So the last time I went home to the Big T (otherwise known as Tranent) I spent a lot of time cooking. It’s traditional that whenever I’m home (or whenever we’re together anywhere, actually) that the mothership and I go for tapas. Since the good ship TidyMunch set sail somewhere between that visit and the one before it, I decided that instead of going out for tapas, I’d just make my own.
And so I present to you: Croquetas de jamón with alioli, Chorizo al jerez, and Patatas Bravas.
There’s quite a bit to do in these recipes, so unless you fancy spending an entire day in the kitchen (if you’re as slow as me) I’d recommend making the Croquetas and the alioli a day ahead!
Of course, there’s no need to serve them all together, you can pick and choose as you please. It’s quite the feast if you do make the effort, though!
Today’s recipe is inspired by one in Lisa Faulkner’s The Way I Cook. The beer should steam the chicken from the inside-out, which makes it very flavoursome and lovely and moist. Although her recipe created a lovely roast chicken, I was left uninspired. It was nothing more than a lovely roast chicken – it seemed like a faff and hassle for a flavour that could’ve been achieved much more simply and traditionally.
But you know me, I’m not one to be defeated 😉 There’s a Brasilian adaptation in my favourite Cabana The Cookbook by David Ponte, Lizzy Barber & Jamie Barber, but that called for a Brazilian cocktail to be used rather than the lager/beer, and to be honest I don’t want my TidyMunch blog to just be a narrative of my experiences trying their recipes. So I got my thinking cap on, and wondered what I could do myself!
When making the Lisa Faulkner version, I’d deliberately picked San Miguel lager as I’ve been desperately longing for a sunshine break, and it always reminds me of holidays in the Balearics. So I took my inspiration from there, with the opportunity to add my favourite ever ingredient!
Today’s recipe was chosen by our Social Media Munchkins, who voted at either facebook or twitter.
Some people will try to convince you that this is not an authentic recipe, due to its use of Chorizo, but Paella varies so widely across the regions of Spain that I don’t think the concept of authenticity even exists in that sense.
Some balk at the thought of Black Pudding, but the beauty of Paella is that you can (and should) substitute any ingredients in or out as you please.
This may look like quite a strict and rigid list of steps, but it’s really not. Every time I make this, it’s different… largely because I do things differently without paying a great deal of attention. That’s the beauty of Paella. It’s supposed to be wild, an adventure of flavour and colour, taste and texture!