Paella is internationally renowned Spanish rice dish. It originated in the Spanish province of Valencia. The dish can be made with a large variety of ingredients, from different sea food, to meat to vegetables. Probably the most well-known is the seafood version, with the decorative looking large shrimp and mussels in shells. The necessary basis for the dish is formed by rice which should be a medium-grain variety which can absorb a lot of liquid. The yellow color of rice is typically obtained by using saffron. Paella should be prepared on a large, flat steel pan called paellera.
Here on the picture, paella with seafood and chicken breast.
Another famous Spanish dish is patatas bravas, often served in tapas bars. It is made of cubes of potatoes fried in oil or roasted till crispy, and served with a spicy tomato sauce.
Famous cold Gaspacho soup is made of pureed vegetables with key ingredient being tomatoes, others red and green bell peppers, cucumbers and garlic. Important additions are olive oil and vinegar, red wine or sherry vinegar. It is often served with croutons.
Tortilla de patatas or the Spanish omelet is one of most popular dishes eaten in Spain. It can be served as tapa (appetizer) or as a light meal. Ingredients used to make it include potatoes, onions, eggs and olive oil. One can also add green or red peppers, chorizo sausage or ham.
Montaditos are tapas served on a slice of baguette. There are many possibilities with toppings made of different foods – sausage, ham, seafood, vegetables.
Spanish and Catalan cuisines joined in the worldwide popularity the French and Italian cuisine, with tapas bars being opened around the world. As people are more and more looking for ambiance in restaurants, tapas are great for sharing in groups of friends coming to have good time together.
Pulpo alla Gallega can be served either as an appetizer or a main dish.
It is prepared by boiling the octopus in water, cutting in slices and arranging on top of boiled and sliced potatoes, sprinkled with olive oil and sweet paprika.
Romesco sauce has its origin in the Spanish city of Tarragona which is located in the south of Catalonia. The Romesco sauce is typically made from tomatoes, garlic, peppers, almonds, hazelnuts, with addition of olive oil and red wine
Catalan specialty, celebrated in annual festivals, is calcots – local spring onions (scallions) grilled on a flaming barbecue, eaten dipped in the romesco sauce.
Another typical Catalan dish is the esqueixada salad made with shredded salt cod, tomatoes, onions, olive oil, can be garnished with olives.