Category: Spain

Jamon Con Pina (Ham with Pineapple)

Jamon Con Pina, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Jamon Con Pina (Ham with Pineapple)

This recipe is meant to be shared especially for special occasion, such as party celebrations, birthdays, New Year, Christmas and Easter Sunday.

The Philippines long history has a lot of Spanish influences in religion, traditions, names, DNA and food amongst other things.

The Philippines adopted many Spanish recipes but given their own Filipino twist.

I find that gammon can be very salty, therefore sweetening it helps and this recipe is just perfect.


1 kg ham or gammon joint

3/4 cup vinegar

2 cups water

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp dried oregano

2 laurel leaves (bay leaves)

1 head garlic, chopped

1 cup Demerara sugar

1 bottle of stout beer (Cerveza Negra)

1 big can of pineapple slices or use fresh pineapple if you are feeling industrious. 🙂


Boil the gammon or ham in the vinegar and water for 25 minutes.

Drain and discard the vinegar broth.

Rinse the gammon and return to a pan and cover with water and bring to a boil.  Add the thyme, cloves, cinnamon, oregano, bay leaves and garlic.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour in the stout and then stir in half a cup of sugar.

Cook until ham/gammon is tender.

Take out the ham and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Remove the skin and score the fat with diamond patterns.  Rub in the rest of the sugar all over the gammon.

Put in the oven for 10 minutes.  Then add the slices of pineapple and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Let it rest for 10 minutes then carve and enjoy!

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.


  • 1⁄4cup olive oil
  • 55g butter
  • 1 1⁄2lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined (it can also be left unpeeled if preferred)
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1⁄4cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1⁄2tsp chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Method of Preparation:

  1. Using a sautĂŠ pan or heavy frying pan, (a wok is ideal) heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and sautĂŠ until they have brown but not burnt!!!
  3. Turn up the heat and immediately add the prawns or shrimp, lemon juice and paprika.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer shrimps or the prawns and its juices to a warm serving plate.
  6. Finally season with salt and black pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.
  7. Do forget to serve with bread and some salad.
  8. Yummy



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 purÊe the liquid/vegs mix.

Return the purÊed 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 entrÊe 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.

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