¡Tapas!

20 Sep

Katie Dekeizer

A beginners’ guide to cocina Española

Tapas are a quintessentially Spanish meal consisting of lots of little snacks and appetisers. You would be able to order them at any Spanish bar or restaurant. Different places will serve different dishes as tapas, but you can always count on a wide variety of both cold dishes (such as olives and cheeses) and hot dishes (like calamari and pulpo).

Today we’ll look at two very common tapas dishes that are delicious and easy to make with ingredients that are readily available in St Andrews.

Patatas Bravas

This tapa is basically a simple roasted potato dish with a slightly spicy tomato sauce. But don’t let the simplicity put you off, it’s one of my personal favourite things to order at tapas bars!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 16 new potatoes
  • 4 rashers of bacon (optional)

For the tomato sauce:

  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tbsps minced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tbsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp Tabasco sauce (or more if you like spicier things)
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

Method:

  1. Make the sauce first. Put the olive oil in a saucepan and heat it up over medium heat. Add the onion and the garlic. When the onion is soft, take the saucepan off the heat and add thyme, Tabasco sauce and paprika. Stir in with the onions. Next, pour the onion and garlic mix into a bowl and add the mayonnaise and ketchup. Stir until everything is mixed well.
  2. Next for the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into bite size bits, usually quarters (or halves if they are small). Season the potatoes lightly with salt and black pepper, then heat up some more oil in the saucepan and cook the potatoes until they are golden brown.
  3. When the potatoes are done, drain the oil out of the pan. Put the potatoes into the serving dish and mix with the sauce right before serving. If you want to add bacon, you can sprinkle the finished potatoes with bits of crispy bacon.

Tortilla Española

Don’t let the name fool you! This dish is nothing like a Mexican tortilla, and it resembles more of an omelette than anything else. Unlike patatas bravas, you can eat this dish warm or cold, although personally I prefer it warm.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 5 medium sized potatoes (these should be peeled and sliced into small rounds before cooking)
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 eggs
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220®C
  2. In a pan with olive oil, cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes (you’ll want the potatoes to be soft but not turning gold). Add the onion and the garlic about halfway through the cooking of the potatoes and cook together until the potatoes are tender
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs and then add the cooked potatoes, onions and garlic. If you’re feeling adventurous, or you want a little more taste to your tortilla then when you add the potatoes to the egg mixture, you could also add some cheese, ham, mushrooms, spinach or tomatoes.
  4. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a small ovenproof frying pan. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and allow it to cook on the hob for 3-4 minutes, next put the pan in the oven for another 4-5 minutes. You’ll want the top of the tortilla to be sealed, but the inside should still be soft.
  5. Remove the tortilla from the oven and allow it to cool
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