Review: UEN Spanish Cooking Event 17 Nov


On Thursday evening, 17 November, 28 UEN members came together at the Creative Kitchen at DeBrug Office to cook a Spanish meal.

Recipes were provided by Raquel Bernacer and together with Laura Rodriguez-Romero and Montse Lombardo, she guided us through her home country and made us cook delicious dishes from the traditional tortilla over Paella to a typical inkfish dish (where the inkfish had to be scared before cooking ;-)) and crema catalana and much more.

Although we had to do without gas for most of the evening and improvising was asked for, we managed to cook a delicious dinner and all enjoyed the evening and the food. Please find the recipes below.

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  • Salmorejo Cordobés (Andalucía)
  • Tortilla de patatas (National dish)
  • Pulpo a la gallega (Galicia)
  • Buñuelos de Bacalao (Unknown)
  • Tumbet (Balearic Islands)
  • Fideuà (Valencia)
  • Paella (Valencia)
  • Caldereta de cordero (La mancha)
  • Crema catalana (Catalunya)
  • Torrijas (Madrid)



Ingredients 4 servings:

  • 1 Kg of ripped tomatoes (best are “romatomaten”)
  • 250g of red bell pepper, chopped in big pieces
  • 100 g of white bread, only the crumbs
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 325 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 ml of Vinagre de Jerez
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

For garnishing:

  • 2 chopped boiled eggs
  • 100 g finely chopped iberic ham (alternatives: regular serrano ham or prosciutto)


  1. Using a knife, make a small cross in the bottom of the tomato.
  2. Bring water to boil and scald the tomatoes no more than one minute.
  3. Refresh in an ice-bath and peel.
  4. Put the bread in a bowl with a bit of water, allow it to be humid and drain well.
  5. Add to a big bowl the wet bread, tomatoes, red bell pepper, garlic clove, half of the oil, vinegar and salt. Mix well with a hand blender.
  6. Strain it through a colander.
  7. Add the rest of the oil, very slowly, while blending again to make an emulsion.
  8. Correct saltiness if needed and keep it in the fridge until moment to serve.
  9. Serve it cold topped with some chopped egg and iberic ham. 


 TORTILLA DE PATATAS (National dish) – Potato omelette

Ingredients 4-6 servings)

  • 5 kg of potatoes, peeled and cut into small and regular pieces (around 2×2 cm)
  • 9 eggs
  • 5 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ liter of olive oil
  • 5 tsps of salt



  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic cloves.
  2. When the oil is warm, add a batch of potatoes and onions (you might need to cook them in 2-3 batches). Cook them in high temperature during the first 5 minutes, then turn down the heat to medium and cook until it is done (NOTE: although the process is similar to deep frying, the aim is to have the potatoes cooked, not fried, so try to avoid golden crispy fries!)
  3. Once potatoes are done, remove them from the pan and put them into a plate with some kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.
  4. Cook the remaining potatoes following the same process.
  5. Remove the excess oil from the pan (you can keep it in an air tight container, and storage it in the fridge) and keep the pan.
  6. Mix in a big bowl the eggs, add the potatoes and the salt. Stir well to get a good mixture of eggs and potatoes.
  7. Heat the pan with 1 tbsp of oil and add the eggs and potatoes mix. Cook over medium heat during 5 minutes each side. Serve it warm.


NOTE: to flip over the tortilla, you will need a plate that matched the diameter of your pan (or at least, it is a little bit bigger). Place the plate on top of the pan, hold it firmly with one hand and turn the pan around with the other one. The movement has to be firm and quick if you want to avoid a mess in your kitchen!

PULPO A LA GALLEGA (GALICIA) – Octupus galician style

Ingredients 4 servings

  • 1 kg octopus’s tentacles (which have been frozen during a couple of days beforehand to obtain a tender result)
  • ½ kg potatoes
  • 1 tsp of Pimentón de la Vera (sweet paprika)
  • Sea salt
  • 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil



  • Wash the potatoes and cook them in salted water (keep the skin on). Once they are done, take them out of the water and let them cool.
  • Bring salted water to a boil in a big pot. Once it starts to boil, introduce the octopus during 5 seconds and take it out. Let the water recover its boiling point, and repeat the process 2 more times.
  • After doing this 3 times, introduce the octopus (so this would be the 4th time) and let it cook during 30-40 minutes. Take into account the overcooked octopus will result into a hard and chewy texture, so better test from time to time with a knife how it is done.
  • Cut both the potatoes into slices and the octopus into small pieces. Put the potatoes in a plate and the octopus on top. Add enough paprika and sea salt to taste, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.



Ingredients for 4-6 servings

  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 200 g dry cod, already wet (for that, put the dry cod in water during 12 hours and change the water 2-3 times)
  • 150 ml water
  • 100 g wheat flour
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Extra olive oil for frying
  • Sea salt



  • In a big pan, put the olive oil and cook the garlic over 1 minute.
  • Add the cod drained and stir occasionally during 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the water and when it starts to boil take the pan out of the stove and add the wheat flour. Stir well until everything is mixed.
  • Put the pan back to the stove, medium-heat, and stir and mix the dough during 3 minutes, using a wooden spatula.
  • Turn off the heat and put the dough in a big bowl. Try to spread the dough around the bowl to facilitate cooling.
  • Add the eggs, one by one. For that, add the first egg and stir until well mixed. Then add the second one and mix well again. Check whether the dough makes a “duck beak” or “duck mouth” in the spatula when you take some dough and let it fall from the spatula to the bowl. If not, add a fourth egg and check again. The “duck beak” should appear somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd egg. In case you don’t have the “duck beak” in with the second egg, add ½ egg and check again. Once you get the “duck beak” you get the proper texture to make the buñuelos (this is not too thick but either not too runny)
  • Add the parsley and mix well. Keep the dough in the fridge until the cooking moment.
  • Use a pot not too big to heat enough oil to fry the buñuelos (around 200-300 ml). Using 2 spoons, make a quenelle with the dough and fry it until the buñuelo is golden and floating in the oil surface.
  • Put the buñuelos in kitchen towel to absorb excess oil. Put them in a plate and sprinkle with some sea salt.
  • The buñuelos should be eaten warm, so fry them at the very last minute.


TUMBET (BALEARIC ISLANDS) – Fried vegetables with tomato sauce

Ingredients 4 servings

  • 1/2 Kg potatoes, peeled and cut in slices of 0,5 cm
  • 2 aubergines, cut in slices (keep them in a colander with salt, to extract humidity)
  • 2 courgettes, cut in slices
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
  • ½ litre olive oil

For the tomato sauce

  • 3 cans of whole natural tomatoes (Italian variety called San Marzano are best)
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 90 ml of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt to taste



Start by preparing the tomato sauce

  • Remove the seeds of the tomatoes by passing them through a food mill or a traditional strainer, so that you get a fine tomato puree.
  • Put the oil in a heavy base pan with high walls. Heat over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, without letting it burn.
  • When the onion is translucent and beginning to get brown slightly, add the garlic and cook for a minute or so, until it softens.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes, until it gets dark red
  • Add the tomato puree, salt and a tablespoon of sugar. Stir well and cook for 45 minutes, medium heat and uncovered. Stir occasionally to prevent from scorching (should not happen with medium heat).
  • Over time, turn off heat, taste and correct salt.


Continue by cooking the vegetables

  • Heat the olive oil in a big pan and fry the potatoes. Put them in a kitchen towel when done to absorb oil excess. Keep it in a separate plate when done.
  • Using the same oil, fry the aubergines and follow the same process to absorb oil excess when done. Keep it in a separate plate when done.
  • After frying the aubergines, fry the bell peppers. Place it in kitchen towel to absorb oil excess and keep them in a separate plate when done
  • In a different pan, pan-fry the courgette. Keep it in a separate plate when done.
  • Place an oven baking dish and build the tumbet by putting the potatoes in the base, add a pinch of salt. Then place the courgettes on top of the potatoes, and add a pinch of salt. Place the aubergine and add a pinch of salt. After that place the bell peppers. If there are remaining ingredients, repeat the process until you build a sort of vegetable cake.
  • Bake it 10 minutes 180ºC and serve it warm

NOTE: in some areas of Mallorca they serve this dish with some fried eggs on the top or pork loin fillets.


FIDEUÀ (VALENCIA) – Pasta seafood paella

Ingredients for 4 people (use a paella with a measure between 47 and 51 cm diameter)


  • 250 g mussels
  • 250g red prawns
  • 250g calamari, cut regular pieces
  • 250 g monkfish, cut in pieces of 2×2 cm aprox + the head of the monkfish (first clean it with fresh running water)
  • 250g fideua pasta
  • ½ can of natural tomato puree
  • 2 onions, cut in quarters
  • 1 carrot, cut in slices
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ glass of white wine



  1. Make a broth with the monkfish head, 1 onion and a half, the c.arrot and the bay leaf and 1,5 l of water. Bring it to a boil and cook during 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the broth.
  2. Cook the mussels in a pan, by adding the wine, half lemon and a bay leaf. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat when they are open. Keep the mussels and the liquid aside
  3. Put the paella on the stove, medium heat and add the olive oil. Pan-fry first the prawns, then calamari and after the monkfish. Remove each time from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the onion and the garlic.  Add the tomato puree with the sugar. Fry until the tomato changes its color and become bit thick.
  5. Add the pasta and pan-fry during 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the monkfish and the calamari, and then the broth. Put enough broth until arriving to the screws of the paella.
  7. Putt he prawns on top, the mussels and cook médium heat until the broth has evaporated.



Ingredients for 4 servings (use a paella with a measure between 47 and 51 cm diameter)

  • 4-5 shallots emincé (sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 50 ml of white wine
  • 1 liter of water
  • 400g rice
  • 400 g chicken thighs, cut in pieces
  • 100 g of snowpeas (or regular green bean)
  • 100g of chantarelles or any other season mushroom.
  • 2 chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
  • Salt



Preparation of broth shallot:

  1. Heat the oil in a pot with a thick bottom and cook the shallots over medium heat until golden brown, for 20 minutes. If you see that start to roast too quickly, reduce heat.
  2. After 20 minutes, the shallots should have acquired a nice golden color. Add the wine to deglaze and once it has evaporated, add the water.
  3. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, semicovered. Strain the broth. Add the saffron and

Paella preparation (pre-heat the oven at 150C):

  1. Heat the oil in a paella for 4 people. Add a pinch of salt and the chicken and cook around 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Add the shallots, a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring well to prevent burning. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Incorporate mushrooms, a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the water from the mushrooms has evaporated.
  4. Add the snowpeas and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  5. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with the oil. Add the tomato paste and continue stirring to mix all ingredients. Put the paprika and stir for about 30 seconds, preventing burning.
  6. Add the chicken and 800ml of shallot broth, a little salt and cook it on the stove for 5 minutes. After that, transfer the pan to the preheated oven at 150°C and leave it for 17 minutes.
  7. After that time, return the paella on the stove and cook over high heat for 5 minutes, until all the broth has evaporated and is made a little bit of “socarrat” (this is when the rice starts to burn and makes a nice toasted layer in the bottom of the paella). Once you start to smell slightly burnt, turn off heat, garnish with two or three branches of rosemary on top and let stand 3-4 minutes covered with a clean kitchen cloth.



Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1kg of lamb ribs, cut in strips and salted
  • 2 big onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 30 ml of olive oil
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Salt
  • Black pepper freshly grounded
  • 4-5 black pepper grains
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 saffron
  • 100 g of toasted almonds (or almond flour)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 glass of full fat milk



  • Heat the olive oil in a big pot and cook the lamb ribs during 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add some freshly grounded black pepper.
  • Take the lamb out of the pot and cook the onion and garlic in the remaining oil. Add a pinch of salt, the bay leaves and black pepper grains.
  • When the onion is translucent add the white wine and the lamb back. Cover with fresh water and let it cook medium heat, semi-covered, during 2-2,5 hrs.
  • Place a mortar in the table and add a pinch of salt and add the saffron. Use the pestle to crunch the saffron with the salt. After that, add the garlic and continue crushing. Include the almonds and mix all to get a dense mixture. Mix the paste with the milk and add it to the lamb at the end of the cooking.
  • Cook over during 1 minute and serve.


CREMA CATALANA (CATALUNYA) – Crème brule catalan style


  • 1l full fat milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • the peel of 1 lemon
  • 200 g sugar
  • 50 g of corn starch



  • Boil the milk with the cinnamon and the lemon peel during 5 minutes.
  • In a bog bowl, mix the egg yolks with the sugar, until the mixture is pale and smooth
  • Strain the milk through a colander and dissolve the corn starch by separating a glass of milk and dissolving the corn starch first there. Then transfer the mix to the rest of the milk and mix well.
  • Add the milk with corn starch to the mixture of eggs and sugar.
  • Put the mixture in a big pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly but gently. Turn off the heat at the very first moment it start to boil (WATCH OUT THIS STEP!: if it starts to boil, the mixture will transform into a curd and you’ll have to discard it and start over new)
  • Put the mixture in small plates or bowls, and keep it in the fridge until the moment to serve.
  • Before serving, sprinkle some sugar on the top and burn it using a kitchen blowtorch.


 TORRIJAS (MADRID) – French Toast


  • 1 baguettes from the day before, cut in slices of 1 cm thick
  • 250 ml of full fat milk
  • 250 ml of cream
  • 30 g of sugar
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 200 ml of olive oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon



  • In a pot, boil the milk together with the cream, sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon stick during 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  • Place the bread slices in a tray and cover with the milk mixture. Let it absorb the liquid during 2-3 minutes and flip over.
  • To prepare the torrijas, place a pan with olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Drain the bread, put in the beaten eggs and fry in olive oil.
  • Let the torrija rest in a plate with some kitchen towel.
  • Place the torrijas in a tray and sprinkle with some sugar and ground cinnamon