Simple Spanish Food?
I have a Spanish exchange student coming for eight weeks. I am going to be doing my regular cooking but I thought that a few times over the eight weeks I would like to make something she would be accustomed to for a little home cooking.
I have not really cooked Spanish food but anybody have some ideas for simple Spanish food that may give her a taste of home? She is from Madrid. I will ask her when she comes but I don't know how great her English is.
Simple spanish dishes that I love when I'm in Spain: tortilla (a potato egg dish with good spanish olive oil taste), gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp in olive oil), gambas a la plancha (grilled shrimp), boquerones fritos (anchovies fried whole), albondigas (meatballs in a tomato sauce) sangria.
I haven't been to Spain but I hear the Tortilla Espanol is quite common. So second that. I have made it often from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and can confirm it is pretty easy. You can also saute the potatoes and onions ahead of time. Don't skimp on olive oil when frying those potatoes - it does give them a silky texture.
With a few extra ingredients on hand she might be able to fix some of her favorites for you.
Olive oil and garlic are two important flavorings. If you can find it, get a small can of Spanish smoked paprika. Chickpeas (including canned) can be used for quick Spanish style dishes and salads. From what I have read, mayo is widely used.
Food and Wine has some interesting novel Spanish recipes
such as chocolate and sea salt on toast, rotisserie chicken doctored up with fruit and nuts, and a Spanish omelette (tortilla) made with potato chips.
I've also gotten some good ideas from Jose Andres