A Trip to Spain with Cocina de Andalucia

A Trip to Spain with Cocina de Andalucia

A Trip to Spain with Cocina de Andalucia – I know, the weather’s been terrible of late, and we all need a bit of sunshine in our lives. Well, if you haven’t planned a trip abroad yet, do invest in this lovely new cookbook, Cocina de Andalucia, from Marie Jose Sevilla: it’s a veritable taste of Spain!

A Trip to Spain with Cocina de Andalucia

It was published last month by Ryland, Peters & Small at £22 for a hardback, packed with mouthwatering recipes and beautiful photos that make you want to book your flight immediately.  It takes you on a discovery journey of the cuisine from this fascinating region in Southern Spain.  You’ll learn how to prepare mouthwatering tapas such as Chorocitos in Oloroso Sherry, Fried Aubergines with Molasses and Gambas al Ajillo. Continue with Gazpacho Andaluz, Artichoke Flowers with Iberico Ham and Monkfish and Shellfish Salad, and Pinchitos Morunos,Oxtail or Pork Churrasco. Finish with Soft Nougat Ice Cream, Classic Torrijas and Alfajores for those with a sweet tooth. Each recipe is accompanied by a short history relating to the character of a chosen locality, a particular dish or, equally important, the people that grow and prepare the food.

María José Sevilla is a Spanish cook and writer who is expert in Hispanic gastronomy and viticulture. She has written a number of books and is a member of the British Guild of Food Writers, and a member of the Grand Order of Wine Knights (the highest recognition of experts in the field). She holds the Diploma of The Wine and Spirit Education Trust and is also a Glenfiddich award winner.

Here are a couple of ‘taster’ recipes from this mouthwatering book to tempt you:

A Plate of Mozarabic Vegetables known as ‘Alboronía’ (‘Alboronía’ Mozárabe)

A Trip to Spain with Cocina de Andalucia

 “Vegetable dishes appear all the time in both home and restaurant cooking and can be enjoyed by themselves or can be accompanied by egg, meat or fish dishes. All over Spain similar recipes are known as ‘Pisto’ but in Andalucía it takes its Mozarabic name, ‘Alboronía’ or ‘Boronía’. I love it served in a cazuelita (small earthenware dish) with some eggs broken on top, gently cooked, leaving the yolks still runny. At home I often serve it on small toasts with a fried quail egg and plenty of freshly ground black pepper on top, together with a little of the flavoursome oil reserved from cooking the vegetables.”

1 white onion, peeled and diced

1 courgette, peeled

¼ of a butternut squash, peeled

1 green pepper, deseeded

1 medium aubergine

2–3 good-sized tomatoes

50 ml Spanish olive oil

2 teaspoons pimentón dulce (Spanish sweet paprika)

sea salt

pine nuts, to garnish


Cut all the vegetables into small cubes. Sprinkle with salt.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add all the prepared ingredients, except the pimentón and pine nuts. Cook gently for about 40 minutes, stirring frequently but try not to break their shapes. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the pimentón, cooking it for a few seconds in some of the oil and vegetable juices.

Stir into the other ingredients, then transfer to a serving dish.

In a small dry frying pan, toast the pine nuts until they take a light colour and sprinkle on top of the dish. Serve with fried potatoes cut into squares on the side, if liked.

Almond & Apricot Cookies (Almendrados)

A Trip to Spain with Cocina de Andalucia

 “I have to dedicate this recipe to my dearest friend Carolina Mier, who spoke Spanish with the loveliest Andalucian accent. In September every year she brought not only delicious jams to our home El Zauzal, but also several kilograms of the sweetest almonds from her own garden. She particularly loved this recipe.”

 250 g ground almonds

250 g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

finely grated zest of ½ a lemon

1 teaspoon runny honey

3 medium egg whites, beaten to soft peaks

60 g chopped dried apricots (optional)

a baking sheet lined with baking paper


In a bowl, mix the almonds and icing sugar.

Add the lemon zest, honey and beaten egg whites in three batches, blend well each time to obtain an almond dough.

Leave it to rest, covered, for 1½ hours.

Divide the dough into 18 pieces and shape them with your hands into rounds.

Coat each one with icing sugar and press a piece of chopped apricot on top, if using.

Place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and leave them to rest for another 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/400ºF/Gas 6 and bake for about 8 minutes or until they take some colour.

Be careful as they can burn easily. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.

The Seasoned Gastronome

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