I know you people here in the UK love tapas, so as a Spaniard (although I’ve been away from Spain for a while now…) I thought it would be nice to share some basic recipes you can try at home. These are probably the most common Spanish tapas and you can get them for free when you ask for a drink in most bars, this is true, I swear! So next time you think of going to a ‘Spanish’ restaurant you might want to consider preparing them at home and bringing all your friends for a real ‘fiesta’!
Spanish omelette or ‘Tortilla de patatas’
Really basic but delicious dish! You only need 4 ingredients: potatoes, onions, eggs and olive oil. Peel the potatoes, slice them and fry them with olive oil until they’re about to become crispy. Add the chopped onion and let it fry with the potatoes. Once they are ready remove all the oil from the frying pan.
The amount of eggs you use depends on whether you like more or less potatoes in your tortilla, I personally prefer more potatoes and less eggs. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add them to the frying pan with the potatoes and onion. Let it cook and turn it using a plate on top of the frying pan, do this a couple of times until the tortilla is ready.
You can have your tortilla either hot or cold. You can keep it on a dry and cold place for the next day, that’s probably when I like it the most! It is a quite filling dish but it works really well with some salad by its side. Ah, remember to get some nice bread as well!
Spicy chips or ‘Patatas bravas’
Another one for the potatoes lovers out there! This is basically chips with a spicy tomato sauce. I’ve had so many patatas bravas during my life and have tried some horrible sauces; this dish is not actually as easy as it sounds!
What do you need? Potatoes, onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, hot paprika and olive oil. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onion, fry it until it softens. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, hot paprika and some water and let it boil while you stir it.
Dice the potatoes and fry them, when they’re ready make sure you remove all the olive oil from them. Put the potatoes on a plate and pour the sauce on top of them. Serve with some toothpicks, real patatas bravas are eaten like this!
Spanish croquettes or ‘Croquetas’
This one is slightly more difficult than the previous ones and I must admit that I don’t know how to cook them properly! You can do croquetas with almost anything but the most common ingredients might be ham or chicken.
You will need some Serrano ham, flour, milk, eggs, breadcrumbs and olive oil. Chop the ham into small pieces and heat the milk in a sauce pan. In a frying pan mix the flour with some oil and add the warm milk very slowly while stirring all the time.
Place the pan over a medium heat and add the ham while you keep on stirring, you will notice that the mixture will begin to thicken. Once the mixture is quite consistent, transfer it into a dish and leave it to cool.
Wait for some hours, if you try to do it with the mixture still warm you will not be able to fry it. Get some of the mixture and mould it into an oval shape, you can use a couple of spoons in order to do that. Then dip it into beaten eggs and after that roll it in the breadcrumbs.
Heat olive oil in a pan and make sure you have enough oil to cover the croquetas, make sure the oil is very hot before you start frying them or they might break up. Leave them until they are golden brown.
Have you tried Spanish food before? What are the traditional dishes of your country? Let us know in the comments section below!
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