Spain has never really been on my list of places I’ve wanted to travel. I’m not entirely sure why. It’s not like a specifically didn’t want to travel there, but it wasn’t on the list of where I really badly wanted to go. This all changed when I was planning my Soul Searching trip last year. A friend of mine suggested that I look into doing part of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage (something I hadn’t heard about before) and I decided to look into it. I planned my stay in Spain around doing the Camino (which was spent more in little unknown villages), but I managed to squeeze in 2 nights in Madrid. My flight from Gatwick airport was significantly delayed so I ended up arriving in the evening and only really having one proper day in Madrid. I was also pretty sick with flu at the time so I was apprehensive.
I had bought a ‘Madrid Essentials’ package with the red bus tour, which allowed me 10 different tasters of different food and beverages at different places around the city. It was one of the better findings that I made because it allowed me to visit little restaurants that I otherwise would never have found! It offered churros and chocolate, spanish tortilla (a potato omlette), croquettes, paella, different types of jamon (ham) from one of the restaurants where you see all the pork legs hanging in the window and buffalo wings. Depending on the restaurant type I would sit and have a little beverage while there – either some Sangria, wine or a beer (listed on the menu just as ‘Cerveza’). I had the most incredible culinary experience while there, and was exposed to so many different types of foods.
I’ve included some pictures of my time in Spain and on the Camino, because it turned out to be one of the most meaningful experiences of my entire life. It also introduced me to Rioja – one of the best wines in the history of the world, and some amazing friends.
So, regarding this cook…I decided to make Paella. I found the recipe here. I think I’ve cooked from ‘Jo Cooks‘ before, although I can’t remember exactly what. There are some awesome recipes there though! I used a ‘Seafood basket’ from Food Lover’s Market which contained a variety of seafood (some that aren’t typically in Paella, but were delicious anyway). There was a little bite to it because I accidentally bought Peri Peri Chorizo. The Paella recipe doesn’t typically have too much of a bite, except from the Paprika.
The result? Delicious! And such positive reports from Paula and from my dear Aunt who got to take some home for dinner last night. It was super easy to make, and I would definitely consider making it again. Spain has so many culinary options though, this was just what I decided for now – there are definitely others that I plan to make at some stage down the line…