¡Viva España! ¡Olé! Pinchos Morunos and Papas Bravas

I probably don’t have to tell you that Spain is famous for their “tapas,” (appetizers) but the variety never ceases to amaze me.  Many times we make a meal of several different kinds of tapas…especially when going out to local places.  I’m particularly lucky, because here, we pretty much have year round outdoor tapas places…what could be better than eating a variety of appies with a view of the beach?  Even without the beach, it sounds pretty good.  lol  The recipes I’m posting today are fairy typical throughout Spain, but remind me particularly of my travels to Madrid…the tapas bars there are unsurpassed.  Just amazing.  Something else that I loved about Madrid?  If you order a beverage, they normally bring a small portion (tapa) of something (free)…be it olives, hazelnuts, bread with a slice of chorizo…whatever they’re serving that day…to eat with your drink.  There’s also usually a selection of the day’s tapas in plain view, and more on the menu, which you can order in various serving sizes depending on what you want.  We have a definite “tapas culture.”  Each region has their own particular additions to it, though several dishes are common throughout the country. 

Saffron is one of those ubiquitous ingredients here…like salt and pepper…it’s used very extensively in Spanish cooking. Thankfully the price isn’t as prohibitive here as it is in the States. The price of saffron goes for about $1500 a pound, due to it’s labor intensive harvest and its need for large crop acreage. Saffron is actually the stigma (dried) of crocus flowers, which are hand harvested. If you find it difficult to find saffron, you can omit it.

saffron

So, on to the recipes! :)

Pinchos Morunos:

pinchos morunos

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds (750 grams) pork, cut into fairly small cubes
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
saffron threads
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons paprika (if you can find spicy, even better)(*for gluten free be sure your brand is certified gf)
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped (or more to taste)
2-3 tablespoons parsley, chopped (or more to taste)
sea salt to taste

Preparation:

Whisk together marinade ingredients and toss pork in to coat.
Cover and refrigerate several hours, stirring occasionally.
Thread onto skewers and grill over medium coals until just done (if you overcook the pork, it will be tough)…this should take about 5 minutes per side, depending on the size of the pieces of pork.

Papas Bravas:

papas bravas

Ingredients:

4 larger potatoes, washed and cut into wedges or cubes (skin on or off according to preference)
oil for frying
1 cup tomato puree
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
tabasco to taste
2 small chili peppers (optional)
mayonnaise or alioli

Preparation:

Heat oil to just below the smoking point.
Fry potatoes in batches until cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
Puree all ingredients and heat to boiling.
Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are finished cooking.
Serve fried potatoes drizzled with tomato sauce and mayo/alioli

6 Responses to “¡Viva España! ¡Olé! Pinchos Morunos and Papas Bravas”

  1. This looks SO delicious!


  2. Thank you, Hannah! :D


  3. Yummy! This is making me hungry! These look delicious!


  4. I thought they were called Patatas Bravas…


  5. Thanks Christine! :)

    Hi Johanna! Yep, on the mainland they are indeed called “patatas” instead of “papas”…but here in the Canaries, we say “papas” (our vocabulary and accent are different from the regions of mainland Spain). :)


  6. Mon Dieu, ce blog est tout à fait chic n’est-ce pas? Actually, we found you by some coincidence of the great cosmic space (surfing and smurfing–we be Trolls), and we are joyous to have arrived. What a gay smile that you have; how wonderful to live life with a zesty smile and to be offering the recipes with same zest. We should want to know something of your philosophy to life should you desire to extend yourself; food served with the dose of humanity leads to better the digestion, and in any case Madam, merci avec gentillesse. We find with some fascination that some of your recipes from Spain are found in Nepal (we are there just recently) with just a bit of difference e.g., the “papas bravas” are also an appetizer in Nepal! Additionally, one of our party had similar in Togo but they were a yam (not sweet) first deep fried then set in a sauce with spices. Imagine that, we see that we are all the same through food non?


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