Traditional Dishes

Paella

Ingredients (4-6 people):

  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup Dry white wine
  • 1 ts saffron (azafran)
  • Olive oil or Spam
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup long grain rice or yellow rice with zaffron (Mahatma is one brand)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 6 oz breast of chicken, skinless
  • 1/2 lb fresh shrimp
  • 1 lb mussels
  • 2 lb clams
  • 2, 3 oz lobster tails
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Let peas defrost

3. Chop the onion, tomato and bell peppers

4. Peel the shrimp (See below)

5. Cut the chicken in small cubes

6. Scrub the clams and mussels, discarding any that are open (dead)

7. Spray the frying pan with PAM or olive oil

8. Preheat the frying pan for one minute at med-high heat

9. Saute the onion 2-3 mins until limp and brown

10. Add the rice, saute until golden stirring so it won’t burn

11. Add the wine and saffron (if not already in the rice) and stir until all the wine is absorbed

12. Stir in the peppers

13. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time stirring until the rice absorbs the stock (this is going to take a while)

14. Add the last cup of chicken stock

15. Add the cubed chicken

16. Add the shrimp, clams, lobster and mussels, tucking them in the rice

17. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until mussels open

18. Add the peas, tomato and artichokes and bake for 2 more minutes

Tips:

Saffron (azafran is really hard to find, and expensive, but is worth getting if you plan to make this dish since it gives the rice a yellow coloring and adds the essence of the paella flavor.

Sometimes you can find rice with the saffron already in it, which is much cheaper than buying the saffron by itself.

The smaller the clams are, the better, since they cook faster and are easier to eat.

To peal shrimp easily:

  • Hold the shrimp so that you can grab it from the back and peel off the legs of the shrimp
  • Peel off a piece of the shell around the head area
  • Hold on to the head area of the shrimp and pull the tail, when done correctly the whole shell while come out.

Spanish Meatballs

Basic ingredients for 4 people

  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 small glass of white wine
  • A little flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Tomato purée or tomate frito
  • Half a stock cube
  • 1lb minced chicken or turkey
  • ½ cup minced bacon
  • 1 teaspoon pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. of oregano
  • Olive oil
  • 2 small, ripe tomatoes
  • A small cup of peas

Steps:

1. Mix the minced chicken or turkey with the minced bacon. Grate one onion and chop or crush one clove of garlic. Add the grated onion, chopped garlic, soy sauce, oregano, pinenuts and breadcrumbs to the meat, and mix all ingredients together very well.

2. Make small balls with the mixture – about the size of a large marble. Coat them lightly in the flour (get a bowl, put some flour in and roll each ball around) and put all the balls on a large plate until you are ready to fry them.

3. Now make the sauce. Cut up the other onion and chop the other garlic, and put both of them in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil, the fresh parsley and some salt and pepper. Fry gently until they are soft, and then chop the 2 tomatoes and add them. Finally grate the carrot and add that too. Add the white wine and the cloves, half a stock cube dissolved in half a cup
of water, the peas, a bay leaf and a bit of tomato purée (or tomate frito if you live in Spain). Stir well and put on a low heat.

4. Put some olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, enough to cover the bottom of the pan, and fry the meatballs until they are brown all over. You don’t have to use lots of oil – turn them over so that they cook on all sides, and make sure the heat isn’t too strong, otherwise they might burn. You will probably need to fry them in two or three batches, depending on the size of your
frying pan. As each batch is ready, put the meatballs straight into the pan with the sauce and when they are all done and in the pan, leave them to simmer in the sauce for about half an hour.

5. You can serve the meatballs on their own as a tapas dish, or as a main course accompanied by a green leafy salad and/or a red pepper salad.

Lentejas

Basic ingredients

  • 9oz lentils (one bag)
  • 1 chorizo (or a few slices if you can’t get a small sausage-shaped one)
  • serrano ham (optional)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small glass of red wine
  • 2 cloves (optional)
  • 1 red pepper (optional)
  • Half a small glass of olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 small potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper

Steps:

1. Soak the lentils for half an hour. Even though small lentils in packets usually don’t need soaking, Spanish women tend to soak anyway

2. Cut the ham and chorizo into dice-shaped pieces. Peel and wash the carrots and potatoes. Slice the carrots and halve the potatoes (unless they are very small). Wash and slice a small red pepper (optional).

3. Drain the lentils and put them in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover them and add the ham, chorizo, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, pepper, parsley, a little salt, saffron and wine. Also add the cloves if you want the lentils to have a slightly spicey air to them. Put the pan over a low heat and cover.

4. Slice the onion and garlic and fry, stirring all the time. After a minute or so, add the sliced red pepper. This is optional and adds a slightly sweet flavor to the lentejas. When soft, add to the other ingredients in the saucepan.

5. Let the lentil stew simmer for at least 40 minutes. Boil off any excess liquid at the end.

Andalusian-Style Fried Fish

Basic ingredients:

  • a slice of fresh hake (per person)
  • a few fresh anchovies (per person)
  • a few peeled prawns (per person)
  • flour
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 lemons

Steps:

1. Wash and dry the fish pieces then cover them with flour

2. Heat a large amount of olive oil for deep frying the fish (the oil should be almost smoking)

3. Add the fish to the hot oil (there should be enough oil to cover the fish)

4. Remove the fish from the oil as it turns golden – place on a plate and sprinkle with salt

5. When all the fish is done serve with the fresh lemon cut into wedges

Tips and Ideas:

• It´s definitely worth using olive oil for this dish as it adds flavor but you can substitute it with sunflower if you prefer a lighter taste

• Serve with a chilled Andalusian white wine (e.g. Barbadilla)