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.
- Yield:Makes 12 hors d'oeuvres, serving 4 to 6
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:10 minutes
- 12 (1/2-inch) slices of baguette
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium clove garlic, cut in half
- 12 thin slices of manchego cheese
- 1 jarred roasted red bell pepper, drained and cut into 12 slivers
- 12 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
- Sherry vinegar, for drizzling
- 12 toothpicks or small wooden skewers, for serving
Brush both sides of the baguette slices with the olive oil, then place the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Lightly toast the bread directly under the broiler until golden brown, 30-seconds to 1 minute per side. Remove the bread from the broiler and rub the top of each baguette slice with the cut side of the garlic.
Place the manchego slices on each slice of bread, followed by a sliver of roasted red bell pepper, followed by an anchovy fillet. Return the baguette slices to the broiler and broil just until the cheese melts, 30-seconds to 1 minute.
Remove the topped baguette slices from the oven, then secure each with a toothpick. sprinkle with sherry vinegar and serve immediately.