Cooking in Sevilla

This post is from official student blogger, Leah SharabyLeah is a Junior Linguistics Major and Spanish Minor studying in Seville, Spain  from Western Washington University.

Whether you live in a host family or a residencia in Sevilla, mealtimes are a great opportunity to get to know the family, speak Spanish, and try new things! Be prepared for a plethora of new foods of all varieties! My host mom and the host moms of most of my friends pride themselves on their cooking and are glad for the opportunity to introduce you to the culinary world of southern Spain. Two common dishes in Sevillano households are gazpacho and la tortilla española, and thanks to my host mom and my cooking class, here’s how you can make them:

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is traditionally made with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and garlic, although there are obviously plenty of other kinds of gazpacho, like watermelon gazpacho. Even traditional gazpacho has quite a few variations; my host mom doesn’t put cucumber in the gazpacho itself, but in my cooking class we did. Sometimes bread is added into the gazpacho itself as well, but this is something a lot of people don’t do because it makes the gazpacho thicker, and more like a salmorejo (another traditional cold soup in southern Spain). As an appetizer, 5 to 6 large tomatoes is plenty for four people. Keep in mind that gazpacho is a cold soup, and if it’s not cold, it’s not gazpacho.

Ingredients:

5 or 6 large tomatoes

1 cucumber

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

2 cloves garlic

Salt

vinegar

extra virgin olive oil

Optional toppings: bread, hard boiled eggs, diced tomatoes or cucumber

  1. Peel garlic cloves and place in blender.
  2. Remove the seeds from the peppers, coarsely chop, and place in blender.
  3. Coarsely chop tomatoes and place in blender.
  4. Peel cucumber, coarsely chop, and place in blender.
  5. Add salt, a splash of vinegar, and a (generous) cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Mix well in blender, and then strain the mixture to remove the tomato and pepper skin (this is why gazpacho has such a light texture)
  7. If desired, serve with diced bread, tomatoes, cucumber, and hard boiled egg as toppings.
Gazpacho

Gazpacho

Tortilla de Patatas

Tortilla española, not to be confused with the kind of tortilla you use for tacos or burritos, is something akin to a frittata or an omelet that isn’t folded. Traditionally made with potatoes, tortilla española is also commonly made with ham or other vegetables. We’ve had tortilla de jamon, tortilla de verduras, and a few other variations. A good rule of thumb when making a tortilla is one medium-sized potato per person and one egg per potato. I’ve seen the potatoes and onions cut a couple different ways; my host mom slices them pretty thin, but you can also just chop them up. If you’re a bit challenged when it comes to flipping eggs or omelets, a good trick is to put the tortilla onto a plate, and then slide it back into the pan on the other side. According to my host mom, there are also special pans that are made just for making tortillas so you don’t have to deal with the whole flipping dilemma.

Ingredients:

Potatoes

Onions

Salt

Extra virgin olive oil

Eggs

  1. Peel the potatoes, chop them up (or slice thinly), and season with salt.
  2. Slice the onion into strips (or dice) and season with salt.
  3. In a skillet with a generous amount of olive oil, add the potatoes and onions. When tender, drain the oil from the pan.
  4. Beat eggs and season with salt.
  5. In a separate bowl, toss the potatoes and onions with the eggs and mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture into the same skillet from before (which should still have enough olive oil in it).
  7. After a few minutes, flip the tortilla. Enjoy!
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