Spanish Cooking Simplified

August 1, 2007

Spanish Rice and Spanish Tortilla, quick-and-easy meals kids will love.

Monica Bhide and Jai

My 8-year-old son is learning about different countries in school. To feed his insatiable appetite for facts on how kids live and eat in places like China and Australia, we started a ritual called “Around the World in 80 Plates.”

Once a month we pick a country and focus on where it is on the map, what people there wear, what they eat, what types of holidays they have and what the kids enjoy doing there. This month, we’re “traveling” to Spain; here’s what we found out:

Bordering the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, Spain is Europe’s fourth largest country and has long been known for its food, bullfights and soccer matches. A country of varying climates and geography (from the snow-capped Pyrenees in the northeast to the toasty Balearic islands in the Mediterranean Sea to the east), it has a diverse cuisine to match. Whether it is making gazpacho (cold soups) or paella (rich rice dishes), tortillas or tapas (small snack foods), Spaniards love to cook heartily with fresh ingredients. We made a traditional Spanish tortilla for breakfast and garlicky rice for dinner. Bueno!

Story and recipes by Monica Bhide, a food writer in Dunn Loring, Va.



Spanish Rice with Tomatoes and Oregano

The tomato and oregano transform simple rice into a spectacular side dish.

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish Tortilla

Spain's version of an omelet, with extra heft from sauteed potatoes.


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