Cooking for company: 2 exceptional snacks

These simple snack recipes are great to have on hand when you want to entertain company, but are short on time.

Cooking for company: 2 exceptional snacks

Potato and zucchini tortilla

Spain's most famous tapa, or snack, is made from the simplest of ingredients — eggs, onions and potatoes — cooked like a flat omelet and served warm or cold. All kinds of extra ­ingredients can be added. Bacon and zucchini give ours a just-right balance of sweet and savoury.

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 15 minutes

Serves 8

  • 750 g (1 1/2 lb) new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) cubes
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 slices uncooked bacon, chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) cold water
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place the potatoes in a pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and cook for three minutes. Drain completely.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy 25 centimetre (10 inch) nonstick skillet. Add the potatoes, onion, zucchini and bacon, and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are tender and lightly golden, about 10 minutes, turning and ­stirring occasionally.
  3. Preheat the broiler to high. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add the parsley and pepper, to taste. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet and cook until the egg has set, three to four minutes, lifting the edges to allow the uncooked egg mixture to run onto the pan.
  4. When there is just a little uncooked egg on the top, place the pan under the broiler and cook for two minutes to set the top. Slide the egg out onto a plate or board and allow to cool for two to three minutes. Cut into small wedges and serve warm, or leave to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Nachos grande

Put out a plate of nachos and they'll disappear in no time. Here's a plate of nachos that's ­anything but ordinary. Fresh pineapple ­complements the creamy avocado and creates a spicy-sweet flavour to contrast the jalapeño peppers.

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes

Serves 6

  • 1 can (500 g/16 oz) refried beans
  • 1 bag (275 g/10 oz) restaurant-style tortilla chips
  • 50 g (1/4 c) drained sliced pickled jalapeño peppers
  • 750 g (3 c) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 350 g (1 1/2 c) diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 Haas avocado, peeled, pitted and diced into 0.5 cm (1/4 in) pieces
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) sour cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Heat the beans according to package directions.
  3. Arrange the tortilla chips on the baking sheet and top with the warmed beans, jalapeños, cheese and pineapple. Bake until the cheese melts, four to five minutes. Remove from the oven and slide the mixture onto a large serving platter. Top with the avocado and sour cream. Serve immediately.

Personalize it!

Instead of refried beans, try substituting 375 millilitres (1 1/2 cups) of your favorite chili (drain to remove excess moisture). Try mango instead of the pineapple.

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