How to make a Spanish Tortilla

La Tortilla is one of Spain’s most iconic foods. A fluffy omelette packed with potatoes and onions, it is one of those dishes that makes you wonder how something with such simple ingredients can be so delicious!

The exact origins of this traditional recipe is unclear, however some sources suggest that one of the first versions was created in País Vasco in 1817 by general Tomás de Zumalacárregui as a quick and simple meal to feed the Carlist army. It is said that Tomás discovered the recipe when he stumbled upon a farmhouse and demanded that the farmwife made him a meal. All she had was eggs, potatoes and onions in the cupboard so she made an omelette. Zumalacárregui was impressed and kept the idea for himself.

We met up with Susanna’s mum Conchi so she could show us all the secrets and tips behind making the perfect tortilla. Scroll down for our video!

Ingredients

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 eggs
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil

Method

1. Dice onion and peel and chop potatoes into thin slices.

2. Mix both ingredients together in a large bowl adding a large pinch of salt to season.

3. Preheat on a large frying pan with approx 1cm of olive oil covering the base. All the cooking is done on a medium heat.

4. Add your onion and potato mixture to the oil and stir occasionally until the potatoes are easy to break up with a fork. To get to this point you can alternate covering the pan with a lid and leaving it open. While this is happening, in a separate large bowl beat 8 eggs with a pinch of salt until light and fluffy.

5. With a slotted spoon, begin to drain to potatoes by pressing them to the side of the pan leaving the oil to one side. (tip: tilt the pan so that the oil gathers in the lower side, doing most of the work for you!)

6. Add the warm potatoes and onions into the egg, combine, add return to the pan.

7. Without stirring mixture while it’s cooking, when you see the edges tortilla begin to set, gently run a spatula around the side of the pan to make sure it’s not sticking.  When you can see the tortilla begin to go golden brown, it’s time to flip!

(This is the trickiest part of the recipe and don’t worry if it goes everywhere! As you’ll see in the video, this is totally normal!)

8. Find a plate that is larger than radius of the pan, place it on top and confidently flip the tortilla on to plate and slide it back into the pan. Continue to cook.

9. You will know the tortilla is ready when you can push a knife through the centre and no liquid comes out. Feel free to flip the tortilla once more if you feel there is uneven colouring.

10. Turn your tortilla out on to a plate and enjoy warm with salad or in a sandwich with lots of alioli!

Grapevine Properties

http://www.grapevine-properties.com

Wander the streets of Yunquera..

Some people that come to the valley tend to forget to visit Yunquera. Why? There are many reasons to visit this beautiful town nestled away in the Sierra de las Nieves!

Yunquera VI

To start off, we love the local panaderia with its traditional ´Molletes´. These are delicious bread rolls baked in a traditional oven, you cannot get them any fresher. Anytime anyone in the office goes to Yunquera, they come back with lots of bags! You would have to get there early though, because half way through the morning they have all been bought and taken home to enjoy.

Photos Yunquera

Back in the old days, the very last bandit was spotted in Yunquera. But there is no sign of that these days. Being the most elevated town in the valley, Yunquera now gives you  a relaxed vibe when you are there. People are friendly passing you by on the street, having a chat and a laugh, and are just simply enjoying life. Having a beer and tapas at the square is all you need here.

Apart from a beer, you cannot miss out on Bodega El Por Fin where the owner makes his own wine. This is poured right into your glass from a jug. It is dangerously nice, because of the light sherry-like taste of it.

 

Wander the streets and enjoy the smell of Mediterranean forest, local cookery, peek through the houses to see the incredible views from this town or the energetic amongst us can go for hikes in and around the town to be overwhelmed by the nature of the Sierre de las Nieves.

It doesn´t get any more Andalucian than this. You will just have to experience it in real life, so make sure you don´t miss out on this town when you visit the valley. Slow down your pace and you will be guaranteed of a great experience in inland Málaga.

 

Grapevine Properties

How to make paella?

Here’s a recipe for a really festive paella.
In Spain you would so often cook paella: this one is a really luxurious one though, with all the whistles and bells, for a very special occasion or a lovely afternoon with friends around the paella pan.

It’s the paella we make for the yearly ‘Office Paella Day‘. See the video and find the ingredients and explanation below.

The ingredients to prepare:

beforehand or while you are sitting around the fire – and to add in this order:

– Olive oil
– Onion
– Bay leaves
– Peppers
– Garlic
– Bacon
– Chorizo
– Spices: Safron & Paprika
– Tomatoes
– Rice
– Prawn stock
– Chicken stock
– Chicken thighs
– Prawns
– Mussels

The Method:

– Peel whole prawns and put the shells and heads to one side.
– Prepare chicken and prawn stock in advance by poaching the chicken thighs and prawns shells and heads in water to create a flavourful broth.
– Remove the chicken thighs from their stocks and gently break up the meat.
– Roughly dice the onions and peppers and thinly slice the garlic.
– Heat olive oil in a paella pan over a medium heat.
– Add peppers, onions, bay leaves and garlic to the pan and sauté until translucent.
– Add chorizo and fry until it cooks and release it’s colour into the vegetables.
– Add spices and cook them out. Then add rice and mix well.
– Pour in a glass of white wine and cook out the alcohol.
– Add a mixture of both stocks until the rice is nearly cooked.
– Stir in the chicken, mussels and prawns and when the rice is cooked, your shellfish should be aswel!
– Garnish with plenty of parsley and lemon. Enjoy!

With love from Málaga!

Grapevine Properties
Guaro, Málaga
www.grapevine-properties.com

PS: If you like this topic, then definitely connect with us on YouTube

And Málaga’s most popular heartthrob is…?

Life’s not fair. If your history goes from Roman Theatre to Comedia dell’Arte to Opera, it’s little miracle that screens world wide are saturated with Brando’s, Madonna’s and DiCaprio’s. Knowing how to play crowds runs through your veins.

Italy might have copyrighted the Latin Lover, good old Hispania still does rather well in the domain – and then, obviously, Málaga stands out again.

DonJuanAntonio Banderas, anyone? From Benalmádena.
Pablo Picasso? Málaga ciudad.
Julio Iglesias?  Somewhere between Miami and Ojén.
Carmen? Ronda. La Macarena?  from Marbella.
OK, the latter is an imaginary character from a song. That there is such a song though is tale-telling.
With some goodwill and positive thinking we could say that also Enrique Iglesias surely must have a temporary post box in Ojén.
And that’s just people from Málaga, only one of the 53 provinces of Spain. So let’s not try to count the number of times that the expression ‘Spanish eyes’ pops up in songs the world over (If only Sevilla would be so kind to be in Málaga, we would win the gold medal of the universe, with Don Juan).

With a good 500 million views on YouTube, it’s clear though that a new prince, a new Pablo has come to town.

Who else than….

that Malagueño having to carry 5ft8 of charisma through Calle Larios… the walking ballad named Pablo Alborán?

No idea why there are 1,100,000 pages about him in Google, we ourselves find him to be rather forgettable (which we find ever since we personally met him, after a concert in the auditorium of Guaro in 2011, around 23:16 in Bar Lord Canis) (he wore a green T-shirt).

We hardly ever listen to his songs, except from 09:00 to 17:00 in the office, and in the car during property viewings and during dance lessons, tennis lessons, jogging sessions, while making paella for the family, in the gym and at office BBQ’s.

Or, obviously, when it so happens to be that we bump into him in Málaga, which seems to occur more since we changed our favourite bar, and discovered to our surprise it’s his too.

On a fully unrelated topic: Málaga Ciudad is now in the Top 10 of best cities to live in in the world,  at least according to a Eurobarometer survey from the European Commission (EC), which discussed issues such as the state of  infrastructure and services, employment opportunities, housing situation, the integration of foreigners and the feeling of security.
We all know that those things ain’t mean a thing, if you ain’t got da swing.  We knew the above long, long, long before any Survey from any Commission.

Saludos from inland Málaga!

Grapevine Properties
Guaro, village where Pablo A was once spotted, Málaga Hills
www.grapevine-properties.com

Why do we in inland Malaga look so amazing?

We’re in between a rock and a hard place:
A Beach Culture on one side, and nothing but fit builders and gardeners on the other.
In a country that is forever included in any ‘Top 10 of fittest population‘ on earth, and that dominates in sports from soccer to tennis.

paso7How oh how are we going to fit in??! 

Wellllll…. we already do:

  • Tapas: portion control.
  • Steep alleys: no budget needed, no motivation necessary: any village is a free gym, the campo is a free full-time personal trainer.
  • Being busy: just when you trimmed the 10.000 square meters of land you need to walk the 23 dogs.
  • Freshest air of Europe: did you know that healthy air is filled with vitamins, even proteins?
  • A tapa: portion control. Alcohol absorption.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables: ¡Viva the Frutería! Nothing needs to be transported from Africa, it’s from straight around the corner, so more fresh is not possible – nor needs less fossil fuel, nor better to support your local economy.
  • Olive oil: the best skin conditioner or hair gel you can find.
  • Music, dancing: shortcuts to happiness, and nothing gives you a glow like happiness.
  • A tapa: portion control.
  • Vocal gym: hands flying in all directions, ar-ti-cu-la-ting, letting the message come from the belly… anyone learning Spanish notices how it brings out the extrovert you didn’t even know you had in you.
  • Force majeure: if as man of 70kgs you are going to take on a prehistoric animal of 700 kgs, of which 5 kgs of horns, you tend to have a tad more motivation for training (Not that many of us would fall in this category, so let’s just pleasantly point out that a wild boar is around 80 kgs and an eagle easily achieves 150 km/hour).
  • Tapa: portion control.
  • Repeat button: another fresh orange from your own tree
  • Vestimentary taste: there’s no way around it, an environment changes you, if you see things 100 times you start to like them. So bye bye track suits and socks in sandals, and welcome Zara, Adolfo Dominguez, Massimo Dutti, Desigual, Caramelo, Springfield, Bershka, Pull & Bear,…

The question rather is…

paso8How are we going to fit in again ‘back home’??!

We find we are gasping for air, our eyes miss the colours, our body behaves as though it was moved from a valley into a flat, no way you could ever let your body live there, and forget about the tapping or clapping of flamenco… and who are those pale people that always find a reason to dress in grey?

Naming a bump in the road a hill?!

We’ve also become more Paso Doble than tea dance, have not studied a culture but had a culture studying and changing us – we give you 5 years before your very first, spontaneous, heartfelt and impulsive ¡olé!
That expression of being alive.
Which is celebrated here, it does not have a holiday dedicated to it, but a life.

Grapevine
Guaro, Sierra de las Nieves, 300 m above sea level
www.grapevine-properties.com

Who was San Isidro Labrador?

Only 2 more weeks to go and there we go, on a ‘Romeria‘.

Firstly, what is a Romería?

Romeria-MalagaRomeria‘, an expression reflecting a travel to Rome, is a religious pilgrimage.

Wikipedia describes it as a Catholic celebration that consists of a trip (in cars, floats, on horseback or on foot) that ends at a sanctuary or hermitage.

One of the most known of them, practised by almost any inland village or town, is the romería around San Isidro Labrador.

Who was San Isidro? And why is he Labrador?

San-IsidroIn Spanish, a ‘labrador‘ is a labourer of the land:
A farmer, traditionally leaving the small house in the pueblo or city in the morning, for the campo, where he worked all day in the heat, and walked home again in the evening.

‘Isidore the farmer’ was a hired hand in the service of a wealthy landowner, on a farm nearby Madrid.
He is said to have stood 6ft5 tall, which in the 11th century  must have been an incredible giant, so it could very well be that his height increased with every century that passed by: then, as now, heroes needed to be ‘larger than life’.

At what point did he turn from simple worker of the land… into a celebrity? 
For his sharing of what he had, with the poor, and for his love for animals.

A famous story handed over from generation to generation, is that on a frosty morning he poured half of his sack of precious corn upon the ground for a flock of pigeons. This despite the mocking of witnesses – the idea of animal welfare yet had to be born, and we could assume that it was initiated by personalities such as Isidore.

When he reached the mill though, the bag was still full, and the corn, when it was ground, produced double the expected amount of flour.

It is but one of several stories. That, over time, changed – for corn wasn’t known in Spain until the 15th century.

Be it because of such miracles, or the highly unique compassion for animals, or his stature… his reputation spread like wildfire (in the 11th century that must have been: in a matter of decades).

In 1619 he was beatified in Rome, canonized 3 years later, and in 1696 his relics were moved to the Royal Alcazar of Madrid.

He is very widely venerated as the patron saint of farmers, peasants, day laborers and agriculture in general, as well as brick layers. From his hometown of Madrid to cities as Leon and Seville, to towns and villages all around Spain and in the former Spanish Empire, all the way to the Philippines, he is honoured as patron saint. 

His feast day is celebrated on May 15th.

What do we celebrate on San Isidro?

San-Isidro-MalagaObviously Isidor himself, the example he set and the influence he had. More than any other fiesta though, San Isidro is a celebration of the community: in which everyone, farmer, builder, agriculturer – or nowadays a whole array of professions and social tasks – plays a role for and in its protection, harmony and success.

It is very much an event in which everyone automatically mingles with everyone, or is invited to do so.

Also read 5 things to take with you to the Romeria

Grapevine Properties
Guaro, inland Málaga
www.grapevine-properties.com

Netflix and Learn Spanish

Are you guilty of binge watching your favourite series until 2am?

Are you trying and perhaps struggling to improve your Spanish?

Are you stuck on what to watch on Neflix?

If you’ve answered a great honking “YES!” to all of the above you should definitely keep on reading cause here are five series/movies on Netflix that have Spanish as their primary language that you should check out immediately.

  • “Narcos”

One of the most talked about Netflix series and for good reason, Narcos takes the viewer on trip to Columbia in a true life story about the notorious drug cartels. Centring around drug-lord Pablo Escobar and his rise to power in Medellin, the drama mixes the English and Spanish language to create realism that really makes you feel that your in the depths of this South American city.

  • “I’m so Excited”

I’ve spoken briefly about my love for Almodovar before and although I’m so Excited isn’t my favourite film of his, it’s still quirky, original and one of the more light heartened things on the list. When a plane full of passengers is trying to find an airport to land in the midst of a technical fault, everyone does their best to make light of the situation amongst the panic.

  • “The Motorcycle Diaries”

Meet Che Guevarra before he became Che Guevara. Gael Garcia Bernal plays the revolutionary as he ventures into South America on motorcycle with his brother on a trip that will show him his true purpose in life.

  • “Grand Hotel”

Compress all the scheming of 3 seasons of Downton Abbey into 5 minutes, and you’ve got ‘Gran Hotel’. After the success of the former, it’s no surprise also this Spanish TV series is taking the world by (calm) storm. Top-knotch eye-candy!

  • “Cartel Land”

A eye-opening documentary telling the true story of two vigilante groups fighting the same  cause, the Mexican drug carteles. On one side, Doctor José Manuel Mireles, who leads a citizen rebel group who actively stand up to these day to day threats. On the other a U.S veteran, working to stop cartel border crossings.

Grapevine Properties
Country Properties, Málaga
www.grapevine-properties.com