Thursday, August 1, 2013

Manchego and Sausage Bites with Apricot Jalapeno Dipping Sauce | Friday Night Bites

Although I have never actually stepped foot in the country of Spain, I am utterly obsessed with Tapas. Spain is definitely on my bucket list. Tapas are small appetizers or snacks in the Spanish cuisine.  They are served cold and hot.  The most common ingredients, types and flavors include olives, peppers, and seafood including anchovies, ham, meatballs, garlic, salted cod, chorizo, garlic, empanadas, roasted pork, mushrooms, manchego cheese and frittata. Quite honestly, the combinations are simply endless.

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Often my inspirations for my appetizers come when I am driving into work and have time to think.  Last week, I drove all over the Bay Area including Redwood Shores, Fairfield, Oakland, Sonoma, San Francisco, Fremont and Pleasanton.  Needless to say, I had some time in the car and time for thinking.  The majority of my appetizers are simple yet they pack some great flavor profiles.  This week my mind drifted to Spanish inspired tapas with a twist.  Okay, a one bite wonder on a toothpick is my kind of appetizer. Then you take it to the next level by plunging into a spicy – I believe nirvana has been reached.

I took Andouille sausage, manchego cheese and a California avocado and laced onto a decorative toothpick then created a spicy bath for these to be dipped into.  It was simply apricot jam along with small diced jalapeno bits and heated in a pan and cooled.  Although the andouille sausage originates in France, the combination worked for me and absolutely loved the spin I put on this simple appetizer.

Manchego and Sausage Bites with Apricot Jalapeno Dipping Sauce

Makes 24

2 to 3 Andouille Sausages, cut into ½ inch slices (24 pieces)
1 teaspoon olive oil
24 small cubes Manchego cheese
24 small cubes Avocado
2 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice

In a medium skillet, add the sausage slices and the olive oil.  Cook on medium heat until each side is golden brown and fully cooked.  Remove and drain.  Add the small cubes of avocado to a bowl along with the fresh lemon juice and lightly toss to cover to prohibit browning.

To assemble, add the avocado first then the sausage then the cheese.  Lay onto a platter along with the dipping sauce.

Apricot Jalapeno Dipping Sauce

½ Cup Apricot Jam
1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed and diced small

Add to a small pan and heat on medium until jam is melted.  Take off heat and let cool.


  1. I love tapas and Spain in on my travel list as well. What tasty bites, I love the apricot jalapeno sauce!

  2. Yum these look tasty and I think I could eat a dozen :) have a great weekend.

  3. These look good Lisa! I would have never thought to put Manchego cheese with Andouille sausage-looks delicious with the avocado and dipping sauce ;)
    We have a trip to Spain planned for later this year so I hope to try many kinds of Tapas there ;)

    1. Oh my gosh - I am so looking forward to going to Spain. I look forward to hearing all about your trip!

  4. I'm sure that these could be dinner for me! Love the colors, the flavors, textures, the sauce, EVERYTHING!

  5. The next time you're in my neck of the woods I'll take you to a Spanish place that you might enjoy. The bar is old school with an old-fashioned tapas menu (and lots of wine to choose from!).

    I would inhale that entire plate in no time--love manchego!

  6. You definitely have to go to Spain! I don't even like tapas (picky me), hot weather, beaches, etc. but I still love Spain. ;)

    And these look interesting! You can up with the most creative appetizers.

  7. Your dipping sauce is really making my mouth water.


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