Travel to Spain from your Kitchen
We invite you to a gastronomic virtual tour to the fantastic cuisine of Spain! It is not necessary to physically travel to Spain to enjoy its unique and tasty traditional food. And if you have traveled to Spain before, probably you are tired of seeing restaurants that will serve you “La Mejor Paella” in the city on every street corner. The Spanish cuisine is so much more than Paella and Sangria. We would like to offer you the recipes of 3 Spanish dishes that are easy to cook and easy to find all the ingredients no matter what country you are in. These dishes are: Canelones de Carne, Croquetas de Jamón and a super tasty dessert, Torrijas. Let start the tour!
1. Canelones de carne
Canelones de carne or “Meat Cannelloni” is a dish that, although being from Italian origin, has become traditional in Spain. Italian chefs who were working in restaurants in Barcelona made the Cannelloni popular in Catalonia. Curiously, the dish became traditional on the San Esteban Holiday (St. Stephen’s Day) that in Spain is celebrated only in Catalonia on the day after Christmas (26th December). So, the reason was to use the meat leftovers from the Christmas table. Thus, the Canelones were stuffed with meat and any other ingredients you had left over. But of course, you don’t have to wait for Christmas to be able to cook this delicious Spanish dish.
For the Canelones
- 500g of minced meat (mixture of beef and pork)
- 20 squares of cannelloni pasta
- 1 onion
- 1 green pepper
- homemade tomato sauce or tomato sauce in can
- salt, black pepper and oregano
- grated cheese
For the Béchamel sauce
- 500 ml of milk
- 60g of flour
- 60g of butter
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- black pepper
How to make:
Step 1: Fry the onion and green pepper over low heat with some oil.
Step 2: Once browned, add the minced meat and season with salt and pepper. Cover it and leave it over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Add the tomato sauce to the meat and vegetables. Leave it to simmer for another 10 minutes before removing from the heat.
Step 4: Prepare the Cannelloni pasta. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add some salt , and one by one add the pasta sheets to the water, cooking for about 12-14 minutes (see also the recommended time on the package). Drain the water and move the pasta onto a cloth to cool.
Step 5: Prepare the Béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour. Stir until the flour is well mixed with the butter and fry it until it is a light golden colour. Add the milk to the pan and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens. Add the nutmeg (optional), salt and black pepper.
Step 6: Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Put the meat at one end and roll the pasta up into tubes. Place the rolls in a baking dish in a single layer.
Step 7: Cover with the Béchamel sauce and the grated cheese on top. Bake it for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye out so that the cheese doesn’t burn. Enjoy your meal!!!
2. Croquetas de Jamón
Croquetas de Jamón or Ham Croquettes are normally served as tapas in Spain or a light dinner along with some salad. The croquette originated in France, where the base of the filling was mashed potato. When it arrived in Spain, the croquettes changed form and the mashed potato was replaced with Béchamel sauce, making them much more creamy inside. The ham also can be replaced by vegetables, cheese, chicken or mushrooms. So, prepare your taste buds and start cooking these delicious Spanish Croquetas de Jamón. Here you have the recipe:
- Béchamel sauce: use the same recipe as for the “Canelones de carne” seen above. You also can add some onion for extra flavour.
- 250g jamón serrano or another type of dry-cured ham
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1 cup plain flour
How to make:
Step 1: Cook the Bechamel sauce following the steps previously described
Step 2: Chop the ham into fine pieces. Add the ham and onions to the Béchamel sauce, mix and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes over a low heat.
Step 3: Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then leave it in the fridge until it’s completely cold.
Step 4: Put the breadcrumbs, flour and beaten eggs into three separate bowls. Make small oblong balls from the Béchamel sauce with ham and roll them each in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Put all the croquettes on a plate keeping space between them.
Step 5: Prepare the frying pan with a generous quantity of olive or vegetable oil and heat it up. Place the croquettes in the hot pan, turn them several times and quickly fry them until they get a golden colour.
Step 6: Remove the croquettes onto a plate covered with a paper towel. Serve while they are warm!
Check out the video above to see how the croquettes should look at each step of the way.
Are you ready for the most delicious Spanish dessert? Torrijas are traditionally cooked during the Holy Week, the week preceding Easter. It originates in Andalusia and most people associate its appearance with French toast. However, Torrijas taste totally different. The cooking process is very simple and they are perfect for a delicious breakfast. See below the recipe.
- 1 French-style baguette (it doesn’t have to be fresh)
- 1 litre of milk
- 2-3 eggs
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 300g of sugar
- 1 tbs. ground cinnamon
- 1 small piece of orange peel
- 4-5 drops of vanilla essence
How to make:
Step 1: Pour the milk in a saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar, the cinnamon stick, orange peel, and vanilla essence. Cook them until the milk starts to boil. Pour the milk into a large bowl and remove the cinnamon stick and the orange peel.
Step 2: Cut the baguette into 1.5cm thick slices. Beat the eggs in another bowl. In a plate, mix the sugar with the ground cinnamon.
Step 3: Place the bread slices into the bowl of milk and leave them submerged for 15-20 minutes. Before removing the bread, pour oil into a frying pan to just cover the surface and heat it through. Remove the bread from the bowl, dip them in egg and fry them until golden brown.
Step 4: Move the fried bread onto a paper towel. Dip them while they are hot into the mix of sugar and cinnamon. Repeat the process with each piece of bread. Serve the Torrijas warm or cold.
Enjoy your delicious Spanish breakfast!
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We hope you enjoyed this quick virtual tour of Spanish Gastronomy. Leave us a comment if you liked the tour and share with us your experience!