Tapas

Croquetas

Ingredients (for 4 people):

  • 1 desert spoon of olive oil
  • 2 desert spoons of flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cup of bread crumbs
  • Nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup of ham, cut into small pieces
  • Salt

Steps:

1: Put the oil in a frying pan and warm it. Once the oil is warm (but before it is so hot that smoke rises from it) remove the pan from the heat and add the flour to the oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes a paste.

2: Put the pan on the heat again and add the milk, little by little, stirring the mixture all the time until it is cooked and even. Add the nutmeg, a pinch of salt and the ham cut into small pieces. Cook in the pan until the mixture is stiff, and don’t stop stirring.

3: As soon as the mixture is stiff enough, spoon it into a bowl and let it cool. Beat the egg. Once the mixture is cool, make small portions and mould them with your hands into the shape of a croqueta (oval). Dip each croqueta into the beaten egg and then dip it into the breadcrumbs which will stick to the
croqueta because of the egg. Place each croqueta separately on a plate. You can fry them straight away, or put them into the fridge and leave them until you are ready to cook and eat them.

4: Fry the croquetas in a pan with enough oil to cover them. When they are golden and crispy, take them out and lay them on kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil. Serve straight away.

Mariated Olives

Basic ingredients

  • 35oz olives
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • A sprig of thyme
  • A sprig of oregano
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bayleaf
  • A piece of fennel
  • A teaspoon of peppercorns
  • 1 part of vinegar to 4 parts of water

Steps:

1. Split the olives using a hammer or a wooden spoon

2. Put them in a bowl and cover with water.

3. Change the water every day until the olives become less bitter. It should take between 5 and 7 days

4. Put all the other ingredients into one large jar or plastic container (or several small ones) which can be properly sealed. Add the olives. Leave for at least a month, so that the flavours can blend before starting to use them

Calamares

Basic ingredients

  • 1lb frozen squid
  • flour
  • eggs
  • fine breadcrumbs
  • sunflower oil
  • 1 lemon

Steps:

1. make sure the squid pieces are completely defrosted

2. beat an egg and set aside for the batter

3. heat sunflower oil in a frying pan – make sure there´s enough oil to deep fry the squid

4. cover the squid pieces in egg, flour and breadcrumbs then fry in hot oil

5. Remove the fried squid from the frying pan and serve on a plate with a few pieces of lemon

Tips and ideas:

  • Frozen squid is normally bought in thin circular slices or strips – both work well for this recipe
  • If you want to use fresh squid you can, but make sure you clean it properly. It probably isn’t worth the extra bother, because the end result has almost the same flavour and texture.
  • When you take the fried pieces out of the oil, put them first on a plate with kitchen roll to absorb excess oil.

Gazpacho Andaluz

Spanish cold tomato soup which is the perfect starter to a Summer meal. Gazpacho is easy to make and although ingredients may vary according to region, this is the basic Andalusian Gazpacho recipe.

Ingredients (for 4 people):

  • 2lbs tomatoes (preferable plum tomatoes)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 small cup of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of vinegar
  • 1 cup of bread from the day before, soaked in water
  • Small portions of diced tomatoes, red and green peppers, cucumber, onion and bread or croutons to sprinkle on top

Steps:

1: Put the tomatoes, onion, pepper, cucumber, vinegar, oil and bread into a liquidizer. If you want to dilute it, add a glass of water. Tip: if you want to go for a tangy garlic taste, add a small amount of fresh garlic to the mixture before liquidizing.

2: Put the mixture into a bowl, add salt and pepper and leave the gazpacho to chill for at least an hour. If you want to eat it straight away, you can put some ice cubes in to cool it down. Gazpacho is a Summer dish which is meant to hydrate and cool down your body. So the colder the better!!

3: Serve the gazpacho en soup bowls, with the portions of diced tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion, croutons etc on the table, so that everyone can add them to their bowl as they prefer.