‘Migas’ are a traditional Portuguese and Spanish dish that was created by shepherds who, as they went to the fields to look after their flock, had little more than stale bread and wild garlic to cook with. The story goes that the tradition stands and that they still cook the dish today.
This is so traditional Portuguese/Spanish, even the sterner connaisseur of Iberian foods would agree. And it’s proper peasant food! Is there anything more authentic? As usual, garlic and olive oil feature abundantly and it is surprisingly simple to make.
White sangria is a bit of a paradox, because the word ‘sangria’ comes from the word ‘sangre’ meaning blood in Spanish, to refer to its red colour as it is usually made with red wine. But white sangria is a lovely thing, especially when the weather is warmer and it accompanies seafood dishes perfectly. Or served at a BBQ. Or just because. It now features as prominently in our lives from May to October as Pimms and lemonade with strawberries and cucumber.
I had read and heard really good things about Barrafina. And it has two major pluses for me: it serves Spanish tapas and it’s in Soho. I LOVE Soho. And I love Spanish tapas too! But my experience with tapas in England has been mixed. To be quite frank, good tapas are in Spain. I think the disappointment with tapas in England stems from two main things: an adulteration of the original to fit the local taste (which is a well-known phenomenon across many foreign cuisines in this country) and a lack of ingredients as they come in those countries – ripened under much more sunshine and considerably higher temperatures throughout the year. The tomatoes here are not the same, the garlic is not the same, the onions, the potatoes, you get the idea. And so the food can’t really taste the same. Especially if we are talking about food that is simple. A lot of the dishes you eat in Spain (and Italy, for example) are prepared with only a handful of ingredients. You can, however, get very close here and there are a few examples in London. Barrafina is undoubtedly one of them. And Barrafina is more than that. It has elevated the humble tapa to something a bit more glitzy and upmarket, and still managed to keep it delicious.
This tortilla is based on a Nigella Lawson recipe from the book Nigella Express. As always, Nigella has managed to come up with something incredibly delicious and make it really easy.
I used to live with a Spanish girl when I came to England and she taught me to make the ‘perfect’ tortilla, but I have to say that version is hard work (though very good). I wanted something simpler that would satisfy my urgent Saturday afternoon tortilla craving and I turned to one of my safest cookbooks for inspiration on how to do something yummy quickly. But as it was the weekend I had plenty of time to add a few steps and ingredients and make my own version of Nigella’s express Spanish omelette.