Tortilla de patatas

Easy to make at home…

Makes a 20cm diameter tortilla (which could serve 2 or 4 dependent on the slice & hunger levels

Ingredients

· 4 Maris Piper (or waxy) potatoes, cut into chunks (3cm max)

· 1 medium white onion

· 5 eggs (beaten)

· Salt

· Olive oil to fry the potatoes & onion; to coat the tortilla pan

Method

1. Cut the potatoes into halfmoon shapes (2mm deep), rinse in cold water; drain; dry & season with salt..

2. Slice or chop the onion – depends on personal preference.

3. In a large pan, shallow fry, on a medium heat, the potato (first); then add the onion until soft (not crispy) – usually about 15 minutes..

4. Remove from the oil into a bowl, drain off excess oil, season with salt.

5. Mix in the beaten eggs (with a pinch of salt) with the potato & onion mix.

6. In a small frying pan (we use a 21cm heavy based pan); coat the base & sides in olive oil; have a plate the size of your pan at the ready too.

7. Pour the egg & potato mix into the heated pan; cook on a medium heat until you see the sides of the tortilla pull away from the edge of the pan (1-2 minutes).

8. Using the plate, top the pan with the plate and flip the tortilla onto the plate then slide back into the pan – repeat 4 times each side every 15-20 seconds – depends on how cooked you like it in the centre (check by pressing the middle of the tortilla).

9. Slide onto plate when happy. Enjoy

A favourite tapa of mine

Croquetas de jamón

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

· 250gr jamón ibérico

· 160gr butter

· 160gr flour

· 1l "warm" milk

· 75gr finely chopped onion

· 1gr salt

· 1gr ground black pepper

· 1.5gr nutmeg

To breadcrumb the croquetas

· 150gr flour

· 4 whisked eggs

· 150gr breadcrumbs

Sunflower oil to fry

Method

1. Mince the jamón, put aside.

2. Put a large pot on a medium heat; add the butter. When melted, add the onion and cook until soft.

3. Add the minced jamón to the pot and cook for a further 5 minutes.

4. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour is golden.

5. Add "warm" milk and with a whisk stir all the time until the mixture starts to thicken.

6. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, then set a side.

7. Put the mix on a flat baking tray and let to cool. Then refrigerate for at least 6 hours (or until the next day).

8. 3 plates – one for the flour; one for the whisked eggs; and one for the breadcrumbs.

9. Using your hands, shape the croquetas to desired size (we suggest 6cm long; approximately 40gr per croqueta). Pass through the flour, then the eggs and finish with breadcrumbs. Continue until the mix is finished.

To fry

1. Add enough oil to a large saucepan to reach a depth of 6cm. Bring to a medium heat. Deep-fry the croquetas, slowly turning them until golden brown.

Tip: Replace the jamón with any leftovers like chicken, prawns or mushrooms for variety.

Paella Valenciana

(Serves 5/6)

Ingredients

· 175ml olive oil

· 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

· 4 tablespoons of grated ripe tomatoes

· 600gr of paella rice or bomba rice

· 600gr of chicken pieces on the bone

· 600gr pork ribs cut into smallish pieces (traditionally with rabbit)

· 150gr chopped bachoqueta beans (flat green beans - or use mange tout)

· 150gr garrofón beans (or butter beans)

· 100gr cooked white beans

· 3 tablespoons of Spanish sweet paprika

· 2.5gr saffron

· 3 litres of cold water

· Salt to taste

Method

1. In the paella pan (or use a 60cm pan), heat the olive oil on a medium heat and add the chicken and pork ribs. Lightly season as you will be seasoning through the whole process.

2. Once the meat is golden brown (meat must be caramelise gold, that will add flavours to the later stock), add the chopped green bean and mix, then the butter bean, mix all together and cook for a 2/3 minutes.

3. Add the already cooked white beans…mix well.

4. In the middle of the pan where the oil is, add the finely chopped garlic, cook slightly for few seconds make sure they don't burn.

5. Then add the Spanish paprika.. cook for another few seconds.

6. Add the 4 tablespoons of grated tomatoes.

7. Mix all well and cook for few minutes until tomato is well concentrated.

8. Now add 3 litres of water and bring to the boil for about 15/20 minutes. The water will reduce and will become a lovely paella stock.

9. Taste for salt.

10. Mix the saffron with a bit of stock and then add to the pan.

11. Then add the rice.

12. Cook at high heat for 5-6 minutes. Then bring it down to a medium heat.

13. Do not use a spoon to mix anymore, use the paellera handles (or the handle of your pan) to gently shake the rice (hip movement very important here).

14. Let the rice simmer on a medium to heat for another 12-16 minutes (time depends on rice you use). Follow instructions on package.

15. Taste for salt.

16. As we say in Spain, let it "chup-chup" not touching the rice will allow the fat and oil to go to the bottom of the pan and create the very nice socarrat (the lovely last spoonful you scrape from the end of the paella). You’ll hear nearly a slight frying of the grain at the end…

17. .Your rice should be slightly al dente, once the stock is evaporated fully, your paella is cooked.

18. Traditionally in Spain, this is when we leave the paella to sit for 5 minutes off the heat and covered with newspaper to settle.

19. Enjoy with a nice bottle of Cava or a big jug of tinto de verano and the company of your family and friends.