Category: Spain

Chicken Paella Recipe

Paella in Barcelona – Photo by Peter Morton

We had a wonderful meal of chicken paella whilst on holiday in Barcelona.

The dish was so sumptuous that I still think about it today. LOL  I have tried to make my own version and I found Jamie Oliver’s version is a good starting point for a truly delicious Spanish paella.

Below is a Jamie Oliver recipe:

Chicken Paella Recipe


• 6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs, preferably free-range or organic, skin on, each quartered
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• plain flour, for dusting
• olive oil
• 100g chorizo, sliced
• 6 slices pancetta or streaky bacon
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 2 litres hot chicken stock, preferably organic
• 2 large pinches of saffron
• 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
• 500g paella rice
• small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped, stalks chopped
• 2 handfuls peas, fresh or frozen
• 10 king prawns
optional: 500g mussels, scrubbed
• optional: 2 small squid, halved and scored


Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Season the chicken pieces and dust with flour. Heat a little olive oil in a large deep pan and fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Place the pieces on a baking tray and into the oven for 30 minutes.

Put the pan back on the heat. Add the sliced chorizo and pancetta or bacon and fry until browned and crispy. Then add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Meanwhile infuse half the hot chicken stock with the saffron. Add the smoked paprika, rice and infused stock and leave to cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time.

After 20 minutes the rice should be nearly cooked. At this point, pour in the rest of the stock along with the peas, prawns, and the mussels and squid if you are using them. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 10 minutes more.

Finally, add the cooked chicken and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon.

Spanish Paprika Pork Recipe


Spanish Pork & Rice, Photo by JMorton

Spanish Paprika Pork Recipe


  • 5oog pork belly, sliced
  • 1 chorizo,  sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 cups water

Method of preparation

Using a large, heavy bottom pan, heat the olive oil.

Add the sliced pork belly and cook until golden brown all over.

Set the pork into the edge of the pan.  Add the garlic and onion in the middle of the pan and stir fry until aromatic, ensure that the garlic are not burnt to prevent the bitter taste to it.

Stir in the pork and also  add the chorizo and cook for a few minutes, stirring, until its orangey oil is released and the chorizo.

Add the carrots to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, then tip in the bell pepper stirring constantly so no sticky bits on the bottom of the pan.

Pour in the plum tomato and its juices.  Stir in the paprika, tomato puree. the rosemary and water.

Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 15- 20 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender.

Serve with boiled or saffron rice.

Spanish Pork & Mushroom Stew


Spanish Pork & Mushroom Stew, photo by JMorton

Spanish Pork & Mushroom Stew


350g pork belly, sliced into bite-size
2 tsp olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, sliced
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp paprika
2 x 400g cans plum tomatoes, chopped
400g can butter beans, drained
1 cup water
280g mushroom, sliced or quartered
salt & pepper according to taste
a tbsp of chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Method of preparation

Heat the oil in a large casserole pan, add the garlic, fry until just fragrant, golden not burnt.

Tip in the sliced pork belly. Stir-fry until brown all over.

Next Stir in the red onion and red peppers.and until golden brown all over. Cook for a further 5 mins, stirring now and then, until softened.

Mix in the paprika. Stir everything around in the pan for a couple of minutes.

Pour in the tomatoes and the juice that they come with as well as the cup of water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins.

Uncover, stir in the beans.

Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper.

Add the sliced mushroom.

Continue simmering for a further 10 mins.

Serve with a generous sprinkling of parsley if wanted.

Delicious served with freshly boiled rice and a side of green beans. It can of course be eaten with chips (French fries) or with some crusty bread. Whichever, it is delicious.

Spanish Chicken Recipe

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 chicken thighs with skin and bone still on
  • 750 grams chorizo (whole if baby ones or cut into 4cm / 1½ inch chunks if regular sized)
  • 1 kilogram new potatoes (halved)
  • 2 red onions (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup water


I cook my Spanish chicken on the stove.

  • Added the olive oil in a fair good size pan.
  • Fried the chicken thighs until golden brown.  Put aside.
  • With the same pan I added the garlic and onion.
  • I then added the chorizo and stir.  The smell and look of the orangey juice coming from the chorizo is divine.
  • Now added the potatoes and the red bell peppers.
  • Stir and incorporate the lovely juice onto the vegetables.
  • Add the chicken thighs
  • Add the cup of water.
  • Season with the oregano, salt and black pepper.
  • Cover the pan, turn down the heat and let it simmer until the water has gone down.
  • Check and stir to ensure that it does not burn.

Yummy with boiled rice or even oven chips!

And with a glass of Merlot!

This can be done using the oven method, ala Nigella “Domestic Goddess” Lawson as follows below:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7/425ºF. Put the oil in the bottom of 2 shallow roasting tins, 1 tablespoon in each. Rub the skin of the chicken in the oil, then turn skin-side up, 6 pieces in each tin.
  2. Divide the chorizo sausages and the new potatoes between the 2 tins. Sprinkle the onion and the oregano over.
  3. Cook for 1 hour, but after 30 minutes, swap the top tray with the bottom tray in the oven and baste the contents with the orange-coloured juices.



Chicken and Prawn Paella

I love paella. I love it as it is bursting with different flavours; a truly smorgasbord of taste and texture.

A perfect treat as a filling one-dish meal.

Chicken & Prawn Paella, Photo by PH Morton

Chicken & Prawn Paella, Photo by PH Morton

Chicken and Prawn Paella


 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

 100g chorizo

 2 tbsp olive oil

 1 large onion, chopped

 4 celery sticks, chopped

 1 large green peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks

 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks.

 1/2 cup frozen peas

 5 large ripe vine tomatoes, chopped

 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

 1 tbsp paprika

 ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

 1 tsp dried thyme

 1 tsp dried oregano

 2 bay leaves

 200g long-grain rice

 450ml chicken stock (can use oxo cubes)

 100g cooked peeled king prawns, thawed if frozen

 6 spring onions, sliced

 sea salt to taste

 freshly ground black pepper


1. Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces, season them with salt and pepper.

2. Cut the chorizo into slices.

3. Heat the oil using a large non-stick frying pan or a wok.

4. Fry the chicken over a medium heat until lightly golden.

5. Add the chorizo and cook until the sweetly spicy juice runs out and mix with the chicken.

6. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and set aside.

7. Return the pan over a medium heat.

8. Stir in the onion, celery, peas and green & red peppers and cook for 8-10 minutes until well softened, stirring occasionally.

9. Add the tomatoes and stir- fry with the veggies.

10. Stir the crushed garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano and bay leaves into the frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.

11. Return the chicken and chorizo to the pan, add the rice and cook for about a minute, stirring.

12. Pour over the stock, season with a pinch of salt and lots of black pepper.

13. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the rice is just tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

14. Ensure to stir occasionally so as not to let the rice stick and then burn in the bottom of the pan. Just add a bit more of stock if rice is still not cooked to your taste.
15. Finally, Stir in the prawns and spring onions and cook for another 2 minutes.

Serve to your hungry army!


Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic Prawn)

Garlic Prawn Photo by C Miclat

Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic Prawn)

Gambas al ajillo is a popular tapa recipe and of course there is really no need to say  (but I will anyway, LOL) that it is a Spanish recipe.

It is delicious eaten with rice or with beer and shared with friends and family.

As an added bonus, it is simple and quick to make.


14cup olive oil

55g butter

1 12lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined (it can also be left unpeeled if preferred)

10 garlic cloves, minced

14cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp paprika

12tsp chilli flakes

4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped


freshly ground pepper

Method of preparation

Using a sauté pan or heavy frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.

Add the garlic and chilli flakes and sauté until they have brown but not burnt!!!

Turn up the heat and immediately add the prawns or shrimp, lemon juice and paprika.

Stir well, incorporate the fragrant garlic and the goodness of olive oil into the prawns; cook for about 3 minutes or  until they have turned pink and curled.

Remove from heat and transfer shrimp or prawns and its sauce to a warm serving plate.  Finally season with salt and black pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.  Do forget to serve with bread.



Caldereta Del Condado Recipe

Caldereta del Condado

Caldereta del Condado

Caldereta Del Condado Recipe


1 tbsp Spanish oil
1 kg  stewing lamb, cut in chunks
4 slices serrano ham
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, quartered
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
1 head of garlic
several sprigs of parsley
sprigs of fresh mint
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
200 ml white wine
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons bread crumbs

Method of Preparation: 

Heat the olive oil, in a frying pan and brown the lamb to seal in the goodness.

Transfer the lamb into a big stewing pot/lidded saucepan together with the Seranno ham, tomatoes, onion, pepper, garlic, parsley, mint, bay leaves, salt and pepper and wine.  Let it simmer for a few minutes.

Then top up with enough water to cover the meat and vegs. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until the meat is tender.

This is a slow cook.  The longer the meat is left to stew, the more tender they would taste (melt in the mouth).

Fish out and transfer the meat onto a serving dish.

Do not dispose the liquid and mushy veg but put into a food processor.  Remember to remove and discard the herbs and tomato skin first and then purée the liquid/vegs mix.

Return the puréed sauce to the stewing pot; adjust the seasoning by adding the cloves, pepper, cumin, paprika and bread crumbs, to thicken the sauce.  Give it a stir and then pour onto the lamb and serve immediately with vegetables or boiled rice

Everyone will enjoy this dish!  They just can’t help themselves! 😉

Lechon Baboy ( Pig Lechon)

Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.
– Samuel Pepys

My sister and her husband treated us to a whole lechon for New Year 2013, when we all visited and spent Christmas and the New Year with our Mother and the family in the Philippines.

Our Media Noche table was something to behold. There were cakes, juicy hotdogs, cheese, Graham cakes, fruit salad, menudo, mechado, chopseuy, fish dishes, etc. The stunning presence of the ubiquitous 13 fruits, as a new year good luck charm, on the dinner table can not begin to compete with the piece de resistance which was the spit-roasted whole pig. It was rather unusual at first having Babe 🙁 right there on the table, but the crunchy skin was just too irresistible.

The lechon sauce was sweet and spicily delicious.

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Lechon has become a national dish for the Philippines inherited from Spain, who colonised the Philippines for more than 333 years. Lechon is a Spanish word which means suckling pig. It seems Spain loves a bit of pork crackling as they seemed to have spread not only the 3 Cs (commerce, Christianity & Civilisation) but also lechon as it is also popular in countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico and Spanish-speaking countries in South America.

Apparently the Lechon Baboy has immigrated to the UK. With a couple of hundred pounds (Sterling ££), you can get an authentic  freshly lechoned pig delivered to you in London or anywhere in the UK.

The amount is almost 3-4 times of what you pay in the Philippines but I think it may be worth its price for its awesome factor as an unusual centrepiece to an English party table.

Whole roasted suckling pig on the dinner table in the UK is probably more of a  entry or an footnote in some dusty historical books on Queen Elizabeth I or her father, Henry VIII rather than an entrée for a lively dinner party.

Peter will have a landmark birthday in the next couple of years and I would like to have lechon baboy for friends and family to enjoy. I hope they’ll enjoy the fare as much as we Filipinos do.

If you happen to feel adventurous and ready and willing to roast a whole pig in your back garden, using tonnes of charcoal, here is a recipe.


1 whole native pig
salt and black pepper to taste
soy sauce

For the glaze:

1 liter of Sprite or 7up
For the stuffing:
10 bundles lemon grass (tanglad)
1/4 cup star anise
6 pieces of laurel or bay leaves (cut into small parts)
5 cups of crushed garlic
2 kilos green onion leave
8 pieces of halved saba bananas or plantain. (half-cooked through boiling)


Rub the insides with salt and pepper; do the same thing with the skin.

Rub a little soy sauce on the inside belly of the pig.

Stuff the belly with saba bananas or plantain, anise, green onion leaves, crushed garlic and laurel leaves.

Next, stack the lemon grass on the center stomach, and stitched the belly, making sure that no ingredients slip out.

Skewer the pig with a mid-size bamboo and split roast over hot charcoal.

Do not put the charcoal directly underneath the belly of the pig but over both sides, slowly churning the pig roast.

While slowly roasting the pig, glaze it from time to time with sprite soda using a sponge. This will make the skin extra crispy.

Roast for 2-4 hours until the meat is tender.

Do not overcooked.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

cervantesMiguel de Cervantes Saavedra better known as Cervantes was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright.  His magnum opus, Don Quixote is considered as the first modern European novel and many regard it as one of the best novels ever written.



As Quoted by Cervantes:

All beauty does not inspire love; some please the sight without captivating the affections. If all beauties were to enamour and captivate, the hearts of mankind would be in a continual state of perplexity and confusion—for beautiful objects being infinite, the sentiments they inspire should also be infinite.
Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliancy than justice.
Beauty in a modest woman is like fire or a sharp sword at a distance; neither doth the one burn nor the other wound those that come not too near them.

Can we ever have too much of a good thing?
– Cervantes

Drink moderately, for drunkenness neither keeps a secret, nor observers a promise.
– Cervantes
Everyone is as God made him and oftentimes a good deal worse.
– Cerantes
Fortune always leaves some door open in misfortune.
– Cervantes
Fear is sharp-sighted, and can see things under ground, and much more in the skies.
– Cervantes
God bears with the wicked, but not forever.
– Cervantes

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.
— Cervantes
History is the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instructor of the present, and monitor to the future.
Honor and virtue are ornaments of the soul, without which the body, though it be really beautiful, ought not to be thought so.
Hunger is the best sauce in the world. ~
I find my familiarity with thee has bred contempt.
– Cervantes
Ill-luck, you know, seldom comes alone.
– Cervantes
I never thrust my nose into other men’s porridge. It is no bread and butter of mine; every man for himself, and God for us all.
– Cervantes
It is a true saying that a man must eat a peck of salt with his friend before he knows him.
– Cervantes
Let me leap out of the frying-pan into the fire; or, out of God’s blessing into the warm sun.
– Cervantes
Let the worst come to the worst.
– Cervantes
Let every man mind his own business.
– Cervantes
Let him who is deceived complain.
Let him to whom faith is broken despair.
Murder will out.
– Cervantes
Much time is necessary to know people thoroughly.

No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self-deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
– Cervantes
Out of the frying-pan into the fire.
One man is no more than another, only inasmuch as he does more than another.
Plain as the nose on a man’s face.[
– Cervantes
She who loves none can make none jealous, and sincerity ought not to pass for disdain.
Sing away sorrow, cast away care.
– Cervantes
Sometimes we look for one thing and find another.
Self-praise depreciates.
THE beauty of some women has days and seasons, depending upon accidents which diminish or increase it; nay, the very passions of the mind naturally improve or impair it, and very often utterly destroy it.
– Cervantes.
The guts carry the feet, not the feet the guts.
– Cervantes

True love cannot be divided, and must be voluntary and unconstrained.
The viper deserves no blame for its sting, although it be mortal—because it is the gift of Nature.
There is no remembrance which time does not obliterate, nor pain which death does not terminate.
Thank you for nothing.
– Cervantes
The brave man carves out his fortune, and every man is the son of his own works.
– Cervantes
Under a bad cloak there is often a good drinker.
– Cervantes

We are sure of nothing in this life.

Why do you lead me a wild-goose chase?
– Cervantes
Which I have earned with the sweat of my brows.
– Cervantes


Household Chores and the Law

Sign of the time, it now requires a law for people to do the housework. I supposed this is the right thing to do. It would force children and adults to help with the household chores, in so doing they’ll stop twiddling with their computers and game consules for a while.

The UK should also adopt this law! LOL

Spain: Children ‘must do housework’ under draft law

Children ironing

Spanish children may soon be required to help out with housework, under a draft law that has been approved by parliament.

The measure, which would be part of a wider child protection law, says that children under the age of 18 have an obligation to participate in all areas of family life. That includes “co-responsibility in caring for the home and performing household tasks regardless of age and gender”, the ABC newspaper says. The rules come under a section of the law called “the rights and duties of children”.

Along with doing chores, children would also have to be respectful to their parents and teachers, and have a positive attitude towards learning. But the bill doesn’t say anything about penalties for children who refuse to go along, the Local website reports. Other elements of the bill would see the establishment of a list of people who are banned from working with children, and it would become a crime for people who work with children to fail to report possible abuses against them.

Married Spanish men can also face legal sanctions for refusing to do housework – an update in 2005 to the marriage contract used for the country’s civil ceremonies added a clause requiring men to share in household duties, and the care of children and elderly relatives.

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