Spanish Cook School Recipes By Ballintaggart May 30, 2019 19:28

I recently spent a wonderful day at Ballintaggart Cook School with our Spanish supplier, Brindisa. Although I was 'working' the day was open to anyone, and was the last in a series that the team at Ballintaggart have been running since February. It was a fantastic experience and one I'd recommend to any of you who enjoy a foodie day out with a difference. Check out their Saturday Masterclass list here >>>

Even though I stock these ingredients - and have done for a number of years! - I learned loads of great tips and Spanish cooking ideas. Our chef was the very talented Monica of London Basque Kitchen, and she was so passionate and enthusiastic that I was truly inspired to use these wonderful ingredients more.

The recipes below are all from this day, and the pics are the food we actually made. If I've put you in the mood for a paella, you're in luck!  Most of the main Spanish ingredients can be bought here in Provender Brown and if you have an questions, you can test my new found knowledge!


Tortilla De Patata – Spanish Omelette with saute padron peppers

4 medium potatoes
6 eggs
1 onion
Olive oil/ sunflower oil enough to deep fry the potatoes in a frying pan

Put a frying pan with plenty of olive oil to heat up. Peel and chop the potatoes into small chunks. Chop the onion. Once the oil is hot add the potatoes. Fry for a few minutes at high heat and then turn the heat to low/medium. Add the onion. Fry until the potatoes are soft.

Place a sieve over a bowl and tip the potato mix into it to drain off the oil. Allow it to stand for a few minutes while you beat together the eggs in a bowl with a fork. Add the drained potatoes and onions to the egg mix while they are still warm. Season generously.

Add a few tbsp. of the oil into the pan and heat until quite hot before pouring in your tortilla mix. Shake the pan to allow the mix to distribute well and settle. Run a spatula around the outside of the mix and cook for a minute. Turn the heat right down and cook gently for about 4 minutes until the tortilla is starting to set.

Remove the pan from the heat and placing a plate over the pan flip the pan over quickly so the tortilla falls on the plate. Now slide carefully the tortilla back into the pan and place it back on the heat. Cook slowly for another 4 minutes.

Fry the padron peppers in a pan at a medium high heat until charred through, sprinkle with sea salt and EVOO.

Ajoblanco, fennel cured and torched mackerel, migas and grapes


Serves 4
220g blanched Marcona almonds
100 g old bread
600 ml. Ice cold wáter
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200 ml. Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar or to taste

White grapes for garnish, cut in half

Soak the old bread in the cold water or milk for 10min. After the 10 min put bread in a sieve and try to get rid of some water/milk Keep the water.

Toast the almonds and let them cool down. Leave a few to garnish later.
Put the almonds and the garlic in the thermomixer or food processor and pulse for 15sec at speed 5.
Then add the bread and pulse for 15sec at speed 5 to create a paste.

With the blade running pour very slowly the olive oil to create an emulsion. Then add the sherry vinegar and the rest of the water checking every so often to get your desired consistency.

Check seasoning and adjust.
Place the soup in the fridge for at least 2 hours and serve it chilled.

4 mackerel fillets, skin on
30g fennel seeds
500 rock salt
250g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon

Toast the fennel in a non-stick pan then blitz into a powder. Combine the ground fennel with the salt, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and mix well. Dust the mackerel fillets evenly on both sides with the salt mixture. Transfer to a plate and leave to cure in the fridge for 15min.

Rinse the fillets under cold water and pat them dry on kitchen paper.
Using a blow torch, torch the skin side of the cured mackerel until lightly charred and smoky.


100g breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves
50 g of ham fat (from the iberico ham) or pork belly fat
3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Slowly confit the garlic in oil, don’t let the garlic burn. If using the ham fat add it to the pan and let it melt. Remove the garlic and add the breadcrumbs, fry at low medium heat till golden. Drain on kitchen pepper

To plate, put the chilled ajoblanco in a bowl, place the torched mackerel on top, sprinkle the migas and garnish with the grapes and EVOO.

Chicken, chorizo, squid, prawns and clams paella

800g paella rice
2 litres chicken stock or good fish stock, boiling hot. 
Handful of live clams or mussels, make sure there are no broken ones (clams give more flavour), cleaned
500g of chicken thighs, boned but left skin on and cut into chunks
1 large squid, clean and cut into pieces
8 shell on raw king prawns to decorate
1 handful of frozen raw peeled prawns, thawed
150g Diced pork (fatty), could be belly or pork loin
1 onion, chopped
1 red peppers, sliced
1 green peppers, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
100ml of white wine
1 tin chopped tomatoes
100g cooking chorizo,chopped
Handful of frozen peas
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp hot paprika
Choricero pepper paste 1 tbs
A good pinch of saffron
2 lemons, cut into wedges for garnish
Lemon juice from 1 lemons

Pour a lot of oil in the paella pan and make sure the pan is level. Fry the shells on king prawns, remove from pan and set aside.

Season the chicken and pork and fry them until golden brown, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and all the peppers to the pan and fry for 5/10 min on low/medium heat until soft. Add the squid and fry for a couple of minutes then add the glass with wine with the garlic. Cook for another few minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for a few min and then add the chorizo. Let it cook for a few minutes before adding back the chicken and pork. Add the raw peeled prawns. Add the hot paprika and sweet paprika and mix all really well.

Add the saffron and the hot chicken stock. Mix well, taste the stock and season if necessary. Let it cook without string on a medium heat for 17 min. After 10 min add the bag of peas over the top, spread around. Do the same with the clams, inserting them into the rice.  If you see that the rice has absorbed all the stock you might need to add a tiny bit more water but you don’t want to add to much and make the rice soggy.

After 17 min switch off the gas, put the shelled on prawns on top, pour some lemon juice and garnish with lemon wedges and cover the paella with kitchen towels and let rest for min of 5/10 min.

After 17 min you might think the rice is not cooked enough but it will keep cooking once is resting and you will get the perfect separated grains which is how it should be!!Also if you find any burnt bit at the bottom of the pan do not throw it away! It’s the best part! It even has a name socarrat.

Frisee, red chicory, chorizo and piquillo pepper salad with sherry vinegar dressing

3 red chicory
1 frissee salad, white tops picked, green discarded 120g cooking chorizo, sliced
8 piquillo peppers from a jar, drained and cut into thin strips (brindisa)
3  garlic cloves, finely sliced
Large handful  kalamata-style black olives, pitted and halved
1tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2.5 tbsp dry sherry (brindisa)
2 tsp of capers
1.5 tbsp sherry vinegar (brindisa)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pick the white part of the frisee and place in ice cold water.

Cook the chorizo in a cold frying pan over a medium heat until the fat has rendered and it starts browning slightly. Add the peppers, garlic, olives and parsley and cook together for a few minutes. Add the dry sherry and the capers and cook until it has reduced, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Remove 4 of the outer layers of the red chicory leaves and set aside. Chop the rest of the chicory into 1cm strips, discarding the woody ends, and mix with the chorizo and peppers. Make the dressing by mixing the vinegar and oil together, season with salt and pepper to taste.

To finish off the dish, arrange the frisee leaves and whole red chicory leaves all around a serving platter and place the pepper, chorizo and endive mixture in the centre. Drizzle
with the dressing and serve.

Buttermilk panna cotta with pedro ximenez poached nectarines and toasted flake almonds

Makes 8 small panna cottas

3 and 1/4 leaves of quality leaf gelatine
450ml double cream
75g caster sugar
150ml full-fat milk
75ml buttermilk
little bit of vanilla paste or vanilla seeds from 1 pod

4 nectarines, cut into segments
150ml water
100g caster sugar
orange peel
vanilla extract or ½ vanilla pod
80 ml Pedro Ximenez

Toasted flake almonds to garnish

Place the water with the sugar, orange peel and vanilla in a pan over medium heat and heat up till the sugar is dissolve, boil rapidly for 5 min then add the Pedro Ximenez. Bring to the boil again and boil for another minute. Then add the nectarine segments and simmer until the nectarines are soft but holding shape. Remove from the hob and let it cool.

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water. Pour the cream into a pan, add the sugar, vanilla and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring just to a simmer, and then take off the heat.
Squeeze out the gelatine and then stir it into the warm cream mixture to dissolve. Pour through a sieve into a clean bowl and stir in the milk and buttermilk. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary.
Divide the mixture between the dessert glasses. Cool and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

For service, placed 3 pieces of nectarines on top of the panna cottas, drizzle with the PX syrup and garnish with toasted flake almonds

Place the brioche pieces into a deep tray. place the cream mix on top. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 3 few hours so the jelly sets.