Are you on the lookout for the new quick and easy dishes to make? Do you want to taste the traditional Spanish cuisine, right there in your home? Then, this article is for you.
When tourists first visit Madrid, national cuisine is one of the first things they explore. Regardless if they arrive at the city on business, regardless if they travel alone, with family, stay in an apartment in the city center or choose other types of accommodation. They all want to experience the best of the city, to discover this famous tourist destination and what it has to offer.
At daytime, travelers will go sightseeing, looking for the nearest landmarks in the center of the city, but as the dinner time comes, all of them will start exploring Madrid’s best restaurants. Apart from traditional dinner menus, sometimes with multiple course meals, etc., travelers are enchanted by Madrid tapas. This snack food is traditionally served in bars and cafes, representing one of the most recognizable items in the Spanish cuisine. These delicious bites, which is how tapas sometimes are called, are served in Madrid bars and restaurants, usually with wine or other beverages.
Now, you can make your own Madrid tapas at home, using these easy recipes.
Spanish tortilla, also known as Spanish omelette, is one of the most famous recipes from the Spanish cuisine, and yet it is quite simple to make. It can be served as breakfast or dinner, but it can even be cut into pieces and packed for a takeaway lunch. Some prefer eating it cold, while others prefer when it is served as a warm dish. It is all a matter of taste.
To make Spanish tortilla, you will need:
- 2 cups potatoes (one large or two smaller potatoes), sliced thinly
- 1 1/2 cups sliced onion
- 7-8 eggs
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by cutting the onions and potatoes. If you do not like the onions, you can even leave them out. Cook both vegetables separately, after which you will drain them before mixing them with the eggs. Put everything in a clean pan and fry, flip to fry from the other side until is all done.
Check out the full recipe here: Spanish Tortilla Omelette.
Other vegetables can be added, depending on what you like to eat. Here is an interesting Spanish tortilla recipe if you want to combine it with spinach: Simple Spanish Tortilla Recipe with Spinach Arugula Salad.
Croquetas de Jamón
These tapas require a bit more time, but they are also quite easy to make. They are perfect to be served as appetizers, and they can be made with a variety of different ingredients. Instead of ham, you can also use cod, chicken, mushrooms, shrimp, spinach, beans, etc.
Basically, croquettes are fried breadcrumbed rolls with either mashed potatoes or bechamel sauce. Typically, the later one is used in Madrid tapas.
The ingredients you will need include:
For the “Dough”
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil Scant
- 1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 c milk, at room temperature
- ¼ lb ham, diced into small pieces
- Pinch nutmeg
- Salt (to taste — only needed if your ham isn’t too salty)
For Breading the Croquettes
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ – ¾ c bread crumbs
- Oil for frying
The actual process of making croquettes is not complicated. It is recommended to create the ham mixture a day earlier and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Check out the full process of how to make them in this recipe: Croquetas de Jamon (Spanish Ham Croquettes).
For a vegetarian version of the recipe which includes making the dough mixture with onions and spinach, take a look at this recipe: Spanish Spinach Croquettes.
The popular version of potatoes which are either fried or baked is a super easy meal to make. It can be served as a tapa, or as a side dish with chicken, veggies, fish, etc. You can mix different spices in the sauce to make it spicier. You will need around ten minutes to prepare the potatoes, which is quite handy if you are in a rush. Baking time is around 50 minutes. Here is what you will need to make patatas bravas:
- 2 Pounds russet potatoes diced (not peeled)
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 Pinch of pepper
- 1 Pinch of salt
You can follow this recipe for the instructions: Patatas Bravas (Spanish-Style Roasted Potatoes).
The recipe also features a spicy sauce that can be served with these tapas.
Spanish Tomato Bread with Ham
This one is a popular type of tapa for summer months, as it involves no cooking. Also, the taste of tomatoes makes it a refreshing snack. It also looks quite nice served as party food. You will need a baguette, which will be the base for the tapas. The special touch that makes this unique Spanish treat is Jamon Serrano, internationally famous Spanish ham. These are all of the ingredients you will need:
- Tomatoes (chopped)
- Garlic (finely chopped)
- Serrano ham (sliced)
- Olive oil
- Fresh basil or parsley
To make these tasty tapas, simply follow the instructions from this recipe: Spanish Tomato Bread with Jamon Serrano.
You simply cannot have Madrid tapas without olives. Olives are traditionally served as a part of the Mediterranean style of cooking. They add quality and freshness to the dishes. Olives are used in many different tapas recipes. They can easily be combined with vegetables or fish. The base of Banderillas recipe are olives, as well as tuna, onions, and pickles. Other vegetables you can use include pepper, carrot, etc. Basically, any vegetable you can combine well with these three will be perfect. You will need toothpicks to assemble the tapas. The full list of ingredients for this recipe includes:
- 1 box round toothpicks
- 1 jar gherkin pickles
- 1 jar cocktail onions
- 1 jar green olives (pitted & stuffed with pimento, garlic or anchovies)
- 1 can anchovies
- 1 can chunk white tuna (in oil)
- 1 can artichoke hearts (in water or oil, cut in halves)
- 1 jar banana wax peppers (or pepperoncini)
- Optional: 12 quail eggs (boiled)
With all of the colorful ingredients, these taps will look absolutely amazing on the table. Check out the full recipe and the instructions here: Banderillas Recipe.
If you love olives, here is another recipe you should try out.
A perfect type of salad that can be eaten as a snack or served as one of the courses. It is very easy to make this one because all you need to do is to mix the ingredients together. The only thing is, this mixture should be made a day before. The best way for the olives to soak up all of the flavors is to leave the mixture in a glass container or a covered bowl overnight. The ingredients necessary to make marinated olives are these:
- Black olives
- Red onion
- Fresh thyme or rosemary
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- Fresh mild red chili
In the recipe, you will find the exact amount of ingredients you should use: Marinated Olives.
Sauteed Eggplant with Honey
This type of tapas is an excellent choice for vegetarians. It can also be used as a side dish and be eaten with meat, or vegetable salad for example. To make the eggplant pieces taste delicious, you will need to marinate them overnight in whole milk. The ingredients you will need are:
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3-5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- Sea Salt
The full instructions on how to prepare everything and how to fry the eggplant is available in the recipe: Sautéed Eggplant with Honey.
This is another simple recipe to make delicious Madrid tapas. Stuffed tomatoes look amazing arranged on the dining table, and they taste incredible. You will only need a couple of ingredients, and the cooking time is minimal. These are the ingredients you should prepare:
- 8 small tomatoes, or 3 large ones
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
- 6 tablespoons allioli or mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon white breadcrumbs, if using large tomatoes
You can alter the stuffing and add other ingredients such as chicken, cheese, or different type of veggies. Find all the instructions in this article: Stuffed Tomatoes.
If you love creamy taste of cheese, combined with sweet honey taste, you will love this snack. It is made super fast. These cheese puffs are made from a mixture of cheese and honey, with other spices. Then they are rolled into sesame seeds and deep fried for a minute or two. Typically, they are served hot. Here is the full list of the things you will need to make them:
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds for toasting
- Additional sesame seeds for coating
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
- 2 eggs, separated
- 3 ounces creamy cows milk cheese, grated
- ¼ cup grated cured Manchego cheese
- Olive oil for frying
- Honey for coating
Find the full recipe here with the detailed instructions: Homemade Cheese Puffs with Sesame Seeds and Honey.
Huevos rotos con jamon
Here is another traditional Madrid tapa. Unlike small bites and appetizers, this one can be served as a meal, usually dinner or breakfast. Translated from Spanish, the name huevos rotos con jamón means scrambled eggs with ham. Of course, Spanish ham should be your choice if you can find it in your supermarkets. The things you will need to make this dish are these:
- 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and cut into slices (about 3 or 4 mm thick)
- 2 eggs
- 2 or 3 slices of jamón – chopped. You could use bacon lardons if you like but don’t moan that it doesn’t taste Spanish!
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- A couple of tablespoons of olive oil for frying
For the detailed instructions, read this: Easy Spanish Recipe: Huevos Rotos con Jamon.
Calamares means squid rings, which is a type of tapa that is deep fried. It is typically served with sauces, like onion rings. The cooking time is around 30 minutes, and it is best if calamares are eaten hot. Before you start, make sure you get everything ready:
- 500 g (1 pound) squid cut in rings
- 1 medium egg
- Salt to taste
- 150 g (1¼ cup) AP flour
- 175 ml (3/4 cup) very cold water
- 1 pinch baking soda
- 1 glug sparkling water (optional)
- Plenty of good olive oil for deep-frying
- 1 lemon for drizzling
The recipe for this tasty dish is available here: Calamares a la Romana, Fried Squid Rings.
These small appetizers are perfect to eat with wine. You will use mushrooms as a base, and then you will create the stuffing:
- 12 oz cremini or button mushrooms
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 2-3 oz whipped cream cheese
- 1/2 TBSP fresh parsley
- 1 TBSP fresh scallions or chives, chopped
- 1/4 cup Italian-seasoned panko (optional)
- Olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
- Balsamic glaze, for drizzling
These can be served with other tapas, or with tomatoes salad, spinach, etc. Check out the instructions in this article: Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.
Espinacas con Garbanzos
A popular tapa dish, which is more commonly served in the south of Spain, has a rich flavor and is full of vitamins. It is a healthy meal, often a choice for vegetarians and vegans, who prefer to skip the ham and go on to the veggies. It is usually served hot. The ingredients needed for the Spanish spinach with chickpeas include the following:
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 Bulb garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons of sweet paprika
- 1 Tablespoon of hot paprika
- 5 Cups of spinach, chopped
- 1/2 Cup of water
- 4 Cups of chickpeas
- 1 Teaspoon cumin
- 1 Pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon of wine vinegar
You will find the full recipe with the instructions here: Espinacas con Garbanzos.