You’ll be hard pushed to find a tapas bar in Spain that doesn’t serve this dish. Yes I know it originated in Russia… but the Spanish have adopted it and made it their own. Enjoy! Russian Salad, or in Spanish Ensaladilla Rusa
Ingredients for Russian Salad – basic
Half a dozen medium sized potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled until tender
A couple of roasted red peppers- diced – these are optional, but the ones in jars are great for this
Small tin of tuna, drained
A dollop or two of mayonnaise – according to taste
2 or 3 hard boiled eggs – grated, lightly mashed or crumbled
Mix everything except the eggs
Sprinkle the egg on top
There’s not a lot to really add to this… but follow your instincts. If there’s something you don’t like omit it… well apart from the potatoes of course. But feel free to add a couple of extra flavours if you want to. I quite like the following – feel free to mix and match
a small amount of really finely diced red onion for some crunch and tang
a couple of fistfuls of olives – sliced as a garnish
a fistful of finely diced apple
Fistful of peas, cooked and cooled
Sliced cornichons (gherkins / pickles) – sliced
cherry tomatoes – halfed or quartered. But add those as a garnish rather than in the mix
You can press the salad into a mold, and refrigerate. or just serve it in a large bowl for people to help themselves… but it’s nice to do for a party if you’d rather be mingling than serving
If serving as a centre dish for last minute visitors… pop it in a bowl and supply some of those mini breadsticks for dipping
Sangria and Tinto Verano Recipes - These are just the perfect drinks to enjoy on a hot summers day or whilst relaxing on a hot balmy summers night but you will hardly ever see the Spanish themselves ordering Sangria, they much prefer Tinto Verano.
Did you know?
Sangria’s origins probably date back to the Middle Ages, during a time when water was unhealthy to drink and drinking fermented beverages carried a much lower risk of causing illness. During this time, people would mix wine, which was much lighter and less potent than what we are used to today, with spices such as cinnamon.
The word “sangria” comes from the Latin word for blood, thanks to the original sangria’s reddish hue, a result of the red wine first used to make it
EASY RED WINE SANGRIA RECIPE
3 parts red wine
1 part orange juice or fanta orange
2 parts lemonade or fanta lemon
6 splashes of brandy
6 splashes of peach schnnaps
Sliced fruit such as oranges, lemons, peaches.
Mix all the ingredients together in a large jug and add more red wine, orange juice or lemonade according to tase and desired strength.
Pour into glasses, garnish with mint sprigs and ice.
WHITE WINE SANGRIA
1 Bottle Spanish White Wine
1/4 cup fine sugar
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups seedless grapes sliced in half
1 cup apple juice
1/2 bunch mint leaves
pinch of Salt
1 can lemonade or soda water
In a large pitcher combine the wine and sugar, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients apart from the lemonade/soda and mix well. Place to chill in the fridge for between 1 - 4 hours.
Just before serving add the lemonade/soda and ice.
CAVA SANGRIA RECIPE
1 bottle of brut cava
0.4 liters freshly squeezed orange juice
0.1 liters freshly squeezed lemon juice
Orange liqueur to taste (Cointreau or Grand Mariner, for example)
Fruit for garnish (oranges, apples, strawberries, peach, kiwi…)
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
Chill all the ingredients in the refrigerator until cold.
In a glass pitcher, mix the orange juice, lemon juice, and orange liqueur.
Add sugar if you prefer a sweeter drink.
Peel and chop the fruit and add it to the pitcher.
Slowly pour the cava over the mixture in the pitcher.
Serve over ice. Enjoy!
5 oz brandy
1 peach, sliced
1 can apricot nectar/juice
1 bottle Cava, chilled
At least 1 hour prior to serving, combine brandy, peach & nectar. Allow it to infuse.
Add chilled cava, stir and serve over ice.
The name “Tinto de Verano” translates into English as “Red Wine of Summer.” It is a refreshing wine cocktail served in summer all over Spain. Although similar to sangria, it is easier to make and has less alcohol in it, making it the perfect to sip at a pool party or at the beach on a hot afternoon. Although the Spanish use what they call “gaseosa” or “Casera” which is a lightly sweetened soda, you can use any lemon-lime soda. If it is too sweet for your taste, add a splash of soda water or seltzer.
1/2 cup red wine (see serving suggestion below)
1/2 cup lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite or 7-up
slice of lemon
In a tall glass of at least 20 ounces, place 3-4 ice cubes. Add red wine and soda. Garnish with a lemon slice.
It is not important what variety of red wine that you use in this cocktail. Our rule on wine punches and cocktails is this: If you wouldn’t want to drink the wine by itself in a glass, then don’t use it in a punch or cocktail. You don’t have to use your best wine, but using a decent table wine will prevent you from having a bad hangover.
Share your own EASY SANGRIA AND TINTO VERANO RECIPES in comments below.
Traditional Spanish Gazpacho Recipe - What is a Gazpacho?
Gazpacho originated in the southern regions of the Iberian peninsula, specifically Andalusia which is why it is also known as Andalusian gazpacho, it is basically a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables, in other words a cold tomato soup.
Gazpacho is a cool, refreshing, soup that is the perfect starter to any meal on a hot summer day. It also makes the perfect healthy snack.
6 to 8 large beefsteak or other full-flavored
1 small sweet yellow or red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
6 Tbs. red wine vinegar, or to taste
2 regular or 1 English (hothouse) cucumber, halved, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 Tbs. for frying croutons
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 or 4 slices bread, each 1 inch thick, crusts removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
Bring a large saucepan three-quaters full of water to a boil over high heat. Have ready a large bowl of ice water.
Meanwhile, cut a shallow cross in the blossom end of each tomato and then remove the core. Carefully slip the tomatoes into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the ice water to cool. Remove from the water and peel immediately. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze out the seeds.
In a blender or food processor, puree 3 of the tomatoes until liquefied and transfer to a large bowl. Reserve the remaining tomatoes.
Put the onion in the blender or food processor. Chop 3 of the garlic cloves and add them as well. Puree, adding a bit of the vinegar if needed for a smooth consistency.
Add to the bowl with the tomato puree.
Add the cucumbers with a little of the vinegar to the blender or processor and pulse until they are coarsely chopped. Add to the bowl as well.
Chop the remaining tomatoes coarsely in the blender or processor. Add to the bowl. Whisk in the 1/2 cup olive oil and the remaining vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.
Just before serving the soup, in a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the 2 Tbs. olive oil. Crush the remaining garlic clove, add to the pan and cook to release its fragrance, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bread cubes and stir and toss until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; keep warm.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with salt. Ladle into chilled bowls and garnish each serving with the diced bell pepper and the minced red onion. Float the croutons on top and serve.
Gazpacho may be served alone or with garnishes, such as hard-boiled eggs, chopped ham and chopped almond.
Enjoy your Traditional Spanish Gazpacho
Spanish Garlic Mushrooms, Champinones Al Ajillo. This is a wonderful Tapas dish, often served as party food. Easy and quick to make and fantastic flavours. Also great as a side dish! This dish is often served as part of a Tapas meal, alongside many other dishes.
Enjoy with a glass of Sherry or a cold beer, serve with some warm crusty bread to mop up the juices!
You can’t go wrong with mushrooms. They’re fat-free, low-sodium, low-calorie, and cholesterol-free. They’re also packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Garlic, did you know? Some studies have shown that one of the health benefits of eating fresh garlic is to help people improving their immunity system and eating fresh garlic regularly could help you reducing the high blood pressure level and promote healthier cardiovascular system.
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
10 Large Button Mushrooms, quartered
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/4 Teaspoon Spanish Paprika
Ground Black Pepper and Sea Salt to season
1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional to suit)
1 Tablespoon Fresh, chopped flat leaf parsley
1. Quarter the mushrooms, chop the parsley, crush the garlic.
2. Over a medium heat, add the olive oil and saute the mushrooms for a few minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the parsley. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring. Then remove pan from heat, add the chopped parsley and stir through
Serve hot with some crusty bread.
Caramel vodka is regularly served as shots here in Benidorm, but if you are missing it at home, try this simply homemade caramel vodka recipe.
You will need a bottle of vodka (the cheap stuff is fine, but Smirnoff is tastier)
a packet of Werther’s Original (approx. 135g) and a sterilised Mason Jar.
Simply mix the bottle vodka with a packet of Werther’s Original sweets in a mason jar. Cut the sweets up for a quicker and stronger infusion.
Shake every few hours over 2 to 3 days until the sweets have dissolved and a frothy head has formed. If you want a smoother vodka you can choose to filter the vodka using a coffee filter at this point.
*Please note it will not look like the caramel vodka you can find in the shops which is clear, this will have a creamy look to it, but tastes just as delicious*
For Salted Caramel Vodka just add a tiny bit of salt to taste
voila! Toffee/caramel Vodka..
When Sealed, store in a cool dark place for up to three months, shake well before serving.
Or for a creamy version
Chuck a bag of Werther's Originals in a bowl, and pour a bottle of vodka over the top.
Stick it in the fridge for three days, shaking frequently, strain, add 250ml cream, and whisk.
Pour back into the empty vodka bottle, and serve in shot glasses.
Wash them in boiling water, dry them, and put them in the oven at 100C for 10 minutes.
The lids of the jars you can put in boiling water for 10 minutes not in the oven
Smirnoff Vodka, Did you Know?
Pyotr Smirnov, was responsible for what has come to be known as the world’s #1 vodka. Born as a serf in Russia, Smirnov lived out a true rags-to-riches story by becoming one of Russia’s richest men by the time of his death in 1998
Pyotr Smirnov began making vodka in 1964, using only the finest ingredients to make his brand of vodka the most prestigious. To market his product, he became one of the first people to advertise in newspaper ads and even made charitable donations to the clergy to keep them from preaching anti-vodka sermons.
Smirnoff survived through periods of political unrest and factory strikes in Russia, and later was introduced to Europe in the 1920s and America shortly after that. It is now a best selling brand on both sides of the Atlantic, being sold in over 130 countries.