Pure Spanish pleasure!

Everyone will agree, food always seems to taste better in restaurants than at home. But why not have a go at surprising yourself and your friends with a couple of simple but refined dishes?

You will find how to put on the perfect evening here, with these exquisite examples of Spanish cuisine.  You will have a magical experience as you discover how to prepare real delicacies from a few hand-picked ingredients and a little cleverness.

Spanish recipes from Rafael Sanchez Navarro at the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel:

Calamar a la Andaluza

INGREDIENTS
for 4 persons

4 squids (approx. 700 g)
125 g flour
500 ml Mallorcan olive oil
Coarse sea salt
1 lemon

PREPARATION

Wash the squids thoroughly under cold, running water, remove the thin skin from the body, take out the inners with the head and tentacles and remove them with a sharp knife. Turn the sack inside-out, wash the inside thoroughly, and remove the skin. Cut the squid into narrow rings, lay them to dry on kitchen paper, toss them in flour and pan-fry them in plenty of hot olive oil until crispy. Allow any excess grease to drain off onto kitchen paper. Sprinkle with lemon and coarse salt, and serve warm.

A chef’s tip from Rafa:
“Of course, the salt I add is always naturally harvested sea salt from Mallorca because it has a particularly mild flavour. Alternatively, you can also find “fleur de sel” from other countries in many shops.”

Recommended Felix Solis wine:
Viña Albali Rosado About this wine

Gambas al ajillo

INGREDIENTS
for 4 persons

24 fresh shrimps, medium-sized
125 ml Mallorcan olive oil
A dried chilli pepper, finely chopped
Coarse sea salt
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 bunch of clean parsley, finely chopped

PREPARATION

Wash the shrimps thoroughly, peel them and remove the guts. Gently heat the oil in a pan. Add the garlic and chilli pepper, and fry briefly without changing their colour. Add the shrimps and fry briefly on both sides until the shrimps take on a reddish colour, but do not fry thoroughly. Add the parsley and remove the pan from the cooker. Sprinkle coarse salt over the shrimps and serve hot.

A chef’s tip from Rafa:
“To remove the gut, I give the tail-fin a half-turn clockwise, and then slowly, carefully pull the whole gut out of the shrimp without damaging the tail.

Recommended Felix Solis wine:
Vina Albali Crianza About this wine

This aged Crianza has a lively ruby red colour. A fresh wine with depth which convinces through its fine structure. It impresses through its equilibrium on the palate; almost youthful initially, then powerful, meaty and with a lingering finish.

Pimiento del padrón

INGREDIENTS
for 4 persons

400 g mild green peppers, washed
500 ml Mallorcan olive oil
Coarse sea salt

PREPARATION

Heat the olive oil in a deep pan. Add the whole peppers and fry till they take on a golden colour. Allow any excess grease to drain off onto kitchen paper, arrange them, sprinkle coarse salt on top and serve immediately, warm.

Chef’s tip from Rafa: “I always make sure I buy mild peppers fresh from the market. But watch out! Chilli peppers are not suitable for this dish!”

Recommended Felix Solis wine:
Albali Arium Rosado About this wine

 A deep, bright rosé in the glass. A clean wine that presents a fine fruitiness, typical of the variety, such as strawberry and blackcurrant. The well-melded acid is crowned by a lengthy finish. A rosé that combines the fresh properties of a white wine with the density of a red wine. A garnet of a rosé!

Patatas a la Castilla Leon

INGREDIENTS
for 4 persons

1 kg fast-cooking potatoes, peeled and cut into slices 1 cm thick
1 bulb of beetroot
3 eggs, beaten
10 g flour
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Mallorcan olive oil
¼ bunch of clean parsley, finely chopped
3 saffron threads
150 ml vegetable stock
100 ml white wine, Verdejo or Viura
Coarse sea salt

PREPARATION

Peel the beetroot and slowly bake thinly cut slices on a moderate heat in the oven. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Put the eggs and flour into separate dishes. Toss the potato slices in flour and draw them through the beaten egg, then fry them in plenty of hot olive oil. Remove the potatoes and place them on the beetroot in an oven-proof container. Mix the garlic and parsley with the saffron threads and a pinch of salt. Heat the olive oil in a pan and steam the onions till they are translucent, and blend in a tablespoon of flour and the garlic-parsley mix while stirring continuously. Pour in the vegetable stock and white wine, stir briefly, and spread over the potatoes. Cook for about 20 minutes in the pre-heated oven at 200 degrees.

A chef’s tip from Rafa:
“I like serving this with rosemary branches or buds fried in olive oil. It tastes best when it’s been baked till it’s crispy and then lightly salted.”

Recommended Felix Solis wine:
Vina Albali Tempranillo About this wine

In the glass it presents an intense wine red with a bluish shimmer. Aromas of red berries with echoes of violets and a hint of toast combine to make a silky wine with rounded tannins.

Gazpacho Andaluz style

INGREDIENTS
for 4 persons

1¼ kg ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
200 g breadcrumbs
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
125 ml Mallorcan olive oil
10 ml sherry vinegar
Sea salt
White pepper

PREPARATION

Purée the tomatoes, spring onions, peppers, cucumbers, breadcrumbs and garlic in a mixer. Gradually add the sherry vinegar and olive oil. Pass the soup through a fine sieve and season with the salt and white pepper. Cool the gazpacho for a few hours before serving in soup bowls. You can use diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and roasted croutons as the ingredients. Ideally, add them to the gazpacho in small bowls.

A chef’s tip from Rafa:
“If the gazpacho has come out too thick or has thickened up after being stored in the fridge, I just add a little tomato juice to the soup."

Recommended Felix Solis wine:
Vina Albali Verdejo About this wine

This unblended Verdejo presents a pale lemony-yellow with golden reflexes and even in the glass suggests the wine’s fresh and aromatic nose. Hints of fennel and freshly cut grass predominate. Full and fruity on the tongue, with a fine, soft finish. It is a fresh, smooth wine with a fine acidity.

Mediterranean cream of almond soup

INGREDIENTS
for 4 persons

150 g skinned almonds, ground
150 g floury potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 white onions, peeled and roughly diced
½ spoon Mallorcan olive oil
150 ml vegetable stock
125 ml cream
5 g white, milled pepper
Sea salt

Almond breadsticks:
5 dl cold milk
100 g sugar
Grated lemon peel
6 g dry yeast
300 g flour
3 dl olive oil
Almond flour

PREPARATION

Sauté the almonds, potatoes, garlic and onions in a pot with olive oil, add the vegetable broth and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Pass the soup through a fine sieve. Add the cream and flavour with salt and white milled pepper.

Almond breadsticks:
Knead the flour, sugar, lemon, yeast and oil in a bowl to make a smooth dough, roll it out and cut out strips of about 8 cm in length. Fry them in heated vegetable oil till they are crunchy, and roll them briefly in the almond flour before serving.

A chef’s tip from Rafa:
“If I’m adding cream to a hot soup, I first take out a little of the hot soup and stir it into the cream to warm it up, and then I stir the cream into the soup. It prevents the cream from curdling.”

Recommended Felix Solis wine:
Vina Albali Rosado About this wine

 A deep, bright rosé in the glass. A clean wine that presents a fine fruitiness, typical of the variety, such as strawberry and blackcurrant. The well-melded acid is crowned by a lengthy finish. A rosé that combines the fresh properties of a white wine with the density of a red wine. A garnet of a rosé!

Pisto Manchego

INGREDIENTS
for 4 persons

1 onion, cut into thick strips
2 green peppers, seeded and diced and cut into thick strips
2 red peppers, seeded and diced and cut into thick strips
500 g courgettes, cut into thick strips
1 kg ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and cut into thick strips
1 small aubergine, cut into thick strips
3 eggs, beaten
Mallorcan olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Milled pepper

PREPARATION

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Sear the onion and peppers on a moderate heat. Add the courgette and tomatoes, stir well and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the egg, cook briefly and serve with the resulting sauce. A chef’s tip from Rafa: “To make it easy to peel the tomatoes, I take a sharp knife and cut a cross in the skin of the fruit, put them into boiling water for about 5-10 seconds and then dip them in ice-cold water, at which point the skin comes off, as if by magic.”

Recommended Felix Solis wine:
Viña Albali Reserva About this wine

A very dark, cherry red with ochre-coloured tones, clean and bright in the glass. To nose it is subtle, elegant and complex with mineral notes, and many different spices may be clearly detected. To the palate it is strong, dense and markedly harmonious, and its finish is accompanied by ripe fruits and rounded tannins. A wine to bask in!