Tag Archives: manchego

Recipes containing manchego cheese

Pizza Española With Chorizo and Manchego Cheese

Pizza Española
Pizza Española

I’ll be honest with you. There’s no Spanish pizza in Spain. Really. This recipe is stolen from a Latin American pizza restaurant I visited years ago, but it was so good that we still do it every now and then.

We’ve learned that it really doesn’t matter what you’ll have on your pizza as long as your dough and sauce are perfect. Not just perfect, the best! You can serve a used kitchen towel with a pizza sauce as long as the pizza sauce works. Making your own sauce is not that big a thing. It’s basically a tomato sauce which you can use for

  • pasta (add basil)
  • pizza (add oregano)
  • to make ketchup (add vinegar and a bit more sugar)

Since we were making pizza, our choice of spice was oregano. We would have preferred fresh oregano, but it wasn’t available. So we settled for dried oregano.

When you’re making a tomato sauce there are only four ingredients that are needed for the base: onion, garlic, tomato and sugar. Yes, sugar. When you’re dealing with tomatoes you’ll need some sugar (or honey) to cut the bitterness of tomatoes. When the balance is right between bitterness and sweetness, season the sauce with proper sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. You’ll get it right by adding little by little more salt and pepper, stirring and tasting. When everything is about right, add the oregano to the taste (or vinegar or basil depending what you using the sauce for).

Even though (as your might have already noticed) we are not fond of canned ingredients a canned tomato paste works quite nicely for this sauce. At least here in Spain it’s quite simple: it’s only tomato sauce without any seasoning which is heavily reduced. It brings nice flavor and color to the sauce. But it’s not necessary. The flavor of the sauce is works, but color might be a bit pale without it.

Ingredients for The Pizza Dough

  • 700 g (25 oz) of all-purporse flour – harina de trigo
  • 3,5 dl (1.5 cups) of hand-warm water – agua
  • 1 pack of dried yeast – levadura
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt – sal marina
  • 0,5 dl (1/4 cups) of olive oil – aceite de oliva

Mix the handö-warm water with dried yeast. Add olive oil and salt. Put the mixture into kitchen robot (or do it by hand, it doesn’t matter) and start adding flour little by little. Kneed for about 10 minutes. Cover the pot with kitchen towel and let it rest at least for 20 minutes.

Ingredients for Pizza Española

  • 1 onion – cebolla
  • 4 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 3 big tomatoes (or 4 small ones) – tomates
  • 1 dl (0.5 cups) of tomato paste – tomate doble concentrado
  •  1 tablespoon of sugar (or honey) – azucar
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano – orégano
  • splash of olive oil – aceite olive
  • 3 chorizo sausages – chorizo
  • Grated Manchego cheese – queso manchego rallado
  • Green olives – aceitunas verdes
  • 1/2 of green paprika – pimientas verdes

Soften the diced onions and garlic in olive olive oil. Add cubed tomatoes. Remove the skin from the tomatoes, if you will. Leave one tomato for the slicing on top of the pi5 zza. Let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes while stirring every now and then. The liquid from the tomatoes separates making the sauce. Add the tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper and oregano. Cook for additional 20 minutes more while preparing the dough and frying chorizo (if needed).

If the chorizo is fresh and uncooked, slice it into 5 mm (1/5″) slices and fry from both sides until golden brown. This removes the excess grease from the sausage. Grate some Manchego cheese ready and slice the green paprika into sticks.

Preheat the oven to 225 ºC (450 ºF).

Flatten the dough to a baking tray which is covered with baking paper. Spread the tomato sauce on top. Place the toppings in the following order (refer to the pictures below):

  1. Tomato sauce
  2. Manchego cheese
  3. Tomato slices
  4. Chorizo
  5. Olives

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the edges of the pizza begin to brown.

¡Buen provecho!

Jamón Ibérico with Manchego Cheese

Jamón Ibérico with Manchego Cheese
Jamón Ibérico with Manchego Cheese is a wonderful traditional Spanish tapas.

Tapas means a small dish. Usually it is a quarter of a portion, but many times it also refers to something that is not available in portions. You don’t eat a whole plate of cheese or cured ham at once. Tapas is a Spanish snack.

During lunch hour you see locals gathering at tapas bars with friends for having a glass of red wine or caña (a small beer), some cured Spanish ham, jamón and Manchego cheese. Finest jamón is called pata negra which translates to “black hoof” and it’s usually cured between 24 to 48 months. This is traditional Spanish way of preserving meat and it was the only way in the old days. It is served in thin slices and it takes years of training in order to be able to cut them perfectly from the whole pork legs.

Manchego is made of sheep milk and it is aged for long as well. Typical Manchego cheese is aged between 2 to 12 months. And the price goes together with the aging period. First Manchego cheese is cut in sectors and then cut in triangle slices. When served, the cheese must be in room temperature. Usually in tapas bars they don’t even put the cheese in the fridge – it is stored in under a cover on tapas counter. Depending on your preference you may enjoy it as it is or put some extra virgin olive oil and some ground pepper on top.

Many times these types of tapas is served with bread sticks. Once we’re at a tapas bar, the bread sticks came with pesto cream cheese and this combination turned out to be absolutely wonderful! In the picture above we have some home made pesto (see our recipe for Tuna Steak Salad with Green Pesto to make the pesto). Mix it well with cream cheese and you’re done!

¡Buen provecho!

Cutting Jamón Ibérico
A lady at Romero Torres Jamoneria is cutting thing slices of Iberian ham for the tapas.