Friday, October 28, 2011

Tortas de aceite

Tortas de aceite (aniseed Biscuits) are one of a great variety of little cakes and biscuits that are eaten throughout Spain. Whenever a cup of coffee or a glass of sherry is drunk, a selection of biscuits is sure to be offered.

  • 8 oz / 50 g / 2 cups flour
  • 4 oz / 125 g / 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 liquer glass dry anis
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and grated lemon rind. Make a well in the centre and pour in the beaten egg, oil and anis. Gradually stir all the ingredients together to give a smooth, firm mixture. Roll this out thinly and cut into small rounds. Place on a greased baking tray and cook in a pre-heated hot oven at gas mark 7 / 425°F / 220°C for ten minutes. The number- of biscuits made will depend on how
thinly the mixture is rolled out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ternera asada

Ternera asada (pot roast veal)

In Spain, calves are not killed when very young and so veal is an older meat which resembles British beef. This makes it a good meat for pot roasting. When cooked on top of the cooker, the joint can be served with a potato purée and selection of vegetables.

Ternera asada (picture by jlastras)
  • 2.25 lb / 1 kg veal
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 glass white wine
  • onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Seal the meat in hot oil in a flame-proof casserole. Add the wine, onion and seasoning. Cover the casserole and cook on a low heat slowly for two hours. Remove the meat and thicken the juices to
make a gravy.


Pipirrana (Green salad with ham)

For a really refreshing meal in summer, place the bowl of salad inside a larger bowl which has been  lined wth ice cubes and leave in a refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

2.25 lbs / 1 kg tomatoes
3 green peppers
4 hard-boiled eggs
3 oz / 250 g tinned bonito or tuna
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 slice bread, without crust
0.5 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
Serrano ham (Parma ham can be substituted)

Soak the bread in a little water. Scald, skin, de-seed and chop the tomatoes. Grill the peppers lightly, then peel and chop them. Chop the egg whites. Drain the' tinned fish and flake with a fork. Make a dressing by crushing together the garlic, egg yolks, oil and softened bread. Mix well. Add the salt and vinegar. Put all the salad ingredients into a salad bowl with the fish. Pour the dressing over them. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve with slices of Serrano ham.

Pipirrana (photo by juanjaen)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This dish serves as a light snack or a side dish to a main meat course. It is sometimes considered the Spanish equivalent of ratatouille.

  • 2.25 lb / 1 kg broad beans
  • 10 small leaf artichokes
  • 4 onions, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp chopped mint
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • cooking oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped 
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • bay leaf 
  • 1 slice fried bread
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley 
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp chopped mint

Shell the beans. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until half-cooked. Drain. Fry the garlic and onions together in oil until brown. Add the tomatoes and the partly cooked beans. Just cover with boiling water. Add the herbs and artichokes. Cover and simmer gently until the beans are soft. Stir in the saffron, cumin and pepper. Crumble in the fried bread. Pour the mixture into a casserole and break the eggs into it. Cook in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 51375°F/ 190°C until the eggs are cooked.

Sausage and Rice Casserole

A typical meat and fish mixture forms the basis of this substantial casserole. It is ideal for a cold winter's evening.
  • 8 oz/ 250 g / 1 cup rice 
  • 1 squid
  • 3 oz / 75 g chorizo (garlic sausage)
  • 12 mussels, cooked and shelled
  • 2 oz / 50 g uncooked pork
  • 1 oz. / 25 g almonds
  • 2 oz / 50 g pork fat
  • l oz / 25 g pine kernels
  • 2 tomatoes 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 oz / 250 g peas
  • 1 onion
  • 2 leaf artichokes
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 red peppers
  • parsley
Slice the onion and garlic sausage. Cut the pork into small pieces. Wash and slice the red peppers and tomatoes. Clean the squid and cut the flesh into small pieces. Remove the outer leaves of the artichokes and quarter the hearts. Melt the pork fat in a flame-proof casserole and fry the pork, garlic sausage and onion in it for a few minutes. Add the red pepper, tomato and squid. Cook gently for 15 minutes. Add the peas, rice, artichokes, mussels, almonds and pine kernels, garlic, saffron and 2 pints/ 1 l / 4 cups
boiling water. Simmer gently until the rice has cooked. Garnish with parsley and serve from the  casserole.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Catalan Stew

This is a delicious mixture of beef and sausage from Catalonia.

  • 2 lb/ 1 kg minced beef
  • 8 oz / 250 g butifarra (Spanish pork sausage), sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • cooking oil
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • I oz / 25 g/ 1 tbsp flour stock
(serves 6)

Heat oil in a flame-proof casserole and fry the mince until it is just cooked, then remove it. Fry the carrots, onions and tomatoes in the same pan for a few minutes. Stir continuously to prevent sticking. Blend in the flour and cook for a few more minutes. Add the cooked mince. Cover with hot stock and simmer gently for about 45 minutes. If necessary add more hot stock. When cooked, arrange the slices of butifarra around the edge of the casserole and heat in a hot oven at gas mark 6/ 400°F / 200°C.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pote gallego

Pote gallego (Galician stew)

Spanish beef can be rather tough and so it tends to be cooked slowly in a stew. It is usual with a meat and vegetable stew to drain the liquid off and use this as a soup. The meat and vegetables can then be eaten as the main course - an easy way of cooking two courses at once!

1 lb / 500 g stewing steak
4 oz. / 125 g lean ham, chopped
2 oz/ 50 g lean bacon, chopped
4 oz/ 125 g chorizo (Spanish garlic sausage), sliced
4 oz/ 125 g Morcilla (black pudding), sliced
I lb / 500 g / 2 cups dried haricot beans
1 white cabbage, chopped
2 lb/ 1 kg potatoes

Cut the steak into large pieces. Put two pints of cold water into a saucepan. Add the meats. Season to taste and simmer gently over a low heat. Cook the beans and white cabbage in a separate pan until
they are tender. Add to the meat, then add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until the potatoes are cooked. Strain off the liquid to use as a soup. Serve the vegetables, meat and potatoes as the main course.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Paella de mariscos

Paella de mariscos (fish paella)

Paella de mariscos (image by jlastras)
This traditional rice dish can be made with either meat or fish and sometimes has both, but the two main ingredients are always rice and saffron. It is often served in the large, shallow pan in which it is cooked. The Spanish paella pan has two loop handles and is made of aluminium, heavy iron or earthenware. However, a large heavy frying pan about 12 in / 30 cm in diameter serves just as well.
  • 1 medium sized crayfish, cooked and cut in pieces
  • 6 Dublin Bay prawns
  • 1 lb  / 500 g angler fish cut in pieces
  • 6 small ink fish
  • 4 tomatoes, skinned and seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz/250 g. I cup rice
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • fish stock
  • oil for frying
Fry the fish in the oil and garlic. Just before it is cooked, add the onion and tomato. Stir in the rice and cook for a few minutes. Add just enough hot fish stock to cover the rice. Add salt, pepper and saffron and simmer until the rice is thoroughly cooked.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lobster Romesco

Freshly caught shellfish is the most common luxury in Spanish cuisine. The tangy sauce, which gives this dish its name, is delicious with either hot or cold cooked lobster

  • 2 cooked lobsters
  • 2 tomatoes
  • I red chili
  • I clove of garlic
  • I tbsp paprika
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • vinegar
To prepare the lobster twist off the large claws and crack them without damaging the flesh. Remove and discard the smaller claws and the head. Using a sharp pointed knife split the lobster down the middle of the body from head to tail. Remove and discard the intestines, stomach and gills. Arrange the body and large claws on a serving dish. To make the sauce put the tomatoes, chili and garlic into a moderate oven for a few minutes until soft but not browned. Skin the tomatoes and garlic. Skin and de-seed the chili. Pound them together in a mortar. Add the salt and paprika. Mix in the olive oil, add a little vinegar if necessary, but keep the sauce thick. Press the sauce through a fine sieve and serve with the lobster.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Trifle (sopa inglesa)
Literally translated this means English soup. This dessert, however, is anything but a soup. Similar to the English trifle, but richer and creamier, it is ideal for special occasions.

  • 1 sponge cake
  • 0.25 pt / 125 ml / 0.5 cup sherry
  • 0.5 pt / 250 ml / 1 cup whipping cream
  • 12 oz/ 375 g strawberries, fresh or tinned
  • a few crystallized fruits
  • a little sugar
Split the sponge cake in half. Cut one half into medium-size pieces and arrange on the base of a large trifle dish. Pour half the sherry over them and leave to stand for one hour. Cut the other half of the sponge into pieces and leave to stand in the rest of the sherry. Hull and wash fresh strawberries and sprinkle with a little sugar. Strain tinned strawberries, if used. Whip the cream until firm. Arrange the
strawberries on top of the sponge in the dish and cover with half the cream. Carefully place the rest of the sherry-soaked sponge on top of the cream. Arrange the remaining strawberries on top of this
and cover with the rest of the cream. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. just before serving, decorate with a few crystallized fruits.

Trifle (image by brenneman)

Arroz Narinera (Seafood with Rice)

Rice is such a popular ingredient in all types of Spanish cooking that there are many seafood-with-rice dishes. This one comes from a little restaurant at Torredembarra near Valencia. if anglerfish is not available, any firm white fish can be substituted.

Serves 6

  • 1.25 lb /500 g/ 2 cups rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 oz1250 g squid, cleaned
  • 8 oz/250 g onions, chopped
  • 8 oz/250 g cuttlefish, cleaned
  • 2 oz/375 g tomatoes
  • 12 oz/375 g angler fish
  • 8 oz/250 g (shelled weight)
  • 8 oz/250 g prawns
  • green peas
  • 18 mussels
  • 1 red pepper
  • 6 clams
  • cooking oil
  • salt and pepper
Thoroughly clean the mussel and clam shells. Heat some oil in a large saucepan and cook the mussels and clams until they open then remove from the shells. Add the garlic and onion to the mussels and clams in the pan and cook for a few minutes. Chop the cleaned squid and cuttlefish into small pieces. Add these and the tomatoes to the pan and cook for ten minutes. Add the rice and cook for a few minutes, making sure the rice is just covered by the oil. Add 2/3 pint/350 ml! 1 1/3 cups boiling water, the angler fish and prawns. Season with salt and pepper. Add the peas and strips of red pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Leave to settle for five minutes before serving.

picture by jlastras

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Raya en Pimenton

Raya en Pimenton (skate recipe)

The only edible parts of the skate are the 'wings', or side parts. The tastiest and tenderest are from small young skate which are usually sold whole. This southern Spanish dish is both inexpensive and easy to prepare, but makes a mouth-watering meal.

2 1/4 lb./ 1 kg skate
4 cloves garlic
1 sprig parsley
olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp saffron
1 tsp chopped marjoram

Place the skate in a large, greased casserole. Lightly fry all the other ingredients in the olive oil then grind them down in a mortar. Spread this mixture over the fish and cook in a moderate oven at gas mark 4/ 350 F,' 180°C for about 30 minutes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Torrijas (sherry bread pudding) - a sweet but spicy syrup pudding is the Spanish way of using up stale bread.

  • 4 oz / 125 g / 0.5 cup sugar
  • 8 slices white bread about 0.25 in / 0.5 cm thick
  • pinch cinnamon
  • small glass sherry
  • 0.25 pt / 125 ml / 1 cup water
  • small piece lemon peel
  • 0.5 pt / 250 ml / l cup milk
  • large egg
  • olive oil
 Prepare a syrup by heating together the sugar, water, lemon peel and cinnamon for about ten minutes. Leave to cool and then add the sherry. Soak the bread in milk and then dip in the beaten egg. Fry the bread in very hot oil until golden and crisp. Pour the cold syrup over the bread and serve immediately.

Torrijas (photo by tnarik)

Calamares en su tinta (squid in its own ink)

Beautiful purple calamares can be found all along the Mediterranean coast and are considered a great delicacy. Squid is obtainable in many parts of the world making this unusual Spanish dish available to everybody. It is best when served with saffron rice.

2 lb / 1 kg squid
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tomatoes
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/6 pt / 85 ml / 1/3 cup white wine
2 tbsp dry bread crumbs
salt and pepper

To clean the squid separate the sac from the head and cut off the tentacles. Remove the gristle and the bag containing the ink from the sac. Put the ink bag to one side. Thoroughly wash the tentacles and the sac, inside and out. Slice the sac into rings and cut the tentacles into pieces. Peel and slice the tomatoes. Chop the onion and the garlic. Cook the tomatoes, onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes. Add the squid, wine, a little water, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Stir in the liquid from the ink bag and thicken with the breadcrumbs.

picture by xurde

Friday, October 14, 2011


This unusual dessert named after the town of Cadiz resembles porridge and, like porridge, is served piping hot with a variety of toppings - sugar, milk, honey, syrup - according to taste.

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp seeds of anis
  • 2 oz / 50 g / 2 tbsp flour
  • 0.5 pt / 250ml / 1 cup boiling water
Fry the anis seeds in oil for 15 minutes. Strain the oil into another pan and blend in the flour. Stir continuously until the mixture bubbles. Do not allow to brown. Add the boiling water and beat well. Simmer gently until it thickens to the consistency of baked custard. Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chickpea stew

This chick-pea stew is one which traces its origins back to the Arab occupation of southern Spain more than a thousand years ago. It does take some time to prepare and cook. The chick-peas available in England usually take a bit longer to cook than this recipe suggests, sometimes as long as five hours.

2 lb/ 1 kg / 4.5 cups chick-peas
8 oz/250 g tocino (fat bacon)
1b / 500 g white cabbage, chopped
2 pt / 1 l / 4 cups boiling salted water

Soak the chick-peas for at least 12 hours and drain. Pour boiling water over them. Leave to stand in this water for about five minutes and then drain. Place in a pan with the boiling salted water. Simmer for one hour and then add the fat bacon. Simmer for a further 30 minutes and add the cabbage. Simmer for  another 30 minutes or until the chick-peas are cooked.

Chickpea stew (image b giffconstable)

Scuffed Green Peppers

Scuffed Green Peppers (Pimientos Verdes rellenos)

There are many different ways of serving stuffed peppers. In a country where tomatoes are plentiful, tomato sauce is made fresh. and the result is a dish to be savoured either as an entree or a light snack.

  • 4 green peppers
  • 4 tsp cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 3 tsp mixed herbs
  • 3 beaten eggs
Tomato sauce:

  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • cooking oil
  • 1 lb /500 g tomatoes
  • 0.5 tsp chopped parsley
  • 0.5 tsp chopped basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper
 Mix together the garlic, mixed herbs, Worcester sauce and eggs. Heat the oil and slowly fry the mixture. Halve the peppers lengthways, Remove the stalks and seeds and wash well. Blanch in boiling salted water. Drain and fill with the mixture. Arrange in a greased casserole. To make the sauce, soften the onion in a little oil without browning. Quarter the tomatoes and add to the onions. Add the herbs, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer gently to a pulp. Strain through a sieve nd make up to 1 pint / 500 ml l2 cups with hot water. Pour the sauce over the peppers. Cook in a low oven at gas mark 4/350°F /180°C for 20 minutes.

Scuffed green peppers (Pimientos Verdes rellenos) - pic by jefferyloo)

Chicken Paella

Paella Valenciana (Chicken Paella)

  • 1 medium-sized chicken
  • 0.25 pt / 125 ml / 0.5 cup cooking oil
  • 8 slices lean bacon
  • tomato, peeled and chopped
  • I clove garlic, chopped
    8 oz / 250 g French beans
  • 2 leaf artichokes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 12 oz / 275 g / 1.5 cups rice
  • 1.75 pt / 1l / 4 cups hot water
  • a pinch of saffron
  • salt
  • 12 snails (optional)

Cut the chicken into 14 pieces. Salt it. Cut the bacon into small pieces. Heat the oil in a flame-proof casserole and fry the chicken and bacon for five minutes. Add the tomato, garlic, beans, artichokes, paprika, rice, saffron, and water. Bring to the boil and add the snails if required. Season to taste, and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Serve from the pan.

paella valenciana (photo by benjieordonez)

White Fish Soup

Excellent fish soups can be found all around the Spanish coasts. The great variety of good fresh fish gives them a succulent flavor. Served with slices of toasted crusty bread, they make a tasty starter or nourishing snack.

  • 2 lbs/ kg white fish
  • 1 cod's head
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 doves garlic, finely chopped
  • small bunch parsley
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 0.5 pt/ 250 ml / 1 cup milk
  • few sprigs fennel
  • lemon peel
  • 2 oz / 50 g/ 1.5 cup flour

Put the fish and vegetables into a pan, Cover with water and cook until the fish is tender. Remove carefully, taking out any bones and cut the flesh into large pieces. Put to one side. Cook the rest of the
stock for a further 20 minutes. Strain through a sieve and return to the pan. Add the white wine, tomato purée and garlic to the stock. Blend together the flour and milk. Remove the stock from the heat
and thicken with the flour and milk. Blend until the soup is smooth. Chop the parsley, fennel and lemon peel. Add to the soup with the fish pieces. Re-heat without boiling and serve immediately.