One of the finest things about holidaying in Spain is the fact that tapas is served, free of charge, with almost any drink you buy. The larger and more expensive the drink, the better the tapas will be. Buy a couple of beers (cervezas) for €3 and you may find yourself with a small plate of jamón ibérico. However, indulge in a gin-tonic or slightly larger cerveza and a plate of paella or patatas revolconas may be discovered beside one’s chosen beverage. For a food-blogger, the prospect of being given free food with an already inexpensive drink is almost overwhelming, the only down side being that one may end up consuming a little too much alcohol… but who cares? It’s a holiday! So, if you wish to recreate the Spanish ideal of relaxing in the sun, drinking a little more than usual and eating delicious food, which for some inexplicable reason was free, it’s probably best that you make this. Though I refuse to be blamed for any side-effects that may arise as a result of such indulgence… you acted of your own volition.
Whilst in Navalmoral we made rather good friends with our local barkeep, though we’re all equally unsure of his name. He spoke only a smattering of English, but he was able to explain that this dish is ‘typically Spanish’, a term which came into vogue immediately. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t wrong; I’ve never tasted anything quite as Spanish as this, the paprika content speaks for itself. This recipe stays almost exactly true to the taste of the original; somehow I stumbled across the correct flavour. The only misdemeanour enacted against what is considered ‘typically Spanish’ was the removal of pork crackling from the top. Instead, it’s rather a nice touch to garnish this dish with some mixed chopped herbs in order that it appeals to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
*Before I forget, there have been a couple of developments within the FrugalFeeding network; if you glance and the sidebar you’ll notice some lovely new social-networking icons. As you can see, I have added a new icon to the triumvirate that was Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. If one decides to click on this new icon, an action which I fully endorse, it will take you to my Flickr page which was created so that you could all take a wee glance at my more general photography.*
• 750g potatoes, any mashing potato will do
• 200ml water saved from boiling the potatoes
• 2 tbsp smoked paprika
• 1 tsp hot paprika
• 5 cloves of garlic, mashed
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• A chopped herb of your choosing, chives would be nice
1. Peel, halve and boil your potatoes in enough salted water to cover them. Cook until tender, this should take around 15 minutes – save the water. Meanwhile prepare your other ingredients by toasting the garlic in the oil, before stirring in the two types of paprika. Remove everything from the heat.
2. Mash the potatoes together with 200ml of the starchy water. When the mash is relatively smooth, stir in the paprika, garlic and oil and season to taste. Serve in a large bowl with a herb garnish. It’s delicious alone, or as part of a larger meal.
Cost: My favourite sort of food is that which is simple, inexpensive and tasty and luckily this particular dish fits precisely into each of those categories – it is simply a joy to behold. Indeed, the entire portion should set one back roughly £1.40. This is truly a bargain.