Every Easter, known as Semana Santa in Spain, local bakeries and patisseries will make up special Easter desserts, and in Ronda the pick of the bunch is called Torrijas, a sweet treat made with bread as the base, filled with custard, and drowned in honey or sugar and served on a plate to be eaten with a knife and fork.
Of course as is typical of the Spanish, every region will have their own variation, so the recipe I’m going to share with you may not be exactly how your Spanish friends would make it, so be careful you don’t offend them by saying this recipe is the best, instead nod knowingly when they tell you what is missing, or how they’d make it, and then when their back is turned choose the recipe you prefer. Continue reading Recipe for Torrijas, an Easter Treat in Spain
To say that natillas is custard is rather like saying that champagne is only wine. This dessert has a fresh delicacy and a charm which makes good old English custard seem dull and heavy in comparison. Nothing completes a delightful family meal on a summer afternoon than a “pudding” of natillas! Continue reading Natillas, a tasty Andalucian dessert
The original Tapa was a small dish that the camarero (barman) would place over your drink – hence the name: lid. The reason for this practice is unclear: perhaps it was to keep the flies off; perhaps it was the combination of poverty and heat, which made eating a large meal impractical. Either way, the important thing was that the snack was free!
Nowadays, tapas have evolved from those humble beginnings to become practically an art form in Seville and Granada. In some cities (Granada and Jaen for example) you will often automatically be given a tapa whenever you order a drink; in most other places except to pay a couple of euros for most tapas. Continue reading Lifting the lid on Tapas
Before we proceed to making this simple and delicious dish, let’s clear up a couple of confusing points. Here in Spain, a “tortilla” is an omelette. It has nothing to do with thin wraps of unleavened bread. Those are Mexican tortillas.
Secondly, an omelette pure and simple, consisting of nothing more than beaten eggs, is known as a “French omelette” (tortilla francesa). Much more substantial, with chunks of potato, is the meal we are about to prepare – the Spanish omelette, or “tortilla española”. Continue reading Tortilla Española
What can I say about gazpacho that hasn’t been said already, by the poets and playwrights of our region? It’s the Andalucian wonder-food, which has sustained us over centuries of poverty and hardship. “Cold tomato soup” doesn’t sound very spectacular, but believe me, it has magical properties.
It nourishes us when we’re hungry, cools us when we’re overheating, cures hangovers and soothes a thousand ailments. My family members think nothing of pouring a glass of tradtional gazpacho straight from the fridge, and consuming it as a refreshing drink.
Continue reading Gazpacho Andaluz
In the South of Spain in the summer people make delicious cold soups, the most famous being gazpacho. Another is porra, and this recipe for traditional Antequera porra is super simple to make.
This soup is softer in taste than the gazpacho and offers a thicker substance. Ask for it in restaurants and be pleasantly surprised, unless you accidentally ask for “Porro Porra”, in which case you might receive a rather incredulous stare and the comment that in Spain joints (ahem, a soft smokable drug) aren’t normally served… Continue reading Traditional Antequera Porra (Southern Spain)
Albondigas can be found in almost every tapas bar in Spain throughout the year, and are typically served piping hot, but cool down remarkably quickly outside of the pot. Most bars will have their own slightly different recipe so visitors to Spain shouldn’t be afraid to order this tapa as they bar hop and sample local cuisine.
Generally there are two types of sauce the meatballs are cooked in, the rich red tomato sauce, and the gravy style pale garlic sauce albondigas clarasthough this is rarer and in most bars will not be served at all. It is important to realise that the wors ‘tomato sauce’ do not do justice to the flavour of the sauce, this is not ketchup, it is a delicious tomato and olive oil based sauce that is quite unique to this recipe. Continue reading Albondigas – Spanish Meatballs in Tomato Sauce – Classic Recipe
Here’s a nice little vegetarian dish with a hint of spice and more than a whiff of history to it. Let’s get the ingredients together, then we’ll have the history lesson! Continue reading Moros y Cristianos (Beans and Rice)