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Spanish food and Spanish recipes - Spain

Traditional Spanish food is influenced by the Greek, Roman, Phoenician and Moorish settlements, and typical Spanish food is not only about tortillas and paella, the immense variety of Spanish food recipes is enough to satisfy anyone. Allow us to introduce you to some of Spain's gastronomic delights and acquaint you with some of the traditional Spanish food menus.

Traditional Spanish food
Garlic, olives, plus sweet and hot peppers are important ingredients in most Spanish recipes. Meat, poultry, game and fish also feature prominently in traditional Spanish food recipes. Savory pies and rice dishes are meals in themselves. The Basque country features fish dishes principally, such as fish soup, garlicky baby eels, squid, and a variety of dried cod dishes. The seafood from the Galicia region is famous as are the casseroles from Cataluna. Cataluna is a premier Spanish region that boasts of gastronomical delicacies - which includes seafood zarzuela, fine sausages and regional sauces. The rice dishes are a specialty of Valencia and surrounding regions of Spain. While Andalucia is known for its fried fish and gazpacho, central Spain is renowned for its succulent roast recipes.

Spanish breakfast's are generally light. Most Spanish breakfasts consists of coffee and a croissant or roll. Tortillas or omelettes are also eaten for breakfast. The lunch (la comida) and the dinner (la cena) menus are fairly elaborate. The Spanish Tapas or snacks are popular. A Tasca or Tapas bar is a place where most Spaniards relax at the end of the day. The traditions of Tapas or snacks that accompany a wine or alcoholic drink dates back to a Spanish king. Spanish Tapas menus can encompass simple dishes made of cheese and eggs or more elaborate canapes, dips and savoury pastries.

Spanish menus
An important specialty Spanish food is jamon Serrano which is a special ham that is salt-cured. This type of Spanish ham is not smoked. Sausages are also very popular in the Spanish diet. Chorizo and Salchichon are examples of hard sausages while sobrasada is a soft and spreadable sausage. A Spanish menu is accompanied by a Spanish red wine. The Rioja and Montilla are famous, though there are many varieties of tintos, blancos and rosadas. Salads and fried potatoes come as entrees in a typical Spanish food menu. Desserts are made of eggs, ground almonds, flour and milk.

List of Spanish tapas
Albondigas - Meatballs
Alitas de pollo - Chicken wings
Almejas - Clams
Berenjenas horneadas - Roasted aubergines
Butifarra - Sausage from Catalunya
Calamares - Battered squid
Callos - Tripe
Caracoles - Snails
Chistorra - Spicy sausage
Chopitos -  Small cuttlefish fried in batter
Chorizo al vino - Spicy sausage pan-fried in red wine
Cogollos fritos - Lettuce fried in garlic and oil
Criadillas - Bull's testicles
Costillas - Ribs
Croquetas - Croquettes, normally with ham, chicken or cod
Diablitos picantes - Mini hamburgers
Escombros - Fry up of bits of small squid.
Figatell - Speciality of Valencia meatballs of pork and liver
similar to faggots
Gambas pil pil - Sizzling Prawns in Olive Oil and Garlic
Gambas rebozadas - Battered prawns
Huevos de codorniz - Quail's eggs
Jamon serrano - Spanish ham
Judias blancas - Butterbeans and whole cloves of garlic in a
white wine vinegar
Longaniza blanca - Normal sausage colour but not as spicy as longaniza roja
Longaniza roja - A speciality of Aragon, red spicy pork  sausage
Magro - Pork in a paprika/tomato style sauce
Manitas de cerdo - Pig's trotters
Mejillones - Mussels
Merluza a la Romana - Hake with a very thin batter
Morcilla - Black pudding
Muslitos de mar - A croquette of crab-like meat skewered on a crab claw
Orejas de Cerdo - Pig's ear
Patatas a lo pobre - Potatoes with onions and peppers
Patatas alioli - Potatoes in a garlic mayonnaise
Patatas bravas - Potatoes in a spicy sauce
Pinchito - Kebab
Pollo al ajillo - Chicken in garlic
Queso Manchego - Manchego cheese in varying degrees of maturity
Rabo de Toro - Bull's tail or oxtail
Sepia - Cuttlefish
Sesos - Brains, usually lamb or calf
Tortilla Espanyola - Spanish potato omelette but can also have peas, ham etc


Spanish recipes

Paella

There's many different recipes for Spanish paella, but, perhaps one of the most popular paellas in Spain, is the Paella Valenciana.  The Paella Valenciana is a traditional rice dish of Spain - made with seafood, chicken, rabbit or vegetables. The rice you use in your paella depends on your preference - whole grain rice or wild rice or the short grained Spanish rice which is used for traditional Spanish rice dishes.Spanish food and Spanish recipes Paella
The recipe for the Paella below, has been emailed in by one of the regular visitors to this UK and Spain website, Keith, from Stockport, Cheshire, England. :

4 Cups of rice
8 Cups of stock
8 - 10 Each of prawns and mussels
200 gm of shrimps
2 Tomatoes chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Few strands of saffron
Olive oil
Saute garlic in a pan with little olive oil. Add tomatoes,  shrimps and saffron then cook till soft. Add rice and stock and salt and cook for about 20 minutes. Add prawns and mussels and cook for a few minutes more with a lid.


Salsa Mayonesa - (Mayonnaise)
The recipe for Salsa Mayonesa below, has been emailed in by one of the regular visitors to this UK and Spain website, Gill, Windsor, Berkshire, England :
To make about 300ml of Mayonesa (Mayonnaise)

Traditional method by hand

2 egg yokes
ΒΌ of a litre of good quality olive oil
3 tablespoons of vinegar and/or lemon juice
½ a teaspoon of salt

Have the eggs at room temperature. In the winter, it is helpful to rinse out the bowel with very hot water and dry it well, and to slightly warm the oil near the stove.
Place the yokes in the bowel (or large mortar). Beat them until mixed, and then add a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice and a few grains of salt.
Stirring the yokes with a wooden spoon (or pestle), begin adding the oil a drop at a time. Stir in the same direction until the oil is completely adsorbed before adding another drop if oil.
When about half the oil has been incorporated, beat the rest of it in in a slow stream.
By this point the mayonnaise should be thickened.
Add the rest of the vinegar and salt to taste.
If the mayonnaise should "break", it can be reconstituted by placing a fresh yoke in another bowel and adding the first sauce to it, drop by drop, until emulsified. Store refrigerated.


Blender Mayonnaise - The recipe for blender mayonnaise below, has been emailed in by one of the regular visitors to this UK and Spain website, Steve, Aylesford, Kent, England. :

1 Whole egg
175 millilitres of good quality olive oil
Pinch of mustard and cayenne
2 table spoons pf vinegar or lemon juice
½ teaspoon of salt

Put the whole egg in the container of blender or processor with a spoonful of oil and the mustard and cayenne.
Whirl until the egg is mixed.
With the motor running add the oil in a very slow stream until the mayonnaise is thick.
Add the vinegar or lemon and salt and whirl again.
Store refrigerated


Mayonesa a La Andaluza - (Andalusian Mayonnaise)
The recipe for Paella below, has been emailed in by one of the regular visitors to this UK and Spain website, Gill, Caerphilly, Mid Glamorgan, Wales :

Follow the steps above for salsa mayonesa.
Add 1 tablespoon of tomato puree or 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce to 150 ml of mayonnaise
Add 25 grams of finely chopped tinned pimiento
1 clove of crushed garlic
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Season with pepper and additional lemon juice.

Serve with seafood cocktail, cold vegetables, cold cuts and as a sandwich spread.


Alioli - Garlic Mayonnaise
The recipe for the alioli below, has been emailed in by one of the regular visitors to this UK and Spain website, Kath, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England :

Alioli just means "garlic oil", and is variously called ajiaceite, ajoaceite and all-i-oli. At its simplest (and in the original formula) the sauce is crushed garlic to which oil is added, drop by drop. Today, it is usually made with egg yokes as well.

Traditional handmade method:
Crush 3 cloves of garlic in the mortar and then continue with the handmade mayonnaise method above.

Blender method:
Whirl 3 cloves of garlic with the egg, and then proceed as with the blender mayonnaise method above.

Served with grilled meat or fish, snails, prawns or lobster.
Store refrigerated



Tapas
There's many recipes for tapas, but one of the many variations of the tapas recipes has been emailed in by one of the regular visitors to this UK and Spain website,Spanish food and Spanish recipes - Tortilla Sue, from Otley, in West Yorkshire, England. :
Gambas al Ajillo - Shrimps in Garlic
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:
1 lb shrimps
4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2-3 oz of cognac (you may substitute dry sherry instead)
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
3 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon for juice
1 Baguette

Preparation:

The shrimp can be peeled first, before cooking them if you prefer. In addition, if you like larger shrimp, you may purchase shrimp with fewer count to a pound. However, 25 to a pound are about the right size for this tapa.

In a saute pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for about one minute or until they begin to brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic!

Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry or cognac and paprika. Stir well, then saute, stirring briskly until the shrimp turn pink and curl - about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer shrimp with oil and sauce to a warm plate or serve right from the pan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.

Serve with fresh bread.

Serves 4 for appetizers. If preparing for a main course, double the recipe!


Tortilla - The tortilla is a very popular Spanish dish, very popular with the Spanish themselves and with the tourists from the UK.  When made correctly, the Spanish tortilla is a delicious half-inch thick "cake" of fried potatoes mixed with fried eggs and onions.
The recipe for the Spanish Tortilla below, was kindly emailed in to us by one of our regular visitors to this website for UK and Spain, from Tina, Rumney, Cardiff, Wales :

After cooking, the tortilla can be cut into pizza-like triangles to serve 4-6 people, or cut into squares to give a whole group a bite-sized toothpick sample.

50 ml of Olive oil
Four large potatoes (peel and cut into small pieces about 2mm thick)
Salt to taste
One large onion, thinly sliced
Four large eggs.

Some people add thin slices of red pepper together with the onion.

Heat the olive oil in a 9-inch skillet, add potato pieces, one slice at a time so that they don't stick. Alternate layers of potato and onion. Cook slowly, medium flame. Do not fry!! Turn occasionally until potatoes are tender, but not brown.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a fork. Salt to taste. Drain potatoes. Add potatoes to beaten eggs, pressing them so that the eggs cover them completely. Leave for 15 minutes, then heat 2 tbsps of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add potato-egg mixture, spreading quickly. Lower the heat to medium-high. Shake pan to prevent sticking (very important!!) When potatoes start to brown, put a plate on top skillet and flip to cook other side, adding another tbsp of oil. Brown on the other side. Can flip three or four times for better cooking.


If you come across any other typical Spanish food not mentioned above, or any other Spanish recipes, just email details to Spanish-Food@UKandSpain.com

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