Category Archives: Cuisine from Spain Podcast

Albondigas – Cuisine from Spain podcast 19


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Albondigas - Spanish Meatballs

Ingredients

600 grammes (1 1/4 pounds) of Minced beef
1 egg
4 garlic cloves
2 sprigs parsley finely chopped
1 cup of flour
1 onion chopped up in large chunks
2 bay leaves
1 tsp of salt
Olive oil
1/2 glass of wine

Preparation

To prepare the mixture we beat the egg in a big bowl, then add the meat, 2 crushed garlic cloves, the salt and the parsley, mixing with a fork until everything is coated with the egg.

Use a spoon to separate enough mixture to form a golf-ball-sized meatball and shape it lightly with your hands. Be careful not to press too hard because the sauce won’t soak in later, which might leave them very dry. Continue forming balls until the mixture is finished, then place the flour on a plate and coat each of the balls by rolling them around the plate.

To fry the meatballs use a small, deep frying pan filled with olive oil to a depth of around 2 cm / nearly an inch. When the oil is hot add 4 or 5 balls and brown them lightly for 1 or 2 minutes, making sure that you turn them over half way through. Repeat the process until all of the meatballs have been fried.

To prepare the sauce use a large frying pan where you will be able to place all of the meatballs in one layer. Filter the olive oil used for frying the meatballs earlier and pour it into the large frying pan, then add the onion and cook slowly for about 10 minutes. Next add two garlic cloves with the skin still on, and two bay leaves. Add a spoonful of flour (you can use what’s left on the plate where you coated the meatballs) and stir it in with a wooden spoon for 15 seconds, coating the flour with the oil (note that if you fry it for much longer the flour might burn). Then quickly add the wine and about 1/2 a litre of water (1 US Pint). Finally, add the meat balls, and more water – until they are around two thirds covered – and cook slowly for about 30 minutes, stirring every now and again so they don’t stick to the bottom. Note that you can add more water half way through if needed.

Pollo en Pepitoria – Cuisine from Spain Podcast 18


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This wonderful Castillian chicken dish seemed to go down quite well in the Catalan kitchen!

Ingredients:

2 Kg (4.4 Pounds) of Chicken (Drum sticks and thighs)
1 Chopped onion
3 Garlic cloves chopped roughly
3 Boiled eggs
2 Bouquet Garnis (or 2 bay leafs)
White wine (1 ½ glasses)
Water (1 ½ glasses)
White Flour (Enough to cover a plate)
Olive oil
Salt

Preparation:

Start by sprinkling salt over each piece of chicken and coating them in flour. Cover the bottom of a cast-iron frying pan with olive oil and let it heat up. When the oil starts to smoke, fry the pieces of chicken lightly in two lots for about 5 minutes each, then take them out and leave them on one side on a plate.

Using the same oil (or if there is too much oil get rid of about 1/3) cook the onion and garlic over a low heat with the bouquet garni for about 15 minutes. Next add the wine and water and leave to boil for 10 minutes, allowing the flavours to come out. Then add the chicken, check it is completely covered by the liquid (if not, add some more water), and cook everything very slowly for 30 minutes. Finally, chop the egg whites and crumble the egg yolks before adding them to the stew, and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Serve with boiled potatoes and a green vegetables.


Above: Bouquet Garni from Terrasa market

Marmitako – Cuisine from Spain Podcast 17


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Marmitako

This warming Basque fish stew receives its name from the saucepan that it is cooked in, a Marmita.

Ingredients: (for 4 people)

600g (1.3 Pounds) of fresh Tuna (or Bonito if you are in Spain)
1Kg (2.2 Pounds) of Potatoes
2 Onions
2 Tomatoes
3 Garlic cloves
2 Bay leaves
4 tbsp of Olive oil
1 tsp of Sweet paprika
1 Cayenne pepper
1 liter (2 Pints) of water
2 Sprigs of parsley

Preparation:

Start by peeling the potatoes and slicing them roughly. Then peel and thinly slice both the onion and the garlic. Pour the oil into a saucepan and let it warm on the hob until it starts to smoke. Then add the potatoes, the onion and the garlic and let these cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionaly.

Next add the bay leaves, the cayenne pepper, and finally a tsp of sweet paprika. Be careful at this point, you need to get the paprika coated in the oil without burning it – to do this successfully stir non-stop for between 20 to 30 seconds then immediately add the water, until the potato mixture is covered. Remove the cayenne pepper, and let the stew boil for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes and the fish. To easily peel the tomatoes, scald them (cover for half a minute with boiling water) and then remove the skin. Chop the tomatoes roughly and purée them using a fork. Next, cut the fish into small cubes, carefully removing any remaining bones.

When the 20 minutes are up (this time really depends on the type of potatoes) add the tomato purée and leave the dish simmering on the hob for a further 7 minutes. Then add the tuna, and cook it for just 5 to 7 minutes more – you really have to be careful not to overcook the fish or it won’t be tender. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve in bowls.

Cuisine from Spain Podcast 16 – Setas


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setas

This seasonal mushroom dish, made here using wild setas, can actually be adapted to make a great tapa all year round.

Ingredients:

4 cloves of garlic
3 Tbs olive oil
Half a kilo/1 pound wild mushrooms (setas)
Half a glass of white wine
3 sticks of parsley
Salt (a generous pinch!)
Pepper (optional)

Preparation:

Start by washing the mushrooms thoroughly, then place them in a sieve and let them dry for a while – if you need to cook them immediately, dry them a bit with a tea-towel. With the type of mushrooms I used, you can simply tear them into strips but if you use button mushrooms you need to slice them with a knife.

Put all the oil in a frying pan and wait till it starts to smoke. Add the garlic, which has been previously peeled and sliced roughly, and stir with a wooden spoon. When the garlic starts to brown add the mushrooms and stir them every now and again for 5 minutes. At this point add the wine and turn the heat down to medium. After another 5 to 10 minutes add the parsley and serve immediately.

Tips

If you want to try adding even more flavour to this dish, you can fry some bacon or ham (serrano or parma) in the oil with the garlic (remember that the garlic will need less time than either of these ingredients.)

If you can’t find wild mushrooms that you thing will be suitable, standard or button mushrooms will do just fine.

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Cuisine from Spain Podcast 15 – Cordero Asado and Patatas a lo Pobre


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Roast lamb and a lo pobre potatoes … You don’t get more Castillian than this! Although you can find cordero asado cooked in a similar way throughout Spain, the best is found around Segovia, Valladolid, and other parts of the Castilla-Leon area, where you still see shepherds wandering through the hills with their flocks. Another reason not to miss this dish in these areas is that it is usually cooked in a wood-fired oven (horno de leña), bringing even more flavour to the dish.

Cordero Asado

Cordero Asado

Ingredients

2 Kg (4 pounds) of good organic lamb (we used leg here)
6 to 8 garlic cloves
3 tsp of thyme
6 bay leaves
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Preparation

The secret of the success of this recipe is to get very good quality meat, organic if possible, and then cook it very slowly in the oven.

Preheat the oven for 30 minutes at 200ºC/390ºF. When the oven is ready, make three or frour cuts in the meat (look at the picture above) and insert an unpeeled garlic clove and a bay leaf into each of them. Then rub the lamb with the rock salt, thyme and the olive oil before sticking it in the oven. After 5 minutes pour a glass of water over the meat. Keep it at this temperature for 5 more minutes and then turn the oven down to a slower setting, about 160ºC/320ºF. Leave it at this temperature for at least 1h and 30 minutes. After this time check with a fork or a knife that the meat is cooked in the middle – if it still seems a little red, leave it for a while longer.

Tip 1

Note that I’ve used leg this time but it would be fine to use shoulder.

Tip 2

If you are Spain it is fine to buy leg or shoulder of either Lechal or Recental lamb, as explained in the podcast. If you ask the butcher to prepare it for roasting he will make two or three cuts down to the middle of the bone, so the meat cooks better in the middle. Note that if the meat has no cuts, or the piece is heavier, cooking times will be longer.

Patatas a lo Pobre

Patatas a lo Pobre

Ingredients

5 Medium Potatos
3 Onions
2 Green peppers
8 garlic cloves
2 tsp salt
15 tbsp olive oil
1 dessert spoon of vinager

Preparation

Start by peeling the potatos and the onions, slice them thinly width-wise and place them into a bowl. Roughly chop up the green peppers, carefully removing all the seeds, and place them in the bowl together with the potatoes and the onion. Add the salt slowly while you gently mix the potato and these other ingredients with your hands.

Now select a large, and preferably deep, frying pan. Note that a wok will do the task very well. If you don’t have a large frying pan you might need to cook this dish using two frying pans. Pour all the oil into the frying pan and allow it to get hot. When it starts to smoke add the potatoes, onions, peppers and the bay leaves. During the whole cooking process you need to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon regularly (every minute) so it does not stick to the bottom. Note that some of the potatoes will break into smaller pieces – this really does not matter as this dish is more about taste. Keep cooking at a high setting for about 10 minutes, and then turn the hob to a medium setting and add the garlic, which has been previously peeled and thinly sliced.

After 20 more minutes try one potato to check if it is cooked. If so, turn off the hob and remove the excess oil using a colander. Put the mixture back into the frying pan and add the vinager while stiring the mixture for a few seconds.

Tip 1

Serve this as a side dish for any roast meat

Tip 2

This recipe requires large quantities of oil. If olive oil is difficult or expensive to get in your area you can easyly substitute it for sunflower oil, or any vegetable oil available in your area.

Discuss this recipe in our forum.

Cuisine from Spain Podcast 14 – Pinchos Morunos


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Pincho Morunos

Marina takes on the local butcher as she tries to out-do his Pincho Moruno kebabs!

Ingredients

1 Kg or 2.2 Pounds of pork meat
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp of sweet paprika
1 tsp of hot paprika
1 tsp of ground pepper
2 tsp of thyme
3 bay leafs
4 tbsp of olive oil

Preparation

Start by chopping up the meat into 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch cubes. Then add the crushed garlic cloves and add all the spices to a bowl and mix them with a spoon before adding the olive oil and mixing a little bit more. Add the meat to the mixture and mix until all the pieces are covered with the spice mixture. Leave in the fridge to marinade for at least 12 hours (and up to 2 days) before cooking. Before barbecuing the meat, make the kebabs by putting four or five cubes of meat onto metal kebab sticks.

Tips

1. If you want even more Moorish flavour, add a tsp of cumin seeds or powder.
2. If it’s no longer barbecue season in your part of the world, you can always cook these under the oven grill (broiler).

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Cuisine from Spain Podcast 13 – Natillas


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Natillas

Marina prepares one of the most classic deserts on the Spanish menu – Natillas – a delicious cinnamon custard.

Ingredients

1 litre of Milk (1.7 UK Pints, 2.1 US Liquid Pints)
250 grm of sugar (half a pound)
9 egg yolks
2 or 3 cinnamon sticks
cinnamon powder

Preparation

Put 3/4 of the milk in a saucepan together with half of the sugar and the cinnamon sticks, until it starts simmering. Then turn the hob off and let it cool down for about 1 hour.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar and milk. When this mixture is properly mixed, add the warm mixture slowly through a sieve, little by little, while you mix it gently with a wooden spoon. Pour all the mixture back into the saucepan and set the hob at a medium setting, while you continue to mix it with a wooden spoon every now and again. After about 5 or 6 minutes it will start thickening, at this point keep stirring constantly for another 3 or 4 minutes.

Be careful when you finish, at this point it can separate so you need to pour it very quickly into small bowls – as soon as you take it off the hob.

Let it cool down and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tips

Tip 1 – Before serving sprinkle some cinnamon powder over each bowl. If you like you can also add a biscuit.

Tip 2 – To ensure that the mixture doesn’t separate, you can cook them in a Bain Marie instead.

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Cuisine from Spain Podcast 12 – Almejas a la Marinera and Pimientos del Padron


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Almejas a la marinera

Almejas (clams) a la Marinera

There are many variations on this recipe, depending where you have it. Sometimes it has a light green sauce if it is made with parsley, or red if you use paprika, in which case it can be either spicy if you use hot paprika, or mild if you use sweet paprika. Any of these combinations is delicious but I have a particular preference for the mild red one, which is the one described below.

Preparation time: 25 mins

Ingredients

1/2 Kg (1 pound) clams
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 sticks of fresh parsley chopped up in very small pieces
1 tablespoon of flour
1 glass of white wine
3 tablespoon of olive oil
salt
1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika

Preparation

Firstly wash the clams by placing them to soak in cold water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes, so that they release any remaining sand. Meanwhile, chop up the onion into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) squares, peel and crush the garlic cloves, and wash and finely chop the parsley. At this point put the clams in a sieve so you have them ready when you need them.

Select a medium-sized saucepan and pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or until the bottom is completely covered). When the oil starts to smoke add the onion bits and cook for about 5 minutes at medium heat, or until the onion is soft. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute, add a tablespoon of flour and a teaspoon of paprika, and stir it with a wooden spoon so they get coated with the oil and don’t burn. After 30 seconds add a glass of white wine and a pinch of salt, and drop the clams into the mixture and stir them while they open. As soon as they open they are done, but as some take longer than others to open you can take them out and place them on a serving dish as they do so. When all of them are open (remove and discard those that don’t open), pour the sauce over the clams and sprinkle a bit of parsley over the top.

Tip 1 – When you finish eating the clams, soak a bit of bread in the sauce, it’s delicious!

Pimientos del padron

Almejas a la marinera

These small green peppers come from Galicia but can be found in markets all around Spain and are delicious to have as a tapa.

There is a Spanish saying which goes "Pimientos del padrón some are hot and some are not” – usually they are not spicy, but every now and again you find a real scorcher that can bring tears to your eyes (or in Marina’s case cause hiccups)!

Preparation time: 6 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 Kg (1 pound) Pimientos del Padrón
2 teaspoons of rock salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil

Preparation

For this recipe you need to use a big frying pan or divide the peppers in to two lots and cook them separately. Cover the bottom of the frying pan with olive oil, and when it starts to smoke add the peppers. Sprinkle the salt on top and swirl the frying pan as if it was a wok, so the peppers fry evenly all over. Let them cook for about 5 minutes or until they start to wrinkle. Place them onto a serving plate and eat while they are still hot.

Comment on these recipes in the Notes from Spain forum.

Cuisine from Spain Podcast 11 – Pollo al Ajillo


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Pollo al Ajillo

Introduction

The secret of this recipie is the mixture of the crispy chicken skin and roasted garlic.

Ingredients

1.5 Kg (3.3 pounds) of chicken with bone and skin (either a whole chicken cut in to 4 cm/2 inch pieces or thighs and legs chopped separately)
12 garlic cloves
olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
3 bay leaves
a glass of white wine (optional)

Preparation

For this recipie you need to use the biggest frying pan you have, so all the chicken pieces fit in one layer. If you don’t have a big enough frying pan you will need to use two simultaneusly.

Start by peeling the garlic cloves and slicing them roughly, then pour olive oil until the bottom of the frying pan is covered and wait until it starts to smoke. While you wait you can add salt to all the chicken bits. Then add all the garlic pieces and just when they start to brown add the chicken, inserting the bay leaves in between. You will need to cook it for aproximately 30 minutes or until all the pieces are crispy and brown, taking care to turn the pieces over so they get equally brown all over.

Serving Idea: Great to have it with fries.

Tip: If you want to have a bit of sauce, towards the end of the cooking lower the heat to minimum, remove the excess oil from the frying pan and add a glass of white wine. Cook for another 5 minutes and serve.

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Cuisine from Spain podcast no. 10 – Grilling!


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The Catavino crew come round for some serious grilling (that’s Barbequing to us Brits ;) ), while we chat about grilling culture in Spain and abroad, fine Spanish wines, why Spanish ingredients are so good, and Marina tells us about two great summer salads. This podcast goes hand in hand with the almost simultaneously recorded podcast over at Catavino radio, where we do some serious wine tasting before the food chat here gets underway.

Discuss this episode in the Cuisine from Spain forum.