Spanish Tapas


Castillian Garlic Soup 

Sopa de Ajo Castellana

Recipe and Photography from Janet Mendels blog.

Serves 4.

½  pound baguette, sliced ½  inch thick (18-20 slices) 1/3 cup olive oil
2 ounces diced ham or bacon (optional)
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon pimentón (paprika)
¼  teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups chicken broth
Salt to taste
4 eggs

Toast the bread and set aside.

In a large cazuela (earthenware casserole) heat the olive oil. Add the diced ham and chopped garlic and sauté until the garlic begins to take on color, about four minutes. Stir in the pimentón and cumin and immediately add the broth. Add salt to taste.

Add the toasted bread to the cazuela. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes. The bread should begin to break up in the broth.

With the soup bubbling, break each egg into a saucer and slide it onto the top of the soup. Cover and let the eggs poach until the whites are set and yolks still liquid, about 4 minutes. Serve the soup in the same cazuela.


Monkfish and Potatoes in Cazuela
Serves 4.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 slice bread, crusts removed
3 cloves garlic
25 almonds, blanched and skinned
½  cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped tomato
½ cup white wine
Pinch of crushed saffron
½ teaspoon pimentón (paprika)
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fish stock
1 pound boneless monkfish, cut in chunks
1 pound scrubbed clams
chopped parsley

Heat the oil in an earthenware cazuela. Fry the bread, garlic and almonds until golden. Skim out. Add the green pepper and onion to the cazuela and cook on medium heat until onion is softened, 10 minutes. Add the tomato and continue frying. Add the potatoes.

Combine the bread, garlic, almonds, wine, saffron and pimentón in a blender (or crush in a mortar). Blend to make a smooth sauce. Pour the sauce over the potatoes. Add salt and fish stock. Cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add more stock or water if necessary to keep the sauce from scorching. 

Turn up the heat and add the chunks of monkfish and clams. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fish is cooked and the clam shells open, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Chilli Garlic Prawns 
Gambas al pil-pil

Recipe and Photography courtesy of Orce Serrano Hams.

The Spanish are very fond of using traditional earthenware dishes to prepare their food. These dishes come in a variety of sizes and double up as a cooking dish and serving dish. They withstand the heat spectacularly and can be used for cooking on the hob, in the oven, on the barbecue or over an open fire.

This is one of the most delicious dishes I have ever tasted and is often prepared during fiesta time on an open fire in the village square.

You will need:

About 10 - 15 Prawns (not pre-cooked and frozen)
Chilli and Garlic (use as much as you like, depending on your personal preference)
Olive oil
A good earthenware dish (this tapa is both cooked and served in the dish)

How to cook:

Finely chop the chilli and garlic and place in the dish with the olive oil. You need enough oil to cover all ingredientes once in the dish.
Wash and peel the prawns and place in the dish.

Cook on the hob or barbecue for roughly 10 - 15 minutes or until the prawns are thouroughly cooked.

 Serve immediately with a basket of fresh bread.
(Beware the dish will be very hot and will remain so for quite a while so it is a good idea to place the dish onto a heat resistant plate for serving).

Sign up now; exclusive offers, recipes and product updates Subscribe...or Un-subscribe