Recipes for the heat of Spain

Posted: 08/05/2022 16:17:23

Modified: 08/05/2022 16:14:17

Summers in Spain can be scorching hot, but there are some well-known dishes that will help you beat the heat. I lived in Spain for a year and also directed programs for UMass in Madrid. I learned to love Spanish cuisine and always appreciate the simplicity and good taste of some of my favorite recipes.

I will share some of these with you. They are healthy, some are vegetarian and all are tasty and cheap.

Andalusian gazpacho

I often have this cold soup in my fridge for hot summer lunches. Using canned tomatoes is perfectly fine. Best made in batches in a blender.

2 slices of bread, soaked in about 1 ½ cups of water

1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes

Mince the following: 2 garlic cloves, peeled; 1 small onion; 1 small green bell pepper; 1 small cucumber

¼ c. olive oil

Vinegar, salt and pepper to taste

Blend all the above ingredients and put in a jar. Taste for seasoning Add half a tray of ice cubes and put it in the fridge to chill. Stir before serving.

Spanish omelette for 2

I use an 8″ nonstick skillet.

Peel a large potato and cut it into thin slices. Chop a small peeled onion. Put about 1/3 cup of olive oil in the skillet and heat over medium heat; add the potato and onion. Cover the pan. Gently poach until vegetables are tender but not brown.

Drain the vegetables through a sieve, keeping the oil and let cool slightly. Put about 3 tablespoons of this oil in the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, beat 3 to 4 eggs, adding salt and pepper. Add the vegetables, then pour the mixture into the pan. With a spatula, lift the edges of the tortilla so that the egg flows under it. When the bottom of the tortilla begins to brown, place a large plate over the skillet, remove from heat, and turn contents onto plate. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil to the skillet, heat and slide the tortilla back into the skillet. Cook until the bottom is also golden, but keep the tortilla somewhat moist. Invert back onto a clean plate and let cool.

Cut into wedges or squares. This can be served as an appetizer or a main meal. A green salad is a good accompaniment.

Gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns)

½ pound small shrimp, shelled, lightly salted

3 tablespoons olive oil

pinch of red pepper

1 minced garlic clove

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat, making sure not to burn the garlic. Add red bell pepper and shrimp; fry for just about a minute, then remove from heat and add the parsley. Wait a bit before eating so you don’t burn your mouth. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the delicious oil.

A similar recipe for mushrooms is called “Mushrooms in Garlic”.

You do the same preparation as for the shrimp: use about ½ pound of mushrooms, cut into quarters, gently sauté in the olive oil with the garlic. When soft, add salt, red pepper and parsley. You can also add a splash of lemon juice or dry sherry. Don’t forget the bread.

ratatouille manchego

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 green bell pepper, 1 medium onion, 1 or 2 zucchini, all coarsely chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound tomatoes, peeled and diced

Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat and sauté bell pepper, onion, and garlic until vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, salt, pepper and parsley and cook uncovered for half an hour.

It can be eaten as is or, as I had it in Spain, with eggs. Crack 1 egg per person into the stew and place the pan in a 350ᵒ oven until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny.

Enjoy all these favorites of mine.

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