#F1CookAlong Spain – Not a Paella

What a week! Not only does Spain play host to one of our absolute favourite F1 races of the year, it also gave us an excuse to get properly stuck in to one of our favourite cuisines. With La Casa Delicatessen (read our full review of them here) in Newcastle’s Grainger Market, we had no excuse not to buy authentic ingredients and attempt some of our favourite Spanish dishes. We’ve discovered three producers in particular through La Casa Delicatessen who we really love. Read on for more!

Our Saturday morning shopping session became something of a mammoth haul including olive oil, belly pork soaked Manchego cheese, cured beef, sobresada, octopus, chorizo, pancetta, morcilla, cured anchovies, sauces, paella ingredients (including pan!), traditional pork scratchings, flat bread, chocolate, Spanish beer and Spanish wine. Delicious. Now, what to make?? We thought we might as well make a week of it…

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Paella was an obvious choice, and we did what we could to make it as traditional as we could. However, we know proper Valencian paella is a very specific thing and so we will say that we made a ‘not a paella’. It was totally delicious and if we’re honest, it was mostly brought together to taste like a true paella by the seasoning. Many thanks to the owners for their guidance!

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Orodeal Extra Virgin Olive Oil, from a farmer’s cooperative in Granada, Spain, has proved to be a perfect base and dressing across all of our meals. It is such high quality and so incredibly tasty. We cant recommend it highly enough. It is pure olive oil perfection and the brightly branded bottles actually make a lovely stand-out feature in the kitchen. We’ve used it to cook with, as a dip and as a salad dressing. Gorgeous!

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Next up, we went all out with a set of Spanish tapas using a whole host of ingredients from La Casa. It is so easy to take the already cured, soaked and smoked meat and cheese found in the store and to turn it into a whole heap of different mini dishes! It was really refreshing to focus on great bread and accompaniments rather than focusing on steaks of meat and fillets of fish (as much as we love that too). It opens up a whole other range of ideas!

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We saved some of the more simple and quicker dishes for week nights and created something like ‘Pulpo a la Gallega’, surprisingly not with the pulpo we bought (that was long gone with some charred lettuce, it was delicious), but instead with beautiful big anchovy fillets. We also had a go at ‘Huevos Rancheros’ using the chorizo, pancetta and morcilla and we made a traditional stew and Pimientos de Padron.

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Finally, the main event. We were persuaded to buy a pot of Boletus Sauce from Spanish brand ‘Conservas Juker’. On first google, we ‘discovered’ that this was a sauce made of insects and wondered quite why the owners had pointed us in this direction. However, upon correct spelling of aforementioned sauce and an incredulous ‘double-google’, we realised it was actually a traditional mushroom sauce…this seemed more palatable. A combination of boletus sauce with steak was suggested and so we set about giving it a go.

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The sauce is so delicious, it is definitely worth a try! It has an earthy, smooth mushroomy taste which is somehow really comforting. La Casa stocks a whole range of creations from ‘Conservas Juker’ who use only the best ingredients from La Rioja and Navarra to make flavoursome sauces, accompaniments and condiments.

We finished each of our meals off with a couple of squares of fantastic 72% dark chocolate from ‘Herbes De La Conca’. This is a brand which produces a large range of different products based around their fantastic quality herbs. You can explore their website here, or buy from La Casa.

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We’ve had a great week, exploring different meals, all based around approx. £60 worth of goods from La Casa with a few store-cupboard ingredients, 2 steak fillets and some chicken in addition.

We were lucky enough to have chocolate and cheese provided to us free of charge from La Casa at the end of our large haul. As ever, all thoughts are our own and posts reflect an honest review.

 

 

 

 

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