The Spanish Christmas Spirit

Christmas arrives early in Spain. 8th December to be precise, when the entire country celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. After the last of the ornaments have been put up on the Xmas tree and gifts have been hidden under it, after the Nativity scene has been recreated, families gather together on Christmas Eve and Christmas for a series of sumptuous meals, one after another. With so many dishes to prepare and devour,  Dubai’s Casa de Tapas shows how you too can celebrate the holiday season with Spanish delicacies. For all you know, preparing these might become a ritual in your household for years to come!

Paella

Paella, a dish with its origins from the Valencian region in Spain is called so for the kind of pan it is cooked and served in, with paella literally meaning ‘pan’. Whilst there are several versions, the use of Bomba rice makes Paella a non sticky variety of a dish.

Seafood Paella
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When you are sitting with your family for a festive meal, a plate of paella can make everyone dig in and finish their food with a smile.
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Seafood Paella
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
When you are sitting with your family for a festive meal, a plate of paella can make everyone dig in and finish their food with a smile.
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place a paella pan on medium flame. Pour ginger parsley oil and heat the sofrito in it.
  2. Add squid and sauté it for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the Romesco sauce, paprika and turmeric.
  4. Add the Bomba rice and stir till the sauces coat the grains.
  5. Add the stock and bring the rice to a boil.
  6. Lower the flame and let the rice cook till half done.
  7. Add the green peas and seafood and mix well. Cover with a lid and let the rice simmer.
  8. Preheat the oven for 180°C. Transfer the rice into a glass jar and cover it with a glass lid.
  9. Cook it in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Let it stand in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  10. Garnish with lemon wedges before serving.
Recipe Notes
  1. Do not stir the Bomba rice too much or the grains will break.
  2. Addition of roasted and sliced red bell peppers can be done as a garnish.

Gazpacho

Gazpacho, a soup made from vegetables derives its’ origins from the Andalusian region in Spain. Wiki mentions that traditionally the vegetables were hand pounded with mortar and pestle, to avoid foaming that most blenders make the final product to be. Although a summer dish this soup features in the festive period too, not to mention the health benefits one gets from consuming this!

Gazpacho Andaluz
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This cold soup is extremely popular in the Andalucian region of Southern Spain. Though traditionally served during summer when it offers respite from the heat, it has a special place of pride during a Christmas meal.
Servings Prep Time
6 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Gazpacho Andaluz
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This cold soup is extremely popular in the Andalucian region of Southern Spain. Though traditionally served during summer when it offers respite from the heat, it has a special place of pride during a Christmas meal.
Servings Prep Time
6 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Soak the bread slices (except for 4 slices) in 200 ml water for a few minutes. Squeeze out the water and put the bread into a glass bowl.
  2. Toast the 4 slices and keep aside.
  3. Mix tomatoes, bell pepper, capsicum, cucumber and onion along with the water in the same bowl.
  4. Puree it with an electric blender till it is smooth and no lumps remain.
  5. Strain the soup and serve.
  6. Season with vinegar and then add salt and pepper as per taste. Heat olive oil and sauté garlic till it turns brown. Let it cool and then drizzle it over the soup.
  7. To serve, place the assorted vegetables and toasted baguette on individual plates. Pour out the soup into bowls and serve cold.
Recipe Notes
  1. To save time, make the soup a day before and refrigerate it overnight. Just blend it when you are ready to serve.

 

How do you celebrate Christmas? Is there any particular tradition, food that you must follow? When does your Christmas tree go up? Share in the comments below and let the fun times begin!

Content reproduced from CaLDRON December 2014 Issue

 

 

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