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...
400g potatoes, chopped with the skin kept on
1tbsp freshly chopped red chilli
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3tbsp Spanish sherry
2 garlic cloves, crushed
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 tin of tuna
40g olives stuffed with pimenton, chopped
3tbsp tomato puree
1 small onion
1 large mushroom
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