I would like to share some of my favorite recipes I have made in Spain, including the most savory tastes. Before I dig in, the main differences are the abundance of jamón and pan, and every meal my host mom diligently asks ¿Quiéres más pan?, or do you want more bread? If it’s a soup, sure, but if not I am fine without carb loading every meal. But really, the food here is awesome, you should check out these photos, and if you have the chance travel to Granada and try a kebab, it’s pure deliciousness.
A few other things commonplace are bocadillos which are just big sandwiches usually with jamón or tortilla de España (compared to a thick potato omelete – recipe). Montaditos are popular too for tapas, and are mini sandwiches (great restaurant – 100 Montaditos). To top off your meals for dessert I recommend turrón a la piedra (recipe), a great dulce here in Alicante.
Now I would like to share a recipe of fideuá which I made in my cooking class. It has shrimp, crayfish, clams, oysters, and vegtables all over a bed of macaroni noodles and is very famous in Alicante. You may be familiar with paella, what Spain is know for, but just substitutes the macaroni noodles for rice! Get cookin.
- 450 g/1 lb. firm white-fleshed fish fillets, skin removed
- 450 g/1 lb. fideos, capelli d’angelo or vermicelli noodles
- 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika, pinch of saffron threads
- 450 g/1 lb. medium uncooked prawns
- 125 ml/4 fl oz olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 350 ml/12 fl oz basic fish stock
- 24 small mussels, cleaned
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the fish into 4 cm/1-1/2 inch pieces. Peel the prawns and remove the veins, leaving 6 unpeeled. Clean the mussels. Crumble the noodles into a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water, stir well and return to the boil for 3 minutes.
- Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside in a colander. Heat the oil in a paella pan, large frying pan or wok. Add all the prawns and cook for about 5 minutes until pink, stirring often. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Add the fish and cook briefly, turning once. Gently stir in the garlic and cook for several seconds. Add the paprika, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, saffron and fish stock and bring to the boil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the mussels and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until they open, stirring often; discard those that do not open. Stir in the peeled prawns and noodles and heat through.
- Smooth the surface of the Fideuà with a knife or spoon, then place under a hot grill until a light brown crust forms. Arrange the unpeeled prawns on top…. and serve.