This super traditional Spanish cake first caught my eye because of its short list of ingredients and the fact that it uses no flour, just finely ground almonds, as the base. Another example of how a couple of simple ingredients can transform themselves into something special. This cake is moist, deliciously not-too-sweet, delicate and crumbly which makes it great with a cup of coffee in the afternoon. Simran and I and our friend Rachel happy nibbled away on this during a recent afternoon of recipe testing… and the fact that I wasn’t nice enough to save any for my family to try will give you an idea of how much I liked it.
In addition to being a lovely accompaniment to afternoon coffee this is a cake also has a long history. It dates back to the 16th century where it has been enjoyed by Santiago locals and pilgrims making their way to the Cathedral of Santiago Compostel (the burial place of St. James, the patron saint of Spain.). This recipe also happens to be gluten-free which comes in handy as well. Continue reading
Smoked Spanish paprika is my favorite new food discovery. If the intense smokey flavor doesn’t win you over all on it’s own you may just fall in love with its beautiful, deep brick red color. Think of it as a little magic tucked away in your pantry. The teeniest sprinkle elevates plain old eggs, potatoes — or even delivery pizza — and makes you feel like much more of an awesome cook than you really are.
In case you were wondering (I was), smoked paprika is made from dried pimiento peppers smoked over an oak fire then ground into a powder, and it’s altogether different than the sweet Hungarian paprika you might be more familiar with. You’ll commonly find it as a flavoring for chorizo and paella and to me it’s a quickest and easiest way to simulate that smokey BBQ flavor when you’re too lazy to fire up the grill. Because it’s smokey, not spicy, it’s good, kid friendly addition to your spice cabinet.
15 minute Crispy Potatoes with Smoked Paprika
When we’re feeling like roasted potatoes, but don’t have enough time to make them the conventional way we use this method (microwave, then crisp on the stovetop). A little sprinkle of smoked paprika is the perfect finish.
- Prepare baked potatoes using your microwave. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice into thick rounds (about 1/2″ thick).
- Heat a skillet with a little bit of vegetable oil (don’t use olive oil which has a lower smoke point) and let it get quite hot. Carefully slip the potatoes in in a single layer and crisp on both sides. About 3-5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
- Sprinkle with smoked paprika, sea salt and minced parsley.