Spanish & Arabian Recipes

Many of these Spanish recipes were given to me by the village ladies, and also Gayle Macdonald from Thank you to Nadia Sawalha for the Arabic recipes.

Easy Strawberry Mice

Hard to believe it, but it’s true. My granddaughter Indy will be 4 years old on Monday. Her mum organised a cat theme birthday party, and all the food and activities had something to do with cats. My contribution was strawberry mice, recipe below. Continue reading

Chili Rubbed Steak

If you enjoy a ‘kick’ of chili, (or chilli) then this chili rubbed steak recipe is for you! It offers a great flavour and takes on hints of smoky paprika. This simple recipe for Spanish steak served with fresh salad and thick potato chips or wedges will never disappoint.

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Chilli Chutney

This chilli chutney is a great way of savouring the warm summer flavours, long after the heat of the sun has gone and winter draws in.  Seasonal eating is a way of life here and towards the end of September you get the last, and the best, of the season’s sweet red peppers  and local red chillies. It does have a bite but combined with the chargrilled sweetness of red peppers, the chillies appear warm and the blend is amazing.

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Lemon Sorbet

Sorbete de Limon or Spanish style lemon sorbet is such an easy dessert to do. A most welcome refreshment in the heat of summer or a classy after dinner treat whenever.  With an abundant supply of lemons all year round, this dish is welcome at any time of year and depending on the options you choose for added flavour, you can transform this dessert from a cooling, invigorating summer dessert to a fresh, fragrant Christmas indulgence.

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Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana is a very popular dessert in bars and restaurants. You can easily buy pre-made ones but the homemade version is by far the best.  It is basically homemade custard with a topping of caramelised sugar.  Simple but delicious.

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Spanish Garlic Prawns with Mushrooms

This Spanish garlic prawns idea is paired with mushrooms or “setas” (wild mushrooms). Any mushrooms will do but a selection for this dish adds a woodland twist with a flavour of the ocean! Fantastic tapas, this dish can be made in less than 10 minutes and is best served in true Spanish style – with bread, olive oil and all on one plate with forks at the ready.

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Tomato and Garlic Dip

Tomato and garlic dip is a classic combination not just in Spain but all over the Mediterranean. It’s a classic combo of flavours which can be adapted with the addition of peppers, chilli, smoked paprika and more. Here is the classic tomato and garlic dip which is great served in tapas bowls with bread sticks, tortilla chips or batoned vegetables.

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Leftover lamb salad with hot potato cakes

A fantastic recipe for leftover lamb. Cold lamb is delicious in sandwiches and also in salads, and this lamb salad recipe uses almost everything from a roast leg of lamb cooked the evening before. Cold lamb, salad, olive oil and hot potato cakes . . . economy gastronomy!

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Ham with Cream and Bay

A rich, satisfying dish of ham with cream and bay is a fragrant and indulgent tapas dish. Makes the perfect appetiser with a chilled glass of white wine and as a starter with salad you won’t get anything better.  Really easy to do and super quick yet full of flavour.

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Spanish Garlic Prawns with Paprika

This is one of our favourite tapas dishes that goes well with a cold beer, or as a supper snack. It combines some beautiful, authentic Spanish flavours, like prawns from the Mediterranean, Fino sherry from Jerez, and smoked paprika. It’s a combination that can be enjoyed at any time and is particularly delicious eaten outdoors.

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Lemon Curd

What to do with all the lemons we’ve been given? That was the question. Well, this is one fantastic, delicious way to use up lemons, a recipe sent to me by Judith Benson who lives in my part of the world, rural Andalucía. During winter, trees round here are laden down with oranges, lemons, limes and mandarins and we’re always looking for ways to use them.

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Spanish Rabbit Stew

I know many Brits turn up their noses at eating rabbit, but it’s a common dish here in Spain, particularly amongst our village neighbours. Samfaina refers to Catalonia’s famous rich vegetable sauce (or pesto), and is the essence of this satisfying, social dish. It is best cooked slowly.

(If you don’t want to use rabbit, use chicken instead.)

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Chickens made from hardboiled eggs

No, they’re not Spanish, or Arabic, but I think they’re great! Perfect for Easter, and a wonderful way to use up surplus eggs.

Moira Ashton posted them onto my Facebook timeline. I believe the idea originally came from **Everything Holiday**.

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Mama Ufarte’s Lemon Sponge Cake

Recipe and excerpt from ‘Two Old Fools ~ Olé!

(Joe and Vicky have become unwilling baby-sitters for their neighbours’ children.)

I heard the activity long before I reached the kitchen. Standing in the doorway, my eyes swept the scene before me. The fairy twins were cross-legged on the floor, Joe squatting with them. Cupboard doors hung open, and most of my saucepans and wooden spoons were already spread all over the tiles. My heart sank. Where was the orderly kitchen I had left just moments before? Continue reading

Pine Nut Crunches – Oops!

As you can see from the picture, this batch of pine nut crunches was a bit of a disaster…. The reason why is because they were left too long in the oven. However, as long as you don’t get distracted by toddlers and remember to take the cookies out of the oven, they are guaranteed delicious! Continue reading

Spanish Vegetable and Ham Tortilla

This traditional Spanish tortilla has been adapted with additional fresh vegetables and ham, making this dish both colourful and exciting. Here, we used green and red peppers, but spinach, broccoli or peas make great alternatives. If you don’t feel brave enough to flip the omelette, cheat by finishing it off under a hot grill. Continue reading

Fabulous Spanish Dessert ~ Sweet Toast


Very similar to the savoury dish called ‘French toast’, this sweet, ‘eggy bread’, is popular as a dessert in Spain. The grown-up version makes a nice after-dinner dessert served in small pieces, with a bit of vanilla ice cream. Our chickens usually provide us with enough eggs for this delicious dish. Unfortunately, we rarely have stale bread as the chickens eat it… Continue reading

Sherried Chorizo

sherried-chorizoThis chorizo tapas recipe is incredibly easy and quick to make and is packed full of flavour. Use spicy chorizos for a fiery kick, accompanied with fino de Jerez sherry. The flavour combination works really well and creates great tapas for the summer.

White Bean and Sherry Garlic Dip

Recipe P186 White bean sherry garlic dipLR

A lovely smooth blended dip full of flavour that goes exceptionally well with raw vegetables such as carrots, celery and summer salads. A perfect dip for hot potato wedges with a bite that comes from the garlic and cracked black pepper and hint of sherry vinegar. Great for the tapas table! Continue reading

Marinated Spanish Beef Kebabs

Spanish beef recipe using traditional Spanish ingredients such as smoked paprika, olive oil and herbs.

These kebabs are ideal for the barbecue and are hot and spicy. Other vegetables, such as mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, etc., can also be used. Continue reading

Beef in Sherry

beef-in-sherryThis Spanish recipe for beef uses sherry along with various herbs to create a real flavour of Spain. The dish is quite spicy although only fresh herbs are used. It is best served with Spanish rice or on a simple salad.

Tip: For tapas, serve any leftover strips of beef on top of tomatoes or peppers, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy with bread. Continue reading

Sticky Toffee Pudding a la Glennys

Fiesta winning recipe!

We did a house-swap with Australian Ken and Glennys, and  their stay coincided with the El Hoyo village fiesta. Glennys baked a sticky toffee pudding and entered it in the contest. This is part of her email to us, telling us all about it. Continue reading

Really Easy Homemade Tomato Soup


A lovely, lazy way to make a tomato soup that is packed with flavour and colour. Everything goes in the oven. This is a rustic soup made with skins, burnt bits, and all – delicious! Any leftovers (as if!) can be reduced and mixed with pasta for a rich sauce. Continue reading

Spicy Mediterranean Dip

A mildly spicy, smooth, light dip perfect for an aperitif or buffet.

You will need:

  • 1 large jar of chickpeas (not dried)
  • 175 ml olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika Continue reading
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