A SPANISH CHRISTMAS FEAST
SPANISH COOKAWAY CHEF CLAIRE HUTCHINGS SHARES HER FAVOURITE SPANISH CHRISTMAS FOOD.
A TRADITIONAL SPANISH CHRISTMAS
I’ve been living in Spain for over eight years now, and one thing I’ve learnt is that the Spanish love any excuse to celebrate with a delicious meal.
Christmas in Spain holds plenty of opportunities to eat, drink and celebrate across the holiday season. There are five main feasts, the first four are similar to those we enjoy in the UK: Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day lunch, New Year’s Eve dinner, New Year’s Day lunch.
But in Spain, the 6th of January is El Día de Los Reyes, or Three Kings Day. It’s celebrated like a second Christmas Day by exchanging presents and serving yet another lavish meal.
CHRISTMAS FOOD TRADITIONS FROM ALL OVER SPAIN
Spanish cuisine is very diverse, and every region has its own traditions. I draw ideas from all over the country, so have devised my own menu of favourite festive Spanish foods that I wouldn’t want to go without at Christmas.
We kick off the celebrations with a big family dinner of roasted Suckling pig on Christmas Eve. I serve this with thin and crispy rustic chips roasted with whole garlic and slices of red pepper, blistered padron peppers and a fragrant tomato salad.
On Christmas Day we really go to town. We’ll start with a shellfish platter inspired by the Christmas tradition in Galicia, the North West corner of Spain. It looks beautiful with colourful layers of giant red prawns and langoustines, fresh clams and octopus. Also served is the best pata negra. Cured Jamon traditionally from Andalusia, making an impressive centrepiece sliced directly from the leg.
The main course is sopa de galets. A flavoursome broth served with large meat-filled pasta shells, originating from Catalonia. On the 26th December we make cannelloni with any leftover meat from the broth.
TRADITIONAL SPANISH CHRISTMAS DESSERTS & SWEETS
Our Christmas Day dessert is casadiellas from the Asturias region of Spain. Moreish little pastry parcels filled with toasted walnuts, sugar and anise are perfect for nibbling after a big meal.
One thing you’ll find at many Spanish Christmas tables is Turrones, a sweet and nutty nougat that can be hard or chewy. One of my weaknesses; my mother in law makes an incredible Turrón de Yema Tostada which translates as toasted egg yolk. Ground almonds, lemon, sugar, egg yolk and cinnamon are combined in a pan, then left to set in a silicone mould. Finally, they are sprinkled with sugar and toasted under a grill until they have a crunchy topping and beautiful golden colour.
CHRISTMAS TIME IS SIESTA TIME!
The Spanish lifestyle is very relaxed, so Christmas meals are always laid-back, fun affairs enjoyed with lots of laughter and some good wine. And of course the Spanish and the British share an unwavering commitment to one essential Christmas tradition: the post-lunch siesta.
JOIN A COOKALONG WITH CLAIRE HUTCHINGS
Join Claire Hutchings at our Spanish Cookaway Live on Thursday 10th December, 2020 at 6pm GMT.
Claire will be showing you how to cook a Traditional Valencian Paella. It’s bursting with good things including chicken, butter beans and aromatic saffron.
Cookalong with Claire from your own kitchen and learn new skills. Discover more about the flavours and colours of Spanish cuisine as Claire shares her knowledge and tips with you.
The event is free to join, simply order your Valencian Paella box for delivery on Wednesday 9th December and we’ll email you the link to join us on Zoom. If you would prefer to cook a vegan paella, you can order that here.
Hope to see you there!