My paternal grandparents come from Andalucia which is the 2nd biggest in area and the most populous among the autonomous communities within Spain. Officially identified as one nationality of Spain, the Andalusian autonomous community has eight provinces, namely: Jaén, Málaga, Cádiz, Córdoba, Seville, Almería, Granada, and Huelva. Grandpa is from Granada, famous for the Alhambra, while grandma is from Malaga, home of Marbella and Mijas, both famous for beaches and golf.
As I was growing up, my dad taught me how to speak and write in Spanish, thus my fluency in the language. On the other hand, he also taught me how to cook tapas.
What Are Tapas?
Tapas are actually bite sized food pieces that are served with drinks in a bar, and Granada’s (where grandpa is from) Andalucian region is the only location where tapas remain complimentary. Actually, the term ‘tapa’ means cover, and it is among the historical explanations of tapas’ origin, when tavern or bar owners would put a small bread piece over a customer’s glass to discourage the flies from dipping into the drink. These days, tapas symbolize the openness and warmth of the social lifestyle of the Spanish people. Indeed, there is really nothing like a chat and a drink with some buddies, with yummy nibbles to go with the pleasant experience. Spanish Tapas are a real celebration of Spain’s culture and the social manner of life wherein the Spanish are popular for.
5 Popular Tapas Dishes from Andalucia That I Love Most
Many thanks to my grandparents who taught my dad how to cook delicious tapas, and many thanks to my dad who taught me in turn, I can now prepare delicious tapas. Below are 5 popular tapas dishes that my grandparents used to cook during their younger years in Andalucia:
Chicken and Chorizo
The ingredients are one chicken breast (a de-boned leg will also do) that is cut into bite size bits, 100 grams of Chorizo that is sliced, olive oil, 8 cloves garlic cloves (with the skins left on) which are crushed, 8 peppercorns, and 100ml of red wine. First, heat a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil. Brown the small chicken pieces. Throw in the crushed garlic, and fry for five minutes. Then, add the chorizo and the peppercorns, followed with the red wine, and wait until it is reduced by half. Turn the chicken. Cover. Turn the heat down and simmer for around 10 minutes.
Roughly chop 8 peeled garlic cloves as well as a hand full of fresh parsley. Then, place 8 tiny and thin pork chops or fillets in a shallow dish, to be sprinkled with the chopped garlic and parsley. Mix with the juice of a lemon, and marinade in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. For a more subtle flavor, marinate for an hour only. Subsequently, grill for a few minutes per side until cooked and tender. Before serving, sprinkle with pepper and salt.
Clean 9 whiting fish well, removing the innards and heads but leaving them whole. Coat each fish with Spanish Harina de Trigo Fritos y Rebozados, shaking off the excess flour. Fry the fish thoroughly for a few minutes, in batches of 2 or 3, in olive oil that is hot. Make sure that each side is golden and lovely.
Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms
On a baking tray, place 12 medium mushroom caps (the stalks removed earlier). Then, place one thin slice of chorizo into every mushroom cap (12 slices from 1 chorizo sausage). Sprinkle grated 50g Manchego cheese on top of each chorizo piece. Drizzle olive oil on top of the mushroom caps. Oven bake for 20 minutes, on a medium heat.
Lightly fry 1 diced Spanish onion in a pan with olive oil till it starts to brown. On the other hand, slice 3 chorizo sausages into ½ inch pieces. Add the chopped garlic (3 cloves), ½ teaspoon hot paprika, and 250 ml of Fino de Jerez sherry to the onion till the sherry is reduced. Pour one cup of warm water, allowing it to simmer for ten minutes. Thicken the mixture then add parsley, seasoning it with pepper. Stir well.