Monday, 10 March 2014

Flavour Stories - El Sabor De Espana

When I think of memorable flavours, I think of Spain.
I think of tapas, I think of paella, I think of jamon Iberico to name a few.
When I was 20 I moved to Gran Canaria and stayed there for nearly 7 years. I had a lot of up and some massive downs whilst there, but despite that I fell in love with Spain.
I love the culture, I love being able to speak, read and write Spanish but more than anything I love the food!
When I reminisce about the food my mind drifts off to the smokey tapas bars with the strong smell of fresh coffee, jamon Serrano hanging from the ceiling, fresh bocadillos and plate after plate of tapas.
There are so many tapas dishes that I miss and many would not taste as good as they would over there.
However there are a few that I can cook!
I can bring the taste of Spain, or el sabor de Espana, to England to enjoy.
Paprika is the main spice in the dishes that I have cooked. The smell of paprika cooking in dishes remind me of the sunny climates and the dishes below take me back there.
We enjoyed a tapas night with patatas bravas (bravas potatoes), atun y acetuna empanadillas (tuna and olive pasties), jamon Serrano (Serrano ham) and of course a bottle of reserva Rioja.
The recipes below are special to me because they bring the flavours that I miss so much back. Here is how to create a taste of Spain at home...
Patatas Bravas
400g potatoes, chopped with the skin kept on
Rapeseed oil
1 onion
1tbsp freshly chopped red chilli
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3tbsp Spanish sherry
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3tsps paprika
2tbsp white wine vinegar
1 - Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions, fry until soft
2 - Add the chopped chilli and garlic and cook for a couple more minutes
3 - Mix in the paprika
4 - Add the sherry and bring to the boil
5 - Mix in the chopped tomatoes and white wine vinegar, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced down
6 - Whilst the sauce is cooking heat a pan with the rapeseed oil in, add enough oil so that you can deep fry the potatoes
7 - Deep fry the potatoes until the float up and are browned
8 - When the liquid has reduced down in the sauce you have two options, the sauce can either be left as it is (how I like it!) or it can be blended into a smooth sauce.
Served the potatoes with a sprinkling of salt and the spicy tomato sauce over the top.
Atun y Acetuna Empanadillas
175g plain flour
75g butter, chilled
1/2tsp paprika
3-5tbsp water
1 tin of tuna
40g olives stuffed with pimenton, chopped
3tbsp tomato puree
1 small onion
1 large mushroom
1/2tsp paprika
1 egg
Pre heat the oven to 200C
1 - Make the paprika pastry by mixing together the flour, paprika and butter in a food processor until you have a bread crumb texture.
2 - Gradually add the water until you have a rough dough
3 - bring the pastry together with your hands, wrap in cling film and chill n the fridge until needed
4 - Fry the onion and mushroom in a little oil until soft
5 - Add the tomato puree and paprika to the onions and mushrooms and cook for two minutes then remove from the heat
5 - Flake the tuna into a bowl, add the olives and the onion and mushroom mixture and mix together
6 - Roll out the pastry and using a large round cutter cut out pastry discs
7 - Place about 1 and a half teaspoons of the tuna mixture into the centre and bring the sides up, pinch together and place on a baking tray
8 - Once all of the empanandillas are made brush them with egg wash and place in the pre heated oven for 15 minutes
These flavoursome pasties are delicious both warm and cold. The added paprika in the pastry gives them an added taste of Spain.

This is my flavour story, the tastes and flavours which trigger off memories.
Do you have a flavour story or a dish which sparks a memory? If you do head over to either the Schwartz Website or Schwartz Facebook page and share it with them.

This post is an entry into the Foodies100/Schwartz Flavour of Together challenge


  1. I love Patatas Bravas- but never tried making them- have favourited this so I can give it a go!

  2. Oh no! I am starving now and I have just this minute caned a very large bowl of porridge! These look delicious, I love tapas but have never thought of trying to recreate it at home, might just be trying soon though!

  3. Reminds me of our holidays to the Canary Islands when I was young. In those days (1970s and 1980s) no one had heard of them and they were very traditional and unspoilt!

  4. Lucky you, living in Spain, must have been lovely. I love tapa's, yours look fab. Thanks for the recipes x

  5. Wow 7 years is such a long time to move over there, no wonder the food will bring back so many memories for you - and it looks really delicious! :)

  6. These look delicious! Especially the pasties... I'm a huge pastie fan ;O)

  7. These look gorgeous, I've never actually been to Spain but it looks like if we did visit we'd be able to eat like kings!!

  8. I absolutely love Spanish food and Tapas. I would love to visit Spain in the not too distant future. It must have been such an experience living over there for a while. Can I come over next time you have a Spanish night, it looks delicious!!

  9. These look lovely. I love Spanish flavours, and paella is one of my favourite dishes. Never tried the potato dish but looks yummy and relatively easy to revreate., so adding ingredient to shopping list!

  10. I'd really like to have a go at making some tapas recipes one day. They all look so lovely

  11. looks rather tasty ihave never tried these meals before x

  12. These look yummy! I've not heard of some of these before. They are making me hungry though!

  13. Ooh we went to Spain last year - I must give these a try, to get back into the holiday mood! It's amazing how evocative food can be.

  14. mmmmm you are making me hungry! I love tapas food and how it is such a socialble meal to have wirth people and i love the fact you can try little bits of lots of meals! x

  15. I love the idea of tapas but have yet to try making anything!

  16. I love tapas too, particularly the patatas bravas. You're right - Spain's food is spectacular. Thanks for the fab recipes to try.

  17. These look lovely, I've not tried them before but will definitely keep the recipe in mind

  18. Ahh this is fantastic. we used to have a house in spain so I spent about half of my childhood there, would love to be able to cook spanish recipes as I miss it so much! x

  19. These sound delicious, love trying new flavours

  20. Oh yum! I love Spanish food and I may well have to try this out. As for other flavours - think my other favourite has to be Thai - memories of travelling in Asia BC (before children!) #blogclub

  21. always interesting to see different countries dishes! x

  22. You had me until you added Tuna - I am not a lover of fish sadly but otherwise it sounds delicious

  23. Mmmm....these look scrummy - I'd love to cook and eat all of these, but I would omit the olives. It's great being able to play with recipes to suit personal taste while retaining the feel of the dish :-) #blogclub

  24. They look lovely, always been rather afraid to try and recreate tapas at home...but loved them in Spain too and brings back some great memories. Love tuna, but am guessing cut up chunks of chicken would work well too.


Thank you for your comments I do love to hear what you think and try to reply to as many as I can x