Spanish food is part of the reason for our love affair with this holiday hot spot. Paella packed with fresh-off-the-boat seafood, all manner of tapas, slow-cooked meat joints falling off the bone – that’s why we go back again and again. Your holiday doesn’t have to end when you’re on the plane: learn how to cook a few traditional Spanish recipes and recreate your getaway in the comfort of your own home.
The centre of the communal dining table, the beauty of this iconic Spanish dish is you can chuck in anything you like. The Spanish (and food puritans) will use paella rice, but you can make a great dish with basmati, which is much easier to get hold of.
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch of saffron
splash wine white (optional)
900ml fish or chicken stock
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
12 king Prawns
75g frozen peas
75g frozen broad beans
300g monkfish (or sea bass, if you can’t find monkfish)
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Handful of chopped parsley
- Heat some oil in a wok or large casserole pan and cook your monkfish pieces for a couple of minutes on either side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Fry off your onion in the pan until soft, then throw in the diced chorizo to release the flavours.
- Add in the garlic, turmeric, paprika and saffron, then add the rice to the pan and stir well, making sure it’s coated in the spices and chorizo oils. If you’re using a splash of white wine, add now and stir. Pour in the tomatoes and stock, stir and then cook on a low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes.
- Add in the frozen peas and beans, stirring into the mixture as you do, then add in the prawns and mussels. Cover the pan well (foil is sometimes best) and turn the heat down low, leaving everything to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the mussels have opened and the prawns are cooked
- Squeeze a couple of lemon wedges over the paella and stir in. Scatter the remaining lemon wedges around the dish and top with chopped parsley, then serve.
This refreshing Spanish cocktail could not be simpler to make. It’s best if left in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight, to let the flavours of the fruit infuse with the wine. Some like their Sangría strong, but if you prefer it to go down a little easier, you can dilute with soda water. Alternatively, if you like your drinks on the sweeter side, try adding lemonade for a little twist! Serve chilled and packed with fruit.
1 bottle Spanish red wine
250ml orange juice
50g sugar (optional)
2 oranges, cut into wedges
2 lemons, sliced
1 apple, sliced
Soda water or lemonade (optional)
- Add the wine, brandy, juice and sugar (if using) into a jug and stir well until sugar is dissolved.
- Add in the sliced fruit, then leave to chill in the fridge, overnight if you have time.
- Serve over ice. If you are looking to dilute the drinks slightly, add soda water or lemonade.
This delightfully naughty Spanish dessert is no friend to your waist line, but tastes amazing and it’s easier to make than you might think. Don’t hesitate – it’s worth it.
For the Churros
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
400ml water, boiling
1/2tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp olive oil
100g caster sugar
1tbsp ground cinnamon
For the Chocolate Sauce
200g good quality dark chocolate
50g milk chocolate
300ml double cream
1/2 vanilla extract
2 tbsp golden syrup
- Mix together the cinnamon and sugar, then set to one side. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, and add the salt and baking powder. Make a well in the middle of the bowl.
- Measure out 400ml of boiled water, then add in the vanilla extract and olive oil. Pour the mixture into the well in your flour and beat as you do. Your dough should be smooth and slightly sticky. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes.
- While resting, make the chocolate sauce by putting all the ingredients into a sauce pan and heating very gently, stirring regularly, until the chocolate has melted and everything has mixed to form a smooth, dark sauce. Be careful not to let it burn. Once done, turn off the heat and leave covered to one side.
- In a thick bottomed, deep pan, heat the sunflower oil to about 170ºC, or until a small chunk of bread browns in 30-45 seconds.
- Spoon the dough into a piping bag, and pipe your churros straight into the pan. You can use scissors to cut the dough at the length you want. Cook 2/3 churros at one time. Cook for about 4/5 minutes, until they’re golden and fluffy. Remove from the pan with a slatted spoon or spatula and place in the sugar and cinnamon mix.
- Reheat you chocolate sauce and serve.
These recipes are easier than you might think! Impress your friends when they next come round by serving up a traditional Spanish dinner. If it’s a sunny summers evening, eat outside to capture that relaxed Mediterranean vibe. Who’s hungry?
Do you have any top tips for easy and impressive traditional dishes? We want to hear them all so let us know over on Facebook or send us the recipes on Pinterest so that we can take a look!
Psst…if you’re looking for more of these traditional and delicious recipes, head on over to Pinterest and follow this board: