Typical Christmas eve in Spain: meet frineds for drinks around eight, home for family dinner at ten, out again by two (am), breakfast in the town square, bed, then . . . that was last year.
This year we’re experiencing reduced staying-power and early nights, the effects of not drinking since before Easter. Even so, I set the alarm to be up in time to prepare Christmas brunch – just in case.
air-fried onion and purple potato pakora
sweet tomato and black mustard relish
salted cucumber with dehydrated fermented persamons
The origin of the croquette is réchauffé (re-heated) food: left overs were given body with mashed root vegetables, pulses, béchamel and other sauces, then breaded and fried or baked till golden crisp.
Depending on the occasion you might opt for unpretentious simplicity or an intense flavour sensation to knock your guests off their chairs in a gustatory rapture . The croquette gives you a lot of creative elbow room.
What can I say? Slimming it ain’t. Yet Spaniards enjoy a morsel while managing to stay in second place for life-expectancy and are set to top Japan by 2040. Cast aside your guilts and worries and enjoy a small piece of tortilla.
To onion, or not to onion?
A great debate has been raging in Spain: does the classic tortilla contain onions or not? As long-time winner of the national tortilla contest the Galician municipality of Bentanzos holds the honour of being the nation’s standard-bearer. The onionists have had it their way for decades. But this year’s winner in Betanzo has finally sided with the non-onionist underdog in re-defining this Spanish institution. Continue reading “Tapas 6: Spanish Potato And Onion Tortilla”
I’m always amazed at how my French friends are able to rustle up a pot of onion soup complete with cheesy croutons, or a perfect spinach quiche in the mere twinkling of an eye. Or the Italians’ flair for putting pasta with a sauce unknown outside their village under your nose in little more than time it takes to boil a kettle.
These are popular all over Spain and Latin America with Argentina and Colombia playing notable roles. Literally meaning “encased in bread” they are little filled pastries dating back to medieval Spain where shepherds enjoyed them as a hearty lunch time snack.
There are open and closed varieties and sweet as well as savoury. They can be fried or oven-baked.