Assorted tapas, gazpacho, Paella and churros - the quintessential Spanish dishes are all on the menu for the weekend. Spanish food is simple and uncomplicated and based on ingredients that are fresh and easily available. It’s not hard to like a cuisine that uses saffron, spices and tomatoes so liberally.
Red bell pepper
Cauliflower, peas, red peppers and parsley (for vegetarian paella)
Here are 18 varied tapas recipes to choose from on MarthaStewart.com. From the list, you absolutely must try the patata bravas, fried herbed almonds, steamed clams in garlic-saffron broth and fried chickpeas.
This pungent Andalucian soup is also known as a liquid salad because of all the popular salad ingredients that go into it: tomato, cucumber, onions, olive oil and vinegar. Alton Brown, the store house of knowledge on the science of cooking, has given the Gazpacho a twist with the addition of Worcestershire sauce and toasted cumin to spice it up a little. Because this soup isn't cooked, the freshness of the vegetables used is of prime importance. View recipe here.
Gorgeous golden paella with fish, prawns, squid and clams is a seafood lover's delight. There are several versions of this dish — some made with meat escargot and beans. When making the paella, use short rice that’s available to you. Here is a recipe for Paella a la Marinera.
For a little history behind the dish, as well as for a vegetarian version, try this recipe from Andrea Meyers.
Churros are Spain’s answer to the doughnut. Crispy, fried dough dipped in dulce de leche or thick chocolate sauce is the perfect end to a meal. If you’re already quite stuffed, you could opt for the lighter cinnamon-sugar churro.
Exactly how easy are they to make?
Just boil some water, oil and salt, throw in some flour, mix in the eggs, throw in a blob of butter then pipe it into hot oil and fry until golden brown and then finally toss it in some cinnamon sugar – that’s it!
Cinnamon Sugar Churros:
1 cup water
1/4th cup vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
1 1/4th cup flour
1 tbsp / 30g butter
Oil for deep drying
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon powder
In a heavy bottomed pan combine the oil, water and salt and bring it to a rolling boil.
Remove from the heat and add all the flour and mix it vigorously. You will see that the dough clumps up around the spoon.
Place it back on the heat and stir briskly for 30-60 seconds to dry out the excess moisture.
Now in another bowl, beat the eggs together and mix it in with the dough slowly until the eggs are completely incorporated.
At this point the dough will be a slightly sticky, evenly yellow mass. Stir in the butter.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large star shaped tip and pipe directly into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown then strain thoroughly and transfer to the plate in which the cinnamon and sugar has been mixed and coat evenly.
Shaheen writes about her quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie and baking escapades on The Purple Foodie.