A Home-Cooked Spanish Fiesta


I keep telling people I want to move to Spain, and my friends, knowing I love both cooking and books, keep giving me Spanish cookbooks. At some point I realized that I had amassed several of them and not yet made anything other than a couple of dishes for Social Bites.  So some friends and I decided to do it up properly with a 9 course dinner – one course per guest.

This is what we made:

1-Fried almonds and mixed olives. Cava to drink.
2-Ajillo mushrooms with crusty bread.
3-Salad with arugula, Serrano ham, roasted hazelnuts and shaved manchego cheese, served with Castillo de Monseran viura wine.
4-Chilled cucumber soup garnished with mint, paired with Alvear Pedro Fino, a dry sherry-style wine.
5-Scallops cooked in cava sauce.
6-Sausage paella, served with Castillo de Monseran garnacha wine.
7-Roast pork belly with quince sauce and whipped potatoes.
8-Drunken (in sherry sauce) lemon sponge cakes called bizcochos borrachos with whipping cream. Paired with the same Alvear Solera Crema Olorosa cream sherry (the same as was in the sauce).
9-We were meant to have a cheese plate with Spanish cheeses and some pressed fig bread, but it just didn’t happen.


I learned a lot during the course of this dinner, other than cooking. For example;

Gazpacho, for instance, refers to the tomato-based chilled soup that most people have had, but nowadays almost any cold soup can stand in.

Sherry – something I’ve always thought of as my grandmother’s drink – is both incredibly varied and delicious. It is made from grapes, but can range from the dry fino sherries that we had with the soup to the heavy, sweet olorosos that went perfectly with dessert. Like champagne and tequila, it can only be called sherry if it comes from the Jerez region in Spain (“sherry” is a pitiful Anglicized version of “Jerez”) and so Harvey’s Bristol Cream (actually my grandmother’s drink) counts as authentic, despite the name.

Morcilla (blood sausage) can be unusually hard to find when you need it.

That was a lot of fun. Next I think I’ll do a South American-themed dinner. Anyone?


7 Responses to “A Home-Cooked Spanish Fiesta”

  1. Posted on August 5th, 2009

    Sounds absolutely delicious! I’m a big fan of Cava and Spanish food in general. For the South American-themed dinner you’ll have to include a Ceviche, no? :)

  2. Posted on August 5th, 2009


  3. Posted on August 5th, 2009

    Holy cats, this looks/sounds incredibly delicious!! Thanks for sharing Degan.

  4. Posted on September 14th, 2012

    My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and thought I may
    as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to exploring your web page for a second time.

  5. Posted on December 11th, 2012

    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on
    the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and
    visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Outstanding work!

  6. Posted on April 16th, 2013

    Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this
    website with us so I

    came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m

    bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Superb blog and great

    design and style.

  7. Posted on April 20th, 2013

    Hello my friend! I wish to say that this article is
    awesome, nice written and include

    approximately all important infos. I’d like to see more posts
    like this.

Leave a Reply

If so desired you may use HTML in your comments. Links, bold/strong and emphasis/italics tags are all accepted! However more than one link will flag you as spam so write carefully!

Our Sponsors

These are our friends, neighbours and some of the best food resources around. They support us. We support them. You should too.