What I love about Christmas is food. It opens a window of opportunities to cook and bake delicious recipes. Around Christmas time my neighbours would always bring us some Pestiños over, which I always adored and hadn’t made myself until today. [Read more…] about Pestiños – Honey-coated Christmas Fritter
The Spanish potato omelette (tortilla de patatas or tortilla española) is one of the most known, widespread and tasty recipes you can possibly find in Spanish cuisine. It’s available all over the country and you are likely to find it on the menu of most Spanish restaurants and bars (in Spain and abroad!). This dish is so important that there are ongoing debates and research about where it originates from. Until not long ago, there was a widespread belief about the tortilla being invented in the Basque Country during the First Carlist War. The military troop of the General Tomás de Zumalacárregui stopped at a farmhouse. The lady the troop was served by had nothing left to cook but some potatoes, onions and eggs, which she decided to combine in an omelette.
[Read more…] about Tortilla de Patatas – Spanish Potato Omelette
Flan is one of the most common desserts all over Spain. You will see it listed on menus around the country. But beware, it is no longer always fresh! You should look for the word ‘casero’ (homemade) next to it or, if in doubt, ask. Otherwise, you might be served an industrial flan which is no more than a big disappointment.
Without any doubt, the Mojo Verde is the sister of the spicy Mojo Picón. They usually come paired up when you dine on the Canary Islands, but sometimes you only get one of them. There seems to be agreement that the word ‘Mojo’ comes from the Portuguese word ‘molho’ (sauce), and I assume that we would find similar recipes in this neighbouring country’s cuisine.
The Andalusian dish ‘Pipirrana’ lies half way between a salad and a gazpacho. It has a refreshing summerly taste, dominated by tomatoes and other gazpacho ingredients, but without blending. It’s a typical dish from southern Spain, which is especially important in the mountains of La Alpujarra, next to the Sierra Nevada in Granada. Different variations of the dish can be found in many locations, including Jaén, Cádiz, Seville or Murcia.
At first it seems a ridiculous idea, you cannot possibly fry milk! But there’s a trick to make that happen, which is to thicken milk with corn starch until it has the right consistency to be fried. The ingredients are relatively simple and the result is delicious (like most fried things, as a good friend of mine would say). There are no clear clues about the origins of this dessert, although it’s said that it comes from the region of Palencia, in Castile and León.
Pisto Manchego is, as its name reveals, a dish that is said to come from the autonomous region of Castilla-La Mancha –the home of Don Quixote–. It has however spread around the country and can be found almost anywhere, with each place having its very own secret recipe. It is made of tomatoes and other seasonal vegetables, which are usually onions, garlic and green peppers, but can also include aubergines, courgettes or red pepper. [Read more…] about Pisto – the Spanish Ratatouille
The Spanish ‘Potaje de lentejas’ is one of many Mediterranean dishes where pulses are the highlight (see also the Chickpeas with Spinach). It’s a mix between a lentil soup and a stew, a traditional dish that is unfortunately mainly cooked in people’s homes and cannot be found that often on restaurant menus. This might be due to the believe that it is a simple dish which is not fancy enough to be eaten out. However, you can sometimes find it on lunch menus. But if it’s not a vegetarian place, it will most likely have some sort of meat. I have of course prepared a delicious recipe which is completely vegan! [Read more…] about Lentil Soup – The Secret Lies in the ‘Sofrito’
If you’ve been to the Canary Islands and you’ve eaten out, you’ve probably been served a ‘Mojo’ more than once – a yummy sauce which usually comes in either red (the ‘Mojo Rojo’) or in green (the ‘Mojo Verde’). They are both essential sides for some of the most typical Canarian dishes, and especially important when serving ‘Papas Arrugadas’ (‘wrinkly’ potatoes) – a dish of new potatoes boiled in salty water –. Although on the picture the red mojo looks very similar to Gazpacho (the Andalusian raw tomato soup), it is actually quite different, and you wouldn’t want to have it on its own as a soup or drink! [Read more…] about Mojo Picón – A spicy sauce from the Canary Islands
Today I would like to invite you to a trip to the Northwestern region of Galicia, which offers some of the most beautiful Spanish landscapes, very welcoming people and wonderful food -not very veggie-friendly though-. If you choose to walk the pilgrim’s path ‘Camino de Santiago’, your final destination will be the city of Santiago de Compostela, which you shouldn’t leave without trying their most famous cake, the ‘Tarta de Santiago’. Most bakeries in Santiago will sell it, especially around the 25th July for the day of St. James. But you will also be able to find it in many bakeries on the pilgrims way and generally around Galicia. [Read more…] about Tarta de Santiago – Traditional Almond Cake