When it comes to flavours and tantalising your taste buds, Spanish cuisine has little competition. A country to taste, Spain is home to miniature canapés, some of the best wines in the world and an avant-garde cuisine. While we may not be able to visit Spain currently, we sure can stir up some scrumptious Spanish dishes right in our kitchens. Here are 5 easy-to-make-at-home Spanish dishes for your next virtual hangout:
A perfect example of the Mediterranean diet, this cold tomato soup can be found across regions such as Extremadura, Andalusia and Castile-La Mancha. However, the Andalusian version is the most famous one, with tomato, peppers and garlic.
Ingredients (serves 4): 1 kg of ripe tomatoes, 2 small green peppers, 2 garlic cloves, 100 grams of farmhouse bread, 4 tbsp of extra pure olive oil, 1 tbsp of sherry vinegar, water, boiled egg, bread and salt.
Method: Dice the tomatoes and finely chop the peppers and garlic. Put the ingredients in a mixer with oil, vinegar, salt and water. Add the water according to how thick you want the soup to be. Finely dice tomato, cucumber, green pepper, onion, bread, hard-boiled egg and serve with the soup as an accompaniment.
One of the most famous, delectable and highly cherished dishes in the Spanish culinary repertoire is the paella. With numerous versions in place, many claim that the genuine paella is the Valencian one, made with Valencian rice, chicken, rabbit, snails, ‘garrafó’ (white beans), ‘tabella’ (broad beans), ‘ferradura’ (green beans), garlic, tomato, ground red pepper, olive oil, salt and saffron.
Ingredients (serves 10): 1 kg rice, 2 kg chicken, 1 kg rabbit, 300 grams tomato, 500 grams green beans, 250 grams garrofó (a variety of white bean used for making the typical Valencian paella), 100 grams peppers (optional), 2 dozen snails (optional), 3 dl. olive oil, few strands saffron, garlic (optional), sprig of rosemary (optional), 6 grams paprika, salt and 3.5 litres water.
Method: Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped chicken and rabbit. Sauté the meat until light brown. Add the peeled, de-seeded and chopped tomato and fry over gentle heat together with the pieces of pepper for 7 or 8 minutes. When this mixture is cooked, add a pinch of salt, the meat and the paprika and fry everything together. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Add water to cover the mixture and leave to simmer. The time will depend on the consistency of the meat. For free-range poultry and rabbit, calculate 30 to 35 minutes. Ten minutes before the end of the estimated cooking time for the meat, add the beans and the garrofó; this will ensure they are not overcooked. Add the previously purged snails. Towards the end of cooking time add more hot water and allow to continue boiling for 3 or 4 minutes more. Add the saffron strands and the sprig of rosemary, adjust the seasoning and simmer for another five minutes. Then add the rice evenly to the pan and leave to cook for 5 or 6 minutes over high heat; the mixture will reduce a little. At the end of the cooking time remove from the heat and allow to stand for a few minutes until the remaining stock is absorbed by the rice and serve.
Anybody remotely familiar with Spanish cuisine needs no introduction to tortillas. The typical Spanish dish is divided between two schools of thought. One holds that the genuine potato omelette should be made without onion, and the other believes that this ingredient is essential to a good tortilla. However, both agree that it is incomplete without eggs and potatoes. There are numerous bars in Spain who’s star dish is the tortilla.
Ingredients (serves 4): 4 medium potatoes, 4-5 eggs, 1 medium onion, olive oil and salt.
Method: Peel, wash and dry the potatoes. Cut them into thin slices and place in a deep pan with olive oil at medium heat and cook slowly. Add the finely chopped onions and fry until they are soft and beginning to brown. Strain the oil after 10 minutes. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and add the potato and onion mix. Put the pan back on the heat with some oil and add the egg and potato mix. Cover the pan and leave to cook on a low flame for 5 to 10 minutes until the bottom begins to brown. Turn the omelette upside down and cook. It should brown on both sides. Serve it either hot or cold.
Cherished by all age groups alike, churros are a popular breakfast dish. Savoured with thick hot chocolate or sprinkled with caster sugar, there are multiple street food stalls selling churros. You can also make them at home with this simple recipe.
Ingredients: 1 large cup of white flour, 1 large cup of water, 1 teaspoon oil, a pinch of salt, olive oil and sugar.
Method: Place the water, salt and a spoonful of oil into a saucepan and heat. When it boils, add the flour and stir rapidly so that it forms a thick but smooth mixture. Wait for it to cool and then put the mixture in a cone. Gently cut the end and let the mixture take form in a long and slender shape. Fry them in hot oil until golden. Sprinkle them with caster sugar and serve.
The Santiago cake is an almond sponge cake known for its light and spongy texture. Made in Galicia, this cake is a classic purchase for pilgrims who finish St James' Way. It is characterised by its decoration of the cross of St James.
Ingredients: For the base—1 egg, 125 grams of sugar, 2 glasses of flour, cinnamon and water. For the filling—4 eggs, 250 grams sugar, 250 grams ground almonds, lemon rind, cinnamon and icing sugar.
Method: To make the base, beat the egg with a spoonful of water, sugar and a little cinnamon. Gradually add the flour until it forms a mixture that can be kneaded. Roll it out with a rolling pin and line the bottom of a tin that has been greased and sprinkled with flour beforehand. For the filling, whisk the eggs with the sugar and the lemon rind. When it begins to froth, add the ground almonds and the cinnamon. Fill the tin with this mixture and place in an oven pre-heated to 180ºC for about 25-30 minutes. For the final touch, cut out a St James cross out of cardboard, place it in the middle of the tart and dust the whole tart with icing sugar. When you remove the cross, the shape will remain engraved on the tart.