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Tapas-style dining works all year round, and small plate/sharing platter menus have never been more on trend.

A great sharing menu needs to be bold – packed with strong flavours, and distinctive, authentic dishes that can stand up for themselves in any combination. The best small plate and sharing platter menus provide real balance and variety – and you can use Prep Premium across a wide range of dishes in the creation of the perfect sharing menu.

BBQ Ben’s Perfect Small Plates and Sharing Platters

Here’s some recipe ideas to get you started:

Centrepiece dishes – marvellous meats and fantastic fish

Gambas al Ajillo (garlic prawns) might be the ultimate tapas shellfish dish. Marinate shelled king prawns with a touch of sliced garlic, salt, some garlic oil and a touch of chilli oil. Gently fry the shrimp shells in a cast iron skillet or pan with some garlic oil – then strain out the shells. Return the oil to the pan, then add the sliced garlic and prawns until cooked through, before finishing with a touch of parsley and sherry vinegar.

Mediterranean-inspired grilled fish, like barbecued sardines are another great option. Drizzle with FireHouse for a hot and spicy kick – or Lemon-Infused Oil for a lighter, fresher dish.

When it comes to meat, simple dishes work really well. Small plates of sliced beef or lamb steaks grilled medium rare, or a nice portion of crispy skin grilled chicken will go down well. Brush with SmokeHouse before cooking for a smoky, BBQ hit. Alternatively, try sharing platter favourites like oriental inspired pork ribs and chicken wings given depth of flavour with a touch of Toasted Sesame.

Veggie and vegan dishes

Halloumi and paneer are great for vegetarians. A veggie skewer, combining cubes of halloumi with some green and red peppers, courgettes and cherry tomatoes is a quick, simple and delicious dish that warrants a place on every menu. Brush with a little SmokeHouse, then place under the grill or on the BBQ for a crowd-pleasing favourite.

Stuffed Mediterranean Peppers is a substantial veggie centrepiece dish – give them an extra dimension of smoky, chargrilled flavour by adding a touch of Smokehouse.

Put a vegan twist on calamari, the classic tapas dish, by swapping the squid rings for pressed tofu. Simply cut the pressed tofu into rings, dip in seasoned flour, then fry in a light tempura style batter. Serve with some classic Catalan Aioli – crush garlic cloves in a mortar with a touch of salt, then slowly drip Lemon Oil in as you crush the garlic to the consistency of a thick mayonnaise.

Winning sides - killer carbs and healthy choices

It’s important to balance out the protein with some carbs. Platters of freshly baked breads, served with chilli oil, virgin olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar for dipping is an easy choice. Alternatively, serve with some delicious Pumpkin Humous, for a contemporary take on a Middle Eastern classic.

Patatas Bravas is a tapas classic, and a great high margin sharing dish. Roast or fry potatoes then serve with a punchy, spicy tomato sauce. Add an aioli on the side for a modern twist – blend garlic oil with sherry vinegar, a little crushed garlic and a whole egg for a creamy and aromatic sauce that balances out the sharpness of the tomato perfectly.

Traditional Italian starter plates, like juicy pepper and tomato bruschetta finished with some aromatic garlic oil, will always go down well. Complement your Italian offering with a mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil salad, drizzled with some Basil Oil. For a healthy option, a rocket, heritage tomato and onion salad dressed with some virgin olive oil and balsamic is a timeless classic.

AAK Foodservice (A Trading Division of AAK International)

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