I’m reaching back into my memory here, because most of the Spanish food I made was made a few months ago now, but I do remember how tasty they were.
I focused mostly on Tapas, because I love tiny food, but I also included paella (kinda), mashed potato, stew, stuffed eggplant and polenta in my foray into Spanish cooking.
I based my stew on a recipe for rabbit stew that I found in a cookbook I borrowed from the Newcastle library. The recipe called for herbs such as parsley, thyme, and bay, as well as red wine, tomatoes, onions, garlic, red capsicum and paprika.
I changed it from a Rabbit Stew to a Rabbit-food Stew by subbing carrots, chickpeas, cannellini beans, a little vegan sausage and mushrooms the rabbit and bacon.
I cooked the onion, garlic, dried herbs, veggies and beans in the wine for about 45 minutes, and added the fried sausage, fresh herbs and paprika at the end. I served it up with a basic olive-oil mash, using potatoes, 0live oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
While I was trying to cook Spanish food I had another bout of gastritis, so I had to go back to bland food for a week or so. During this time I made some carrot polenta, based on a Spanish recipe. It was very easy, and quite a tasty side dish for everyone else, although it was the main for me.
It consists of grated carrot, polenta, a little margarine, a little salt, and some vegan plain yoghurt to serve. I made the polenta as per the package instructions, adding sauted, grated carrot and some smooshed, boiled potato before cooking.
My attempt at Paella was pretty far from the original, as I don’t have a paella pan, and wasn’t able to present it in a big pan covered in pretty veggies. I made mine in my Mum’s electric frying pan, and presented it in bowls. Easy, yummy, but probably not actually recognisable as paella.
I added capsicum, cherry tomatoes, carrot, celery, zucchini, chickpeas, onions, herbs and a little bit of fried vegan sausage (I like Sanitarium’s hot dogs for Spanish food). I used a bit of brown rice and a bit of basmati rice.
(An aside, I was under the impression that Basmati was a whole grain. It isn’t. That makes me a little sad, because I was really enjoying the moral superiority of eating whole grains that tasted so white-ricey.)
I made the eggplant in my second go at Spanish food, after we moved back to Melbourne.
I found the recipe in The Mediterranean Cookbook by Joanna Farrow and Jaqueline Clarke, which I actually bought for someone else, but ended up with, and use frequently.
I used baby or Japanese eggplants, and stuffed them with toasted pine nuts, sultanas, dried cranberries (my addition), fresh thyme from my garden and caramelised onion. I boiled the eggplant rather than baking it, for a quicker and less oily result. These were very tasty, and much better than I expected. I think the cranberry addition is a winner – so much nicer than sultanas.