Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe | Migas


One of the great things about renting an apartment for your holiday is that you can go shopping in the markets and try out Spanish recipes using authentic local ingredients. But what do you do with what you have left over on the last day? One answer could be – migas! Migas is a classic “waste not, want not” poor people’s dish for using up your stale/dry bread, together with bacon or ham, onions, garlic, and a couple of eggs. And although this year the Seville summer seems reluctant to make way for autumn, cooler weather is not far off, and this filling winter warmer is a must for your Spanish cookbook.

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  • 2 cups stale bread, crumbled up in chunks
  • 1/2 cup water (more or less)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • chopped chorizo or ham or bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • pimentón (smoked paprika)

How much water you’ll need depends on how old and dry your bread is. The idea is to make it moist again, not soggy wet, so sprinkle water over your crumbly bread until it starts to plump up. Once it looks like it’s reviving a bit, put a cloth over it and let it rest while you get on with the other stuff. When the bread is looking good again, add the pimentón (either sweet or spicy) and toss until evenly coated.

In a large saucepan sauté the diced onion and thinly sliced garlic in olive oil until lightly browned and then add the chopped cooked ham. If you are using bacon or sausage that needs to be cooked then add it at the same time as you start cooking the onion and garlic and sauté over low heat. When it’s all cooked through remove the mixture to a bowl.

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Add a bit more oil to the same pan and once it’s nice and hot toss in the paprika-covered bread bits. Let it brown a bit, then stir it around, slowly adding a bit more oil if the bread is looking dry. Once you like the look of the bread’s toastiness stir in the onion/garlic/meat, mixing it well. Make an opening in the centre of the pan by pushing the mixture to the sides, making room for the eggs. Add a few drops of olive oil to the pan and add the eggs. Let them cook about half-way through then toss them with the bread mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Seville Oranges

seville orangesOne of the first things many visitors to Seville notice is the orange trees. They line many of the streets and squares, more of them than any other type of tree in Seville, enough to make the city one of the most densely wooded parts of Spain. From autumn to around the end of January, when they are harvested, they are laden with fruit of an almost startling orange, but before that the fruit are a greenish colour, and can be mistaken for limes.

The trees are actually a variety of bitter orange, scientific name citrus x aurentium, and despite being everywhere in Seville, they are not, in fact, native to Spain, but to south-east Asia, and were brought here by the Arabs in the 12th century. Although sweet oranges are grown in other places in Spain, for the city streets the Moorish rulers preferred bitter oranges, as people wouldn’t pick them to eat, and the trees would retain their decorative aspect.

azaharThe trees blossom in early spring, producing delicate white flowers called azahar, a name derived from the Arabic for “white flower”, and for two or three weeks their distinctive scent fills the air, and is an important part of the “spring experience” in Seville. Extracts of the azahar are used for perfumes and scented water, and have a mild tranquilising effect.

Strangely enough, the Spanish make very little use of the fruit themselves. After harvesting, most of the fruit is shipped off to – where else? – England, where it is used to make that very traditional English breakfast food, Oxford marmalade. Seville oranges are widely considered to be the best in the world for this purpose, because the high natural pectin content helps the marmalade to set correctly. It is also said, though I can’t vouch for it personally, that the oranges from the Patio de Banderas next to the Alcázar Palace, are sent as a gift from the King of Spain to the Queen of England for making her own special marmalade.

If you want to try your hand at making your own marmalade while the oranges are in season, this is an easy Orange Marmalade Recipe from the BBC’s good food guide.

Recipe | Fabada Asturiana

This is another of those traditional Spanish bean stews that are so perfect for keeping you warm on a winter’s day. This one originated in the northern province of Asturias, but is now naturalised throughout Spain and also southern France. The basic ingredient is the large white beans known in Spain as fabes, cooked with pork belly, morcilla (blood sausage) and chorizo, which you can also find pre-packaged as “preparado de fabada” in most supermarkets.


The result is a really tasty and filling dish that works well as a snack, starter, or main meal.

  • 1 kilo alubias blancas (large white beans)
  • 100 grams each: tocina, chorizo and morcilla
  • 200 grams chopped bacon (optional)
  • 2 tsp pimentón piquante (hot smoked paprika)
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • salt to taste (I used about 3-4 tsp)
  • 6 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)

Soak the beans in cold water overnight, then rinse well and place in large stewing pot. Cover with cold water (about an inch or so over), add the tocina, chorizo and morcilla. Add salt, peppercorns and paprika, mix well, then bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, lower heat to a simmer and then start skimming off the sludge that rises to the top. Stir very occasionally, just enough so it doesn’t stick, otherwise the beans will break up. Add more water if required. Cooking time may vary, somewhere between 1-1.5 hours, until the beans are cooked through but still firm.

While the beans are cooking, sautée the onion and garlic until translucent, then add the bacon (if desired) and continue cooking until everything is nicely browned. When the beans are almost done remove the tocina, chorizo and tocina, cut them into small slices and return them to the pot. Then add the cooked onions, garlic and bacon. Give it a quick stir, add a bit more water if you need it, and simmer another 10 minutes.

If you’d like to learn how to make Fabada Asturiana or any other typical Spanish dish then we recommend Travel & Cuisine who will create a custom made cooking experience for you.

And if you are more interested in learning how to shop for yourself like a local so you can make your own fabulous meals in your holiday apartment, check out Azahar Sevilla’s Market & Tapas Tour.

Lentil and Chorizo Stew

With winter on the way and temperatures set to plummet even here in Southern Spain, it’s time to haul out the recipe books and cook up some of those good old-fashioned stick-to-your-ribs winter warmers that your mother used to make.

In Spain, that means cocina de cuchara, or dishes eaten with a spoon, and first and foremost of these are the potajes (the word potage still exists in English), which are bean stews, usually cooked with added meat and vegetables. Cheap, filling, tasty and nutritious (4 out of 4) these stews of lentils, alubias or garbanzos, very common and traditional in Spain, deserve to be much more popular than they are in some northern parts of Europe.

Below is one of our favourite recipes for a lentil and chorizo potage, a variant of a recipe you can find in Janet Mendel’s Cooking in Spain. It’s easy to make, even for novice cooks, and gives a minimum of 4 servings.

1/2 kilo quick cooking brown lentils
2 litres boiling water
400 grams longhaniza rojo sausages (or chorizo)
1 head of garlic cloves, peeled & sliced lengthwise in half
1 large onion, chopped
2 italian green peppers, chopped
100 grams sliced roasted red peppers (from a jar)
2 carrots, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp each of sea salt, black pepper, cumin and pimentón dulce (La Chinata is best)
olive oil

Cook the sausages in a large saucepan, then chop up and put aside, reserving some of the juices from the pan. Sauté the onions, peppers and garlic in a bit of olive oil until onions are translucent. Set aside.

In a large pot add the lentils to boiling salted water and stir well. Then add the carrots, tomatoes, sautéed veg, sausage and spices. Mix well, cover and simmer on low heat for about an hour and a half, stirring frequently. Add the reserved pan juices for extra flavour if desired. Yum!

Recipe | Tortilla de Patatas

We want to start off our new recipe feature with that most basic of Spanish dishes, a potato omelette – tortilla de patatas. You can find these at every tapas bar in various types and sizes. With this recipe you can make any kind of tortilla you like by simply adding different ingredients such as spinach, roasted red peppers, jamón and chorizo, cheese, etc. Some of my favourite ones don’t have any potato at all.

The most important thing is to have a good thick frying pan that maintains heat evenly, and to make sure the potatoes are thoroughly cooked through before you add them to the eggs, but without letting them brown too much. Everybody has their own way of making tortillas, along with various flipping methods. Feel free to experiment!

  • 1 kilo potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • sea salt to taste
  • olive oil

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then slice them again crosswise (into about 1 cm slices). Cut the onion into quarters and slice or chop finely. Heat a 22cm pan and add about 2 tbsps of olive oil. When the oil is hot add the sliced potatoes, stir well to coat them with oil, then turn heat down to med-low and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring gently now and again. Add the onions and salt, mix well and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are cooked through.

 Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the cooked potato and onions (don’t worry if the egg starts cooking in the bowl). Stir well. Using the same pan add a bit more olive oil if necessary and turn up the heat until the oil begins to sputter, then add the egg mixture and immediately turn the heat down to low. When the omelette starts setting shake the pan gently so the sides of the omelette don’t stick, then continue cooking on low heat until it’s about 3/4 done. Slide it out onto a plate, invert the pan over the top and flip the omelette back into pan. Return to low heat and cook another five minutes or so until totally done. Let the tortilla cool to room temperature before serving.