Who has not heard at some time that in Spain people eat really well? Well, it´s true. In Spain, food is a star attraction because most of the typical dishes don´t disappoint either the palate or the stomach. That is why if you come to Valencia to study Spanish and you have the intention during this time to eat delicious food, we want you to learn to cook these traditional recipes to be able to do it anywhere, even in your own country. As we say in Spain, eating is a pleasure.
Selecting the best typical Spanish dishes is very difficult because most of them are divine, so in this article we will put together recipes of the most popular dishes and those we most like. ¡Qué aproveche! – Enjoy!
It´s logical if you visit Valencia that at some point you will try paella, Spain´s most famous rice dish. The most typical and original paella is made with rice, chicken, rabbit, snails and a sauté of vegetables (butter beans, green beans and artichokes) but many people do their own version with seafood and other ingredients according to taste.
The first thing you need to do is to sauté the meat, and when the chicken and rabbit are ready you add the vegetables in the middle. Once this has all been sautéed, it is pushed to the side and a tomato is put in the middle until all the liquid has been given off. Then, you add water into the paella (in Spanish, this is also the name of the pan where the paella is cooked), leaving it to cook for about 30 minutes before finally adding the rice.
Making a paella is quite a ritual, and a fair amount of experience is needed for it to turn out really well. If you want to try your hand, take a look at these steps to cook a typical Valencian paella.
Tortilla de patatas and the burning question – with or without onion?
A tortilla de patatas is simple to prepare and tastes delicious. Some people add onion to give it a touch more taste, but the original tortilla has only two key ingredients: eggs and potatoes – as simple as that!
First, peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices, put them into a frying pan with oil and fry them over a slow heat. When they turn brown, take them out of the pan, drain the excess oil and put them in a large bowl. Then beat the eggs in another bowl and then add them to the potatoes, stirring everything carefully so that it mixes in well. Finally, put the mixture into a frying pan and allow it to set. After five minutes, give it a turn and there you are – an exquisite tortilla and very Spanish!
Gazpacho is a very refreshing dish, ideal for summer and with ingredients that are so easy to obtain wherever you are. All you need is tomato, cucumber, red pepper and olive oil.
Peel the tomatoes and put them in a food mixer together with half a cucumber, a clove of garlic and some white bread (or sliced bread). The ingredients are then shredded until they make a paste, and oil is added, plus a few tablespoonfuls of vinegar and salt according to taste.
It is best to let the gazpacho chill in the fridge for a couple of hours; the colder it is, the more delicious.
A similar dish but with a different texture is salmorejo, which comes from Cordoba. It is prepared with fewer ingredients than Andalusian gazpacho, only containing tomato, oil, bread and with a greater presence of garlic.
Torrijas, a typical Easter dessert
Making torrijas is typical as Easter approaches. This dessert comes from the XV century and its recipe has been passed down in Spanish homes until today because of its delightful taste and ease of preparation.
To make typically-Spanish torrijas you only need yesterday´s bread, oil, milk, eggs and cinnamon. We pour the milk into a pan together with three spoonfuls of sugar and put in a cinnamon branch to leave just a little taste until it begins to boil. Then, we pour the milk over the pieces of bread and leave it to soak in.
Meanwhile, the eggs are beaten in another bowl. We then take the torrijas out of the milk and remove the excess liquid, cover them in the beaten egg and put them in a frying pan with abundant oil. We allow them to brown and repeat the process with all the torrijas we have prepared. And that´s how we make torrijas españolas, ready to eat!
There are many other variations of torrijas – with syrup, with chocolate and with honey. Get cracking and have a go at making your own at home!
These are some of the most popular dishes in Spanish cuisine. We´ve given you the recipes – over to you now for the execution! Surprise your family and friends at how well you speak Spanish thanks to your stay in Españolé de Valencia Spanish-language school but not only that; surprise them, too, with your traditional Spanish dishes. We promise you they´ll love them!