It turns out that pintxos, aka bite-sized appetizers, are quite easy to make. For the most part, you just assemble the ingredients and voila!
In addition to doing a few Basque style pintxos (pronounced “peen-chos”), we decided to throw in a few American ingredients. When you look at the photo it’s a little bit like playing the game: which one of these things doesn’t belong? Perhaps the American breakfast “peen-cho”? Though, who wouldn’t want to eat a bite-sized pancake appetizer?
Here we’ll give you a rundown of the four pintxos that we put together (and later devoured). The first two are more on the traditional Basque side, and the last two are a little more of our own invention.
Pintxo #1: First up, caramelized onions, topped with crispy bacon, and manchego cheese.
- 1 medium sized onion, julienned
- 2-4 slices of bacon
- manchego cheese
- baguette, sliced
- Caramelize a medium sized onion, fry up a few pieces of bacon, and grate some manchego cheese and you’re all set. Place a spoonful of the caramelized onions on a slice of the baguette, followed by a piece of bacon, followed by the grated manchego cheese.
Pintxo #2: Next, and my favorite (though who are we kidding, they’re all covered in jamón or bacon so they’re all my favorite) is jamón topped with goat cheese topped with apricot jam. This one is so good that it falls under the dessert category in my book.
- Goat cheese (the crumbly kind)
- Apricot jam
- Layer the jamón on top of each slice of bread. Top the jamón with goat cheese and apricot jam. We used Spanish Serrano jamón, but if you can’t find any in the store feel free to substitute it with prosciutto or bacon.
Pintxo #3: Next up, jamón and melon topped with fresh mozzarella.
- Melon (honeydew, cantaloupe, or other)
- Fresh mozzarella
- Cut the melon into small squares (or any shape really) and top with the jamón followed by the fresh mozzarella.
Pintxo #4: Last, but not least, the American breakfast pancake pintxo!
- Pancake mix
- Whip up some silver dollar sized pancakes using pancake mix. For something quick and easy, the just-add-water pancake mix will work. Top with bacon and blueberries, hold in place with a toothpick.
Pintxos traditionally are held together with toothpicks, hence all the toothpicks in the photos. The added benefit is that in a pintxos bar (in the old days), you had to pay at the end of your meal based on the number of toothpicks left on your plate.
Be creative, mix and match, and use whatever cuisine you’re in the mood for to create your own pintxos. Or feel free to use the ones above as starter pintxos. The fun part is assembling a few different ones and making a meal out of bite-sized Basque style appetizers.
Oh… and we just couldn’t resist: