Sharing meals is an important part of Spanish culture and Spanish cuisine is world famous. At Languages4Life we have monthly tapas lunches where students and teachers bring their own version of tapas dishes, and we also run a tortilla competition every term which is very popular. 
We thought we’d share the recipes for our favorite Spanish dishes so you can try them at home and impress your friends!

Tortilla de patatas

500ml sunflower oil
1kg waxy potatoes, peeled, halved and thickly sliced
1 onion, finely sliced
6 medium eggs
½ teaspoon salt
Olive oil, for frying

Heat the oil in a pan and tip in the potatoes and onion. Cook them until they start to brown (5 – 10 minutes). While they’re cooking, whisk the six eggs and the salt in a bowl. Once the potatoes and onions are cooked, drain them and add to the bowl of whisked eggs. Heat some oil in a pan and pour the mixture in. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes until brown underneath, then cook the top under a hot grill, and serve at room temperature.

Pimientos del padrón

Green peppers
Sea salt
Olive oil
1 litre sunflower or vegetable oil, for deep frying

Easy and yet delicious! Simply heat the oil in a large saucepan until it sizzles when you flick water at it. Then drop in the green peppers. Let them fry for a couple of minutes until they start to blister, then lift them out to drain on kitchen roll. Serve drizzled with olive oil and dusted with flakes of sea salt.

Croquetas de jamon

One large piece of Serrano ham, weighing around 250g
Olive oil
120g unsalted butter
115g plain flour
1 litre whole milk
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
250g breadcrumbs
1 litre sunflower or vegetable oil, for deep frying (you can reuse the oil from the pimientos del padrón)

Cut the ham into cubes and then fry in a little olive oil, with the butter, for around 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and continue to cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. In a separate small pot, heat up the milk and then gradually mix the milk into the ham and flour, stirring continuously, until the mixture is thick and smooth. This should take about ten minutes. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover it with clingfilm, then put it in the fridge to chill for 4 hours.

To make the croquetas, roll the ham mixture into small balls. Dip in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs and then set aside on a tray. Heat the oil in a large saucepan until it is very hot – a good way to test is if it sizzles when you drop in a breadcrumb. Fry the croquetas for around 4 minutes or until they’re golden all over, then serve immediately.

Crema catalana

500ml of whole milk
Zest of 1/2 an orange
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 a cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod
7 egg yolks
95g of sugar
10g of cornflour

Heat the milk, orange, lemon, cinnamon and vanilla pod in a saucepan. Once it’s boiling, remove it from the heat and allow it to infuse for 15 minutes. While it’s infusing, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornflour until the mixture is pale and creamy. Pass the milk through a sieve to get rid of the lemon, orange, vanilla and cinnamon, and then put the milk back on to heat. Just before it boils, slowly add the egg mixture, whisking continually for around 7 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Pour into individual containers and cover with a disc of greaseproof paper before placing in the fridge. Before serving, sprinkle sugar over the top of each crema and caramelise it under a hot grill, until the sugar goes brown.

What’s your favourite Spanish recipe? Let us know in the comments below!