I’ve always loved learning about different cuisines. When it comes to food, one of my favourite things to do is discover dishes from other cultures that I haven’t tried before. Every time I find one of these new, delicious sounding dishes, I get so excited and instantly start planning how I’m going to make it. At home, I try to make as many varied meals during the week as possible, so I can avoid eating the same dish repeatedly over and over again – and because I love to prepare my food from scratch! So, the thought of all of the amazing recipes in the world that I’m yet to find, is something I love to think about.
Recently, many of my recipe ideas have come from the cuisines of places I’ve been to, and the places I really want to visit. One of the places I wanted to visit was India, where I’ve finally arranged to go. Ever since planning my trip to Goa, I’ve been imagining all of the delicious food I’ll be eating. So, as I thought of these dishes, I decided to try making some new curry dishes, like my Vegetable Yogurt Curry, and to start learning more about traditional Goan food. I honestly couldn’t be more excited about my upcoming holiday there.
Then, as I thought about Goa, I began to wonder about all of the other places I’d love to visit. One place I’ve always enjoyed travelling to before is Spain. In the past, I’ve been to Bilbao and Santender, and since then I’ve really wanted to return and see more of the country. One area I’d love to visit in particular, is Malaga, which is situated on the Costa Del Sol.
As the weather begins to cool down in England, the thought of a quick break away to the sunny paradise of Malaga would definitely be ideal for me right now! With picturesque beaches, a rich culture, and places to see like their port, the museums and historic sites, such as the Picasso Foundation, I know it’s somewhere I need to visit soon. Not to mention how cheap the flights are to get there! And of course, asides from the many wonderful things there are to do there, the main attraction about Malaga for me, has to be the food. I adore Spanish food.
Spanish cuisine is definitely something that’s close to my heart. Their food is always so rich and delicious, and is filled with so many great spices. I love cooking with lots of different spices and making really flavoursome recipes at home, so Spanish meals are something I tend to make frequently. Whenever I have friends over to eat, I love to prepare an array of tapas. Being able to make a selection of different food for people to eat is so fun to prepare, and also means you get to enjoy a wide variety of foods, all in one go! From making fritatas to eating croquettes, there are just so many delicious elements involved when it comes to enjoying tapas.
Although the main enjoyment of tapas is trying lots of different foods together, there is always one tapas dish that really stands out for me. This dish is something I could easily eat on its own, all day, every day. My ultimate favourite tapas dish has to be Patatas Bravas. The combination of soft, fluffy potatoes with a spicy, smoky tomato sauce makes something that’s just utterly addictive.
Traditionally, the sauce is made first with some onion, garlic, tomatoes, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Then, it’s combined with the potatoes, some chorizo and is topped with cheese. However, as I don’t make mine using chorizo or dairy cheese, my recipe has a few special adjustments. Instead of those ingredients, I like to boost the dish’s flavours by adding in ginger, mixed herbs and cumin for extra heat, seasoning and spice. Then, when the dish is cooked, I remove it from the heat and top it with some plant-based cheese from Vegusto.
Before trying Vegusto cheeses, I was always sceptical of vegan cheeses, however when I tried their Piquant flavour cheese I was honestly amazed. This cheese is filled with flavour, and really pairs well with the patatas bravas. So, if you’re able to buy any, I would definitely recommend trying it! I hope you enjoy the dish.
serves 4 (as a side):
500g new potatoes, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 cm fresh root ginger
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
cayenne pepper, amount to taste
1/2 tsp salt
- Firstly, fill a large pan with water, add in the potatoes and place them onto a medium-high heat. Bring the potatoes to a boil, and cook for about 10-15 minutes until fairly soft.
- While the potatoes cook, drizzle the olive oil into a large wok/frying pan and place onto a medium heat. Then, add in the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli, and fry for 2-3 minutes until the onion is golden. When this is done, add in the chopped tomatoes, smoked paprika, mixed herbs, salt, and some cayenne pepper (the amount depends on how hot you want the dish). Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, allowing the sauce to thicken, until the potatoes are ready.
- When the potatoes are ready, remove them from the heat and drain them. Then, add them into the tomato sauce and stir everything together. Turn up the heat slightly to a medium-high heat and continue to cook the dish for a further 10 minutes or so, until the sauce has thickened and become more of a paste consistency, covering the potatoes. Adjust any of the seasonings and spices to suit your taste.
- Lastly, when the sauce has thickened and the dish is ready, remove it from the heat, top it with some vegusto cheese and serve!