Bar Bites: Anchovy, Red Pepper, and Manchego Pintxos

Photographs: Marvin Gapultos

Some of the best drink-friendly snacks come impaled on any number of sticks and skewers. It seems that satays, kebabs, and even corn dogs are all designed to be eaten with one hand, while a cool beverage is held in the other. But the Spanish have their own arsenal of foods-on-a-stick called Pintxos (or pinchos) that are easy to prepare and meant for sharing with friends.

Pintxos are similar to tapas in that they are small snacks served in bars; however, pintxos are usually speared with a skewer or toothpick and anchored to a piece of crusty bread. Pintxos are great in that they are infinitely adaptable to any number of flavors and ingredients. Shrimp and pickled peppers, ham and melon, smoked salmon and eggs—anything really, can be pierced onto a round of bread.

For this recipe, anchovy fillets, roasted red peppers, and Manchego cheese are spiked onto a garlic-rubbed baguette round and quickly toasted under the broiler. A drizzle of sherry vinegar right before serving provides some sharp acidity to cut through the saltiness of the anchovy, and nuttiness of the cheese. Salty, tangy, and crisp, these pintxos are great pre-cursors to a glass of wine or beer.