Don’t forget your spoon to fight the cold: 10 Andalusian recipes to warm you up
December brings us warm clothes and scarves. In many areas of Andalucia, particularly in the interior, cold weather is already a common mate. So, there is no better way to fight cold than with a good hot dish to warm us up. Prepare your spoon and take note of all these recipes we give you, which you can also find in any Andalusian corner. There are many homemade food restaurants that will help you warm up more effectively than any fireplace. If you are visiting this land, do not hesitate to try out its winter gastronomy.
1. Puchero (Casserole)
This is the winter dish par excellence in Southern Spain. The “puchero” is made from chickpeas as the base ingredient; depending of the Andalusian region, it takes more or less soup. In Malaga, it is more diluted, and a handful of rice is usually added. In Huelva, it is cooked with plenty of vegetables. In Cadiz, pork is combined with veal, and in Granada, it takes a lot of bacon. Meat, vegetables and legumes are mixed with salty bones to prepare this typical dish that will not leave you indifferent. Apart from exquisite, this casserole is versatile, because if you have any leftovers on the following day, you can take the chickpeas, smash them and fry them, and then prepare what is known as “ropa vieja”, a well-known typical dish of the Spanish postwar era.
Gazpachuelo is a hot soup original from Malaga, and for many years it has been a main course for fishermen in winter. It is a fish soup with a mayonnaise garnish based on garlic, egg yolk and olive oil. It is customary to dip one’s bread in it, and, when served really hot, it can help you keep your body temperature throughout the entire day. If you come to Costa del Sol and decide to have a fish/seafood-based menu, this recipe could be your first option.
Although they are famous all throughout Spain, in Andalucia they are cooked very often and in a special way, having become a typical dish in Southern restaurants. The good Andalusian cured pork sausages like the “chorizo” and “morcilla” have been included in large amounts as another ingredient to this dish. The secret to prepare tasty lentils is to simmer them over low heat, even better when done on a charcoal fire. If you are coming to the South, do not miss them!
4. Bean Soup
Beans are very popular in Spain, particularly in Asturias, where we can find the famous “fabada” (bean stew with Spanish sausage). But the taste of beans in Andalucia is different than in the rest of the country. Here we cook the popular “bean soup”, a winter dish par excellence to warm us up. In Malaga, it is customary to make it with pinto beans. A famous attraction are the roadside stands of Ojén, Alhaurín de la Torre and Mijas, where you can taste the most traditional and home-made flavors.
5. Stewed Potatoes
Stewed potatoes or the “guisaillo de papas”, as Andalusians call it, is another example of winter gastronomy. It is usually prepared with veal, and it takes a fair amount of sweet paprika and ground black pepper. Potatoes are very efficient at retaining heat, so this dish is ideal if we’re down with the flu. If you ever get chilled, do not hesitate to try this recipe, as it helps you relieve congestion.
6. Picadillo Soup
This is a typical Andalusian soup, specially widespread in the areas of Almería and Seville. It is prepared with poultry meat, usually chicken, finely chopped together with a hard-boiled egg. It also takes thin and small ham chunks. Apart from being the ideal dinner for cold nights, it is a customary dish served in Christmas-Eve and Christmas as a starter, before turkey.
7. Rice with Broth
If you are travelling to Andalucia, do not miss the rice with broth. This typical dish is commonly resorted to in cold days, and is prepared in a very similar way as the Valencian “paella”. We make a fried sauce with chicken, pepper, onion, garlic and tomato, and then add the rice with three times its volume of water. This provides a more loose appearance, producing a broth which can then be prepared with noodles. An unbeatable plan for rest days: a good meal and a good nap.
8. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is very popular in Andalucia, and several recipes are derived from it. It is usually served in a clay cup to preserve heat, and if you want you can add thin soup noodles. But this is not all: on the following day, with the meat used for this dish we can prepare the famous home-made croquettes. This is an ancestral culinary tradition passed on by the Arabian people of Al Andalus, and which you cannot miss if you are touring the South.
9. Noodle Casserole
The seafaring tradition present in a large part of Andalucia has resulted in many recipes with seafood as the main ingredient. That is the case with the noodle casserole, one of the most ordered dishes in restaurants and inns at this time of year. Malaga capital provides very good examples of this tasty delicatessen, and the areas of El Palo, Cadiz and Huelva are also exponents of this culinary trend, where small prawns are combined with thick noodles. Write down this recipe and prepare your spoon to enjoy its delicious flavor.
10. Arranque caliente (Hot Starter)
This dish is typical from Rota and the province of Cadiz in general, being closely linked to peasants. It is a sort of hot gazpacho, originating from the poorer neighbors, who used it to warm up before a heavy day of work. Nowadays you can taste it in restaurants and inns; its tomato base makes it rich in properties and vitamins.
Your spoon is the main protagonist in all these recipes to relieve the feared winter cold. If you are touring around Andalucia, do not hesitate to try out these dishes: they will warm you up in an exquisite way. Soups, casseroles and broths for you to experience the most genuine Andalusian cuisine.