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Food: 5 Dishes You Have to Eat in Lanzarote

Lanzarote's famous potatoes with green and red sauces

Food lovers will find a lot more than 5 mouth-watering dishes in Lanzarote’s traditional gastronomy. Of course.

And we’ll talk to you about all the other ones right here, on this blog.

You’ll have to be patient, though, we’re just starting.

This article is for food amateurs coming for a few days to Lanzarote and want to have a sample of the local classics. Every food on this list is typically Canarian. It’s a totally subjective selection. Like all the contents of this blog by the way.

Here comes your check-list :

    • Canarian Potatoes with Red and Green Mojo

Papas Arrugadas con Mojo in the local menus

Lanzarote's food - potatoes with green and red sauces

You can’t possibly miss these during your stay in Lanzarote. If the place you’re going to serves food, you can be sure they serve “Papas arrugadas con mojo“. Literally, wrinkled potatoes with mojo.

Mojo is the sauce. I won’t translate it because – 1. it doesn’t have a translation – 2. I love its Austin Powers’ touch.

These “wrinkled” potatoes are small local potatoes cooked in a very salty water and, once cooked, dried out until their skin wrinkles. Now, you get it.

Although you’ll most probably try the Mojo Picon (spicy red mojo) and the Mojo Verde (green mojo made with parsley, coriander or a mix of both), there are plenty more. From almonds mojo to cheese mojo, don’t be afraid to get adventurous.

We like to eat them at: Hespérides Restaurant in Teguise. They use a local ancient variety called Papa Bonita de Lanzarote, a true delish. Papas con mojo are a great classic here so you’ll be able to find good ones with homemade mojo sauce in every restaurant mentioned in this post. Click here to see them all on a map.

    • Limpets

Lanzarote's food - Lapas with mojo verde
Lapas with green mojo

Lapas in the local menus

Did you know limpets always come back to the same rock – on the exact same spot – during high tide ? Indeed, their shell is shaped to fit the rock on that spot so they can stick in there until low tide.

Mother Nature rocks. Lanzarote is a standing proof.

In local restaurants, lapas are usually served grilled with green mojo. Yes, the same than the one served with the papas. We can’t get enough of it.

The most common varieties are the black and white limpets. You’ll probably be served a mix of both. Drop us a comment to tell us which ones you like more.

We like to eat limpets at: La Piscina in Punta Mujeres. It’s a bar with a few tables on the sidewalk next to the natural pools of Punta Mujeres. Don’t go there expecting a high level restaurant, it’s not. It’s a cheap place working fresh local products in a simple way. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ready to eat on a bar table without tablecloth.
We also like to eat them at Casa Rafa (Restaurante del Mar) in El Golfo and at El Risco in Famara.

 

    • Gofio

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Canarian Gofio is a toasted flour. It’s been the basis of the Canarian diet for a long time. Traditionally, Canarian babies were fed with gofio flavoured milk. And men had it for breakfast, mixed with a raw egg and a bit – or more – of  wine. Getting ready for the countryside work.

Canarian toast different types of flour. However, gofio de millo (toasted corn flour) is the most widely used kind. You’ll even get to choose if you want it slightly or more toasted. But you’ll find wheat and rye flour gofio as well.

It has a peculiar taste. If you like discovering new flavours, definitely go for gofio.

It is widely used to make desserts or drink with milk for breakfast. If you’re more into savoury food, don’t miss the mojo de gofio and gofio escaldado.

We like to eat gofio at: El Risco in Famara. This is one of the best restaurants in the island in our opinion. It’s located right on Famara beach and they have an amazing chef, Juan Perdomo, working only with local products. If you want to try all of the dishes in this list in one place, this is the one. This top level restaurant has a wall designed by Cesar Manrique himself, a must visit for foodies and art lovers in Lanzarote.

 

    • Grilled Octopus

      Pulpo de Lanzarote - Grilled Octopus
      Grilled Octopus

Pulpo a la Plancha in the local menus

This is my personal favourite. Here, you’ll find it everywhere. Tapas bars, cheap and not-so-cheap restaurants; they all serve it. Because fishermen from Lanzarote get octopus all year round.

Spanish Chefs “scare” the octopus. Asustar el pulpo – which means they throw the – poor – octopus in and out of boiling water twice, wait for it to boil again and finish the dirty job. This allows the skin to stick to the octopus meat.

Freshly cooked pulpo is grilled. As I’m writing this my taste buds are dancing in tribute to the last octopus that fell into my plate – the one you’re seeing on the right – it was something.

It’s a real experience: a tasty grilled taste and crispy tentacles ends. If you’re going to eat octopus only once in your life, this has to be it.

Pulpo a la plancha is served… guess what… with papas and mojo.

Don’t worry, you’ll get hooked like we did.

We like to eat octopus at: La Puntilla in el Charco de San Ginés. José Rodriguez, the Chef, is probably the most respected by his peers in Lanzarote. He works local fishes divinely, gourmets will enjoy every bit of his menu.
We also like to eat octopus at Casa Rafa, La Piscina, el Risco and Esencia restaurant.

 

    • Goatling and/or Goat meat (Yes. It is food.)

Cabrito and Cabra in the local menus
(I know, doesn’t sound THAT appealing… Keep reading.)

Goat casserole dish

I was very reluctant to eat goat. Always heard we didn’t eat it because its meat was chewy with a very strong taste. Not appealing at all.

I mean, have you ever been mouth-watering thinking how good a piece of goat would be? No, this happens with bizarre exotic fruits, weird fresh fishes, new spices discovered while travelling abroad… Definitely not with the goat, right?

In the end, I was wrong. Turns out people in Lanzarote have been cooking goat for generations and they nail it. Most of the time. If you order it in a place that does it well, it can be tender and doesn’t taste strong at all. It was totally worth the try.

That said, if not prepared well, I have to admit it tastes pretty wild.

I guess you need to be a bit of an adventurous foodie to go for that one. Who’s up for the challenge ?

We like to eat goat at: Esencia in Nazaret. David Pérez is a talented Chef from the Basque Country who makes a creative cuisine with Lanzarote’s local products. We love his goat dumplings, a nice way to try goat meat for the first time. We also love Chef Dailos Perdomo goat tacos at Hespérides Restaurant in Teguise which got him the first prize at a Canarian tapas contest in 2016. I’m sure both these dishes will make you fall for goat meat! And if you want to try it the traditional way, head to our neighbouring restaurant Casa Gregorio in Uga.

 

    • Local fish a la plancha

(Ok, that makes 6. I’m making up for the ones who wouldn’t consider for a second going the goatling way.)

We’re on an island. Obviously, there are plenty of great fishes to try here. From sardines to tuna fish (a few months a year) not to mention local hake. Many places will grill the whole fish and serve it with Canarian potatoes. If you want to try new flavours, we recommend the wreckfish (cherne), the Red Sea Bream (sama), the Blue Butterfish (Pampano) or the Barracuda, depending of the season.

We like to eat local fish a la plancha at: Casa Rafa (Restaurante del Mar) in El Golfo. We mentioned it earlier in this article, it’s, in our opinion, the best place to eat grilled local fish in Lanzarote. Portions are quite big, so if you’re planning on trying limpets and octopus as starters, you should ask the waiter to advise you on the quantity of grilled fish you’re going to need as a main dish. Let’s say if you’re 4 people, after the starters, you might only need grilled fish for 2 or 3.

 

To find all these restaurants on Google Maps, click here.

And if you want to learn how to cook Lanzarote’s local products, join us on a cookery course!

5 Foods You Have To Try in Lanzarote - Lapas

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Marmitako Recipe: A Fishermen’s Dish

Spanish Marmitako Recipe

 

Marmitako recipe is traditional in the Basque country and really common in the North of Spain. It’s also called Marmita or Sorropotun in Cantabria. It’s a delicious fish and potato stew.

If you don’t know Marmitako yet, you have to try this recipe. And if you have, well, you know what I’m talking about.

The original recipe is made with fresh albacore tuna but you can replace it by (fresh) sardines or salmon. It will be as good.

The word Marmitako means literally in Basque “from the stock pot”. The cooks from the fishing boats needed to prepare a consistent meal for the fishermen so they used the cheaper and most common fish, the albacore tuna. They used to prepare their Marmitako recipe with onions, potatoes, red pepper and tomato. Before potatoes’ introduction in Spanish cuisine – on the XIX century – Marmitako recipe was made with chestnuts or turnips.

 

Marmitako recipe

 

Preparation time:20 min – Cooking time:40 min

 

Ingredients for 4 servings

12.25 oz (350 g) of fresh albacore tuna fish
4 potatoes (1.1lb /500 g)
1 Spanish sun-dried choricero red pepper (To be re-hydrated in a bowl of water for 24h before cooking)
2 fresh peppers (red or green ore one of each)
1 big onion
1 tomato
1 chilli pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 1/2 cups (60 cl) of water or even better, homemade fish stock
1 wine glass (20 cl) of dry white wine
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 branch of thyme
1 laurel leave
2 teaspoons of sweet pimentón (smoked paprika)
a pinch of salt and pepper

 


Directions:

1. The day before, you should re-hydrate the dried red pepper by submerging it into a bowl of water. If you forgot this first step, don’t worry about it, you can always rehydrate it by cooking it for 1 hour in boiling water.

2. Peel garlic cloves and onion.

3. Rinse the peppers and dry them with a clean cloth. Cut them open and discard seeds and hard top. Chop peppers and onion into small cubes.

4. If you have a grater with large holes, use it to grate tomato and discard peel. If you don’t: get water to a boil, put tomato in it for 10 seconds (13 seconds if it’s under ripe). Get it out, leave it chill for a bit and peel it. Then cut tomato pulp into small pieces. Set aside.

5. Cut albacore tuna fish into 1.5 inches cubes. Cover and refrigerate.

6. Heat olive oil in a stew pot over medium heat. Fry garlic cloves with laurel leaves and a branch of thyme.

7. Once garlic is slightly brown, add pepper and onion.

8. After a couple of minutes, when onion is translucent, add wine and turn up the heat so the alcohol evaporates.

9. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes, wash them and dry them with a clean cloth.

10. Potatoes have to be cut in cachelos. This means you need to start cutting a piece of potato by introducing the knife as usual. But instead of cutting all the way through, you tear out the potato piece. You’ll hear a crack sound. Those cachelos should be around 1 or 2 inches wide. The most important is that all potato pieces should be around the same size. So cooking time is the same for all.

11. Once the alcohol has evaporated – means if you put your nose over the stew pot, the smell isn’t burning your lungs anymore – add the sweet pimentón and the mashed tomato. Cook it for a couple of minutes.

12. Add potatoes and try to combine all ingredients without breaking the potato’s cachelos. The best way is to move the whole stew pot.

13. Add water or fish stock so it covers the whole mixture. Add chilli pepper and get it to boil.

14. Cut the rehydrated choricero pepper lengthwise. Add it on top – Do not soak it!

15. Reduce heat leaving a gentle boil and leave it for 25 minutes.

16. Take both rehydrated pepper pieces. Get the inside part with a spoon and combine it to your dish. Discard peel. Cook for 5 more minutes or until potatoes are ready – Try one to be sure

17. Turn off heat, add tuna fish and cover stew pot for 5 minutes.

That’s it! Ready to serve. Take out laurel leaf and thyme branch and enjoy.

Don’t forget to cut some bread. You’ll definitely want to dip in Marmitako sauce.

 

Cooking Technique Tip

Chascar potatoes

Chascar literally means “to crack”. When using this cooking technique you should start cutting a piece of potato by introducing your knife and tear off the potato piece so you hear a “crack” sound from the potato. It helps liberate the potato starch, so the dish sauce gets more consistent.

Did you cook this Marmitako recipe ? If so, let us know how you liked it in the comment section. And if not, you can still join the conversation. We’d love to have your impressions.

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Torrijas Recipe: Spanish Easter Classic

Torrijas recipe

Spanish Torrijas recipe

 

Torrijas recipe is traditionally cooked during Easter time (Semana Santa) in Spain. This typical bread pudding is delicious and really easy to prepare. Only in Madrid, 8 millions torrijas are eaten during the week before Easter. Every Spanish household has its own recipe. Historically, depending on each family’s wealth, the Torrijas were made with different ingredients. The poorest would use water instead of milk and sugar instead of honey. That’s the version we’re sharing with you today.

A scrumptious dessert recipe based on Spanish chef Mario Sandoval‘s mum’s recipe. Enjoy!

Torrijas recipe

 

Preparation time:10 min – Cooking time:20 min

 

Ingredients for about 10 torrijas

1 bread from the day before (approx. 300 g)
100g sugar
300 ml water
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon (you’ll use a large piece of rind)
2 eggs
425 ml olive oil

 


Directions:

1. Slice bread into one inch thick slices.

2. In a small pan, heat sugar with 3.5 oz of water over high heat. Add cinnamon stick and a large piece of lemon rind. If you have a thermometer, you should rise temperature until 220 °F / 105 °C. At this stage, the mixture should become thicker. If you pour some of this caramel from a spoon, you should see thicker drops than water.

3. Add the rest of the water (7.1 oz of water) and mix it up. Wait a few minutes so your light caramel cools a bit before using it.

3. Soak the bread slices into the light caramel, so they can absorb it. Just soak each side for no more than 3 or 4 seconds, if you leave it longer the bread could get ruined.

4. Beat the eggs and immerse the bread into it (both sides again).

5. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and fry the bread slices. You should fry them until they turn gold, approximately for 2 min per side. A good trick is to put a kitchen roll on the plate so you can place the torrijas on top of it, it will suck the extra not-needed oil.

6. To finish, pour the rest of the caramel on top of the torrijas. If you have finished all the caramel from the step 2, do not worry, you can always remake some more caramel to add it on. Your torrijas will look shinier!

 

Did you like this torrijas recipe ? If so, share it with your friends!

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Sardines in vinegar banderillas recipe

Sardine in vinegar and tomato stuffed olive skewers recipe

 

We were so excited to discover there was a World Tapas Day, our chef created a recipe for the occasion.

If you’re a Spanish cuisine newbie, tapas are a special way of eating in bars whilst having a drink. In Spanish tapas bars, you’re served small portions of bigger dishes, skewers called banderillas, bread slices with all kinds of toppings… all of them are tapas.

Should we write more about tapas ? Tips on how to order them ? If you would like us too, drop us a comment at the end of the recipe.

And if the answer is no, please tell us what you’re willing to read on this blog. We’re trying to be useful here 😉

As a tribute to the Spanish classic anchovies in vinegar, let us introduce you to…

Drums…

Sardines in vinegar with tomato stuffed olive banderillas recipe

Important note: You need a little preparation for this one. We’re not going to lie to you.

If you’re going to serve these banderillas on Saturday night, you’ll need to buy and prepare the sardines on Wednesday.

We’re not even joking. But the result is totally worth it.

You’ll be marinating sardines in vinegar for 12h to 24h. Then you’ll have to freeze them for 24h.

It’s always safer to freeze fish before eating it raw.

The good news is you can prepare it up to 6 months in advance.

 

Ingredients for 40 skewers

250 grammes of medium-sized sardines (or 20 pieces)
400 grammes of green olives without bone (or 80 pieces)
0.5 litre of vinegar from white wine
0.5 litre of olive oil

Tomato stuffing

4 tomatoes
2 jelly leaves
2 garlic clove
1 branch of thyme
2 soup spoons of olive oil
Salt

Method:

Sardines cleaning and marinating in vinegar (at least 3 days before serving your tapas)

1. Rinse sardines and dry them with a clean cloth.

2. Open the sardines belly with scissors starting where the tail meets the body. Scrape out the entrails and discard them.

3. Take their heads off with your hands and discard.

4. Rinse sardines carefully to wash off what might be left from the entrails.Then place in a bowl filled with water for a few minutes so all the remaining blood gets out of the fish. Repeat until water is crystal clear.

5. Gently flatten the sardine. Grasp the backbone on the head side and carefully lift it away. Discard the backbone and separate the fillets.

6. Place in a flat recipient, cover the sardine fillets with vinegar. Cover with plastic foil. Refrigerate for 12 to 24h. The more time you leave sardines marinating, the more vinegar taste you’ll get.

 

Sardines freezing (at least 36h before serving)

1. Discard vinegar and pat the sardines dry with paper towels.

2. Cover with olive oil and freeze for at least 24h. You can keep them in your freezer up to 6 months.

 

Sardines de-freezing (at least 12h before serving)

De-freeze the sardines in your fridge leaving them into the olive oil. They’ll stay perfect for an extra month if you leave them in their olive oil.

Tomato stuffing and banderillas preparation (D-day!)

1. Grate tomatoes and discard the skin. Reserve

2. Peel garlic clove.

3. Heat a pan over medium heat with olive oil. Once the oil is hot, throw in garlic and thyme.

4. Once garlic is getting a bit brown, add the tomato puree and fry everything for a couple of minutes.

5. Add the jelly leaves and stir well so they completely dissolve into the tomato sauce.

6. Put tomato mixture it into a pastry bag, and let it cool a little in the fridge.

7. Rinse and dry olives.

8. Stuff olives with tomato sauce using the pastry bag and reserve.

9. Prepare your skewers, sardines and olives. Start threading the sardine by the end of the fillet. Then thread an olive and the fillet again. Repeat with a second olive.

10. Repeat step 9 until you’re out of sardines.

You’re all set! Enjoy!