoyed up and down the country for merienda (the British equivalent of elevenses or afternoon tea). Top crisp and chewy bread with grated tomatoes and a hint of garlic, drizzled with olive oil and salt – the taste of summer.

Bread – an artisanal loaf, baguette or ciabatta.
2 ripe juicy tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh garlic

1. Slice the bread horizontally and warm in the oven
2. Slice the tomatoes in half and grate, making sure you catch all that lovely juice.
3. Rub the bread with the garlic clove, spoon the grated tomato over the bread, drizzle with olive oil and add a sprinkle of salt.

Marinated Goats’ Cheese

Marinated goats' cheese

Oh my word, this is divine – nectar of the gods. If you’re a fan of goats’ cheese, this is going to send you to seventh heaven. The flavours permeate the cheese so well and the oil can be used to douse crispy bread. Once you’ve tasted this, it will forever be on your list of best tapas.

1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp pink peppercorns
2 peeled, whole garlic cloves
2 green chillies, bruised
2 rosemary sprigs, bruised
2 bay leaves, bruised
Extra Virgin olive oil
250g soft goats’ cheese

1. Dry fry the fennel seeds and peppercorns. Remove from heat when they start to pop and put to one side to cool. This releases the flavours.
2. Slice the cheese into thick slices, or roll into balls and put into a jar or bowl with cover.
3. Add all the other ingredients and cover with oil.
4. Leave to marinade in a cool, dark place for at least 3 days, but no more than 6 days.
5. Serve with crusty bread, a little rocket helps cut through the richness if you desire.

Serrano Ham

jamon serrano

You have nothing to do here except make sure you find a supplier of good quality serrano ham. If you’re lucky enough to have a Spanish deli near you, head there first. Pata Negra (Black Foot) is the premium kind. Buy several hundred grams of the ham, professionally cut thin.
Display with the rest of your tapas dishes and watch with pleasure as your friends and family devour the lot.
¡Qué aproveche! As the Spanish would say.