This week’s Dinner for Two is all about Spanish cuisine; in particular albondgas, patatas bravas & crema Catalana. We’ll also be cooking espanicas con garbanzo, gambas ajillo, and the timeless classic, gazpacho. It’s the perfect dinner to celebrate summer!

One of the greatest things about Spanish cuisine is its authenticity. It doesn’t try to impress, it just is impressive; because of its genuine use of quality ingredients. You really can’t go wrong with fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and seafood. Add to that smatterings of spice, and you just know that every dish is going to legendary.

This Dinner for Two may sound like a lot of work, but all of the dishes are quick and easy to prepare. In the case of the crema catalana and gazpacho, they can be made ahead of time which makes entertaining even easier.

Spanish Albondigas Patatas Catalana

Another great thing about Spanish cooking is the techniques and equipment. Both can be highly technical, or utterly rustic, whichever the cook prefers. So whilst some cuisines require precise measurements and strict adherence to the recipe, these dishes are a little more forgiving and allow for personal tastes.

With this in mind, if you’re not a fan of super hot paprika, then you can temper that heat by using just sweet or smoked paprika. If you’re a little diet conscious you don’t have to use whole/full cream milk for your crema catalana, you can use semi or skimmed milk.

Spanish cooking is a hearty and warming cuisine. It fills you up, and comforts you, it’s the perfect regional food for entertaining. These recipes can easily be scaled up if you want to cook just one dish for family and friends, or scaled down for entertaining tapas style.

Spanish Dinner Pantry Ingredients

As with all of our classes and recipes at LPaG, we use fresh and when that’s not available, we go for authentic. If that means canned, tinned, or jar storage, so be it!

These products are fantastic, and add convenience as well as affordability to cooking. What are you going to need on top of your fresh ingredients? Just some tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, olive oil, all purpose flour, cinnamon, cumin, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, hot paprika, parsley sugar,

Spanish Dinner Cooking Equipment

When it comes to equipment, you’ll only need the basics as well. So here’s a handy list:

Now, on to the recipes, and here they are:

Albondigas

A delicious Spanish cousin to the famous Italian 'meatballs'. These albondigas are the perfect accompaniment to patatas bravas - the tomato sauce the albondigas are cooked in is absolutely delicious with potatoes as well as meatballs!
Course Appetizer, Entree, Lunch, Sauce, Side Dish, Snack, Starter, Tapas
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword albondigas, beef, cheese sauce, meatballs, Spanish, tomatoes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 Portions

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cast-iron skillet or frying pan
  • Stirring spoon

Ingredients

  • ¼ c Breadcrumbs Fresh
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 250 g (½Lb) Beef ½ minced/ground
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Onion medium, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Cumin
  • 250 g (½Lb) Tomatoes fresh or canned, chopped

Instructions

  • To make the meatballs
  • Place the breadcrumbs into a mixing bowl and add the paprika and garlic, mixing thoroughly. Mix together the milk and egg yolk, add to breadcrumbs and leave to soak for 1 minute.
  • Add the beef, and combine fully with the soaked breadcrumbs. Once fully combined, roll into an even number of balls - about 10.
  • Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, once hot, carefully place the meatballs into the oil. Leave to brown on each side before turning - do not try to force a meatball to turn before it's properly seared or it will tear apart.
  • Once all the meatballs are golden brown, remove to a holding plate and proceed with the sauce.
  • Add to the pan the olive oil, onion, garlic, paprika and cumin, stirring to combine whilst cooking.
  • Once the onion has softened, add in the chopped tomatoes, and thoroughly combine.
  • Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover with a lid, and leave to simmer for 5-10mins, or until the meatballs are fully cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve with patatas bravas, and some crusty bread.

Notes

You can cook the meatballs and sauce in the oven to finish if you're short on burners!

Espinacas con Garbanzos

A quick and easy vegetarian starter/tapas/side dish. This authentic dish is packed full of flavour, and goes perfectly with a crisp chilled white wine!
Course Appetizer, Entree, Salad, Side Dish, Snack, Starter, Tapas
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword chickpea, Espinacas con Garbanzos, garbanzo, spinach
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 Portions

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Cast-iron skillet or frying pan
  • Stirring spoon
  • Serving dish

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • ½ Red Onion small, diced
  • 150 g (¼Lb) Spinach frozen, thawed and drained
  • 150 g (¼Lb) Garbanzo beans/Chickpeas canned and drained
  • ¼ tsp Cumin
  • ¼ tsp Salt

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, once hot, add in the onion and garlic and cook until just golden.
  • Add the garbanzo/chickpeas, cumin and salt, tossing the beans to fully coat in the spices.
  • Add in the frozen spinach, stirring to mix fully with the beans, and cook over a low-medium heat for 10mins.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

Crema Catalana

Whilst the French have their creme brûlée, the Spanish have a delicious citrus-infused crema Catalana and it's definitely a winner! Served at room temperature, it's the perfect sweet-treat at the end of any meal.
Course Dessert, Tapas
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword caramel, cream, crema, crema catalana, creme, custard, egg whites, Lemon, milk chocolate, orange blossom
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 2 Portions

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Sieve/strainer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric Hand Whisk/Whisk
  • Serving dishes

Ingredients

  • 15 g (1tbsp) Cornflour/cornstarch
  • 240 ml (1c) Milk
  • 1 x 4cm/2" piece of lemon and orange peel
  • 1 stick/quill Cinnamon
  • 2 Egg yolks large
  • 100 g (½c) Caster sugar
  • 30 g (2tbsp) Caster sugar, for caramel top

Instructions

  • Dissolve the cornflour in just enough water to loosen it.
  • In a saucepan, heat the milk, peels, and cinnamon stick, and carefully bring to the boil.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together until thick and foamy, add in the cornflour, and 2tbsp of the hot milk.
  • Remove the peel and cinnamon stick, and slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture, being careful to continually stir with a whisk.
  • Once fully combined, return the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan, and place over a low heat. Cook until the mix has thickened and looks like custard.
  • Remove from the heat, and pour into bowls or ramekins. Leave to cool before covering and refrigerating to fully set - usually 4hrs, preferably overnight.
  • When you're ready to serve them, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Scatter the decorative sugar evenly over the top, and use a kitchen blowtorch to caramelise the tops.
  • An attractive alternative is to serve them with fresh fruit, particularly mixed berries.

Patatas Bravas

Authentic Spanish chips/fries, they are a delight to behold. Served alongside a rich and tangy tomato sauce, they're perfect at any time of day!
Course Appetizer, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, Starter, Tapas
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword bravas, chips, pan-fried, patatas, patatas bravas, potato, potatoes, Spanish, tapas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 Portions

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Paper towel
  • Cast-iron skillet or frying pan
  • Small saucepan
  • Stirring spoon
  • Serving bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 Potatoes medium, waxy variety
  • Olive oil for frying about 1-2 cups
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ tbsp Hot smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp Sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp All Purpose/Plain flour
  • 125 ml (½c) Chicken stock or a vegetarian equiv.

Instructions

  • Carefully cut the potatoes into large chunks - fingers or pieces, as you prefer. Rinse the cut potatoes under cold water, and leave to dry on the paper towel.
  • In the skillet or frying pan, heat enough oil to partially submerge your potatoes - you can deep or shallow fry them, as you prefer. If you have an air-fryer you can also use that!
  • Once the potatoes are dry, and the oil is hot, begin by adding a third of the potatoes to the hot oil. Do not add more than that, as the oil temperature may drop too low, and the potatoes will not cook without absorbing a lot of oil.
  • When the potatoes are cooked, remove to more paper towel and season with salt.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil for the sauce in a small saucepan over a medium heat, and add the garlic and paprikas. Cook the garlic until it is aromatic - about 1 minute.
  • Add the flour, and cook for a further 2mins, stirring continually. Once all the stock is added, continue to cook for 3mins.
  • Serve the cooked patatas with the bravas sauce as you prefer; together or separately.
  • Once all of the dry ingredients are 'cooked', slowly pour in the stock, stirring throughly to remove any lumps.

Gazpacho

A wonderfully cooling soup in the heat of summer. Eat it like soup, or drink it like the world's best Virgin Mary, it's truly delicious!
Course Appetizer, Entree, Lunch, Soup, Starter, Tapas
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword chilled, cold, cucumber, gazpacho, peppers, soup, Spanish, tomato, tomatoes
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 Portions

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Blender
  • Strainer/sieve
  • Airtight container
  • Glass or bowl to serve

Ingredients

  • 4 Tomatoes Large and ripe, halved and de-cored
  • 1 Cucumber Small, peeled and deseeded
  • 1 Green pepper Small, Bell pepper/Capsicum, de-cored
  • ¼ Red onion Small, peeled
  • 1 Garlic clove peeled
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp White wine dry
  • 1 tsp Sea salt fine
  • ½ tsp Black pepper freshly ground
  • ¼ tsp Cumin freshly ground

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients into a blender, and process for 1-2mins (depending on power of your blender) until completely smooth.
  • Transfer to an airtight container, and chill fully in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  • Optional: It's not absolutely necessary, but you can pour your Gazpacho through a coarse sieve to remove any larger lumps, this will give the smoothest finish.

Gambas al Ajillo

Fresh seafood is a real delight, especially in summer and by the beach. One mouthful of this delicious and iconic prawn dish and your tastebuds will be transported to the south of Spain!
Course Appetizer, Entree, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack, Starter, Tapas
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword ajillo, gambas, Gambas al Ajillo, Garlic, paprika, prawns, shrimp, Spanish, tapas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 Portions

Equipment

  • Plastic bag or small mixing bowl
  • Cast-iron skillet or frying pan
  • Stirring spoon
  • Serving dish

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 150 g (½ Lb) Prawns Large, frozen and then thawed, peeled, and deveined
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp Smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp White wine dry
  • ½ tbsp Italian flat-leaf parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Peel and devein the prawns.
  • In a small mixing bowl or plastic bag, mix the salt and paprika, add the prawns and toss until fully coated.
  • Heat the skillet and oil on a medium-high heat, add the garlic and sauté until the garlic begins to colour. Add the prawns and cook, turning as required, until both sides are bright pink/red and the flesh is white.
  • Pour in the white wine, and toss the prawns so that they are coated in the sauce. Continue to cook until the wine evaporates, then remove from the heat.
  • Add in the parsley and mix thoroughly, serve alongside some crusty bread.

Thanks for checking out this post on Spanish Dinner for Two and I do hope you join us at the LPaG community Cook-Along this Friday for our class. If you do, please come back and post a comment, or share a photo with the tag: #LarderPantryandGarden. 

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