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Andalusian tortillas de camarones

>> Friday, June 26, 2009

Tortillas de camarones from Andalusia are made with a tiny type of shrimp called camarón and are typical of the Cádiz province. They are delicious with a glass of chilled fino or manzanilla, on a bar terrace...

I've got to confess: I've never been to Cádiz in my life. I don't have any relatives in the area. I don't even have friends from Cádiz. I've only eaten tortillas de camarones in an Andalusian restaurant close by. With this I mean that I'm not an expert in the subject. But I'm crazy about them all the same and I admit my crime: I cook them in my own kitchen. Therefore I ask all connoisseurs of tortillas de camarones out there to have mercy on me. Although I'm more than willing to learn and am open to any recommendations for the next time I make them...

Fine, after this apology I can say anything I want about tortillas de camarones... The recipe I normally use was found at the site Pisto y Nopisto. You can find in the Internet long and brainy arguments in Spanish about what bar is the best place in Cádiz to eat the tortillas. Some say it's Casa Balbino at Sanlúcar de Barrameda and some people even warn you about the impossibility of preparing decent tortillas de camarones out of Cádiz province... because, among other reasons, ingredients are hard to find. Camarones are tiny shrimps that are cooked whole, because it would be impossible to shell them. Even in Spain they are not easy to find everywhere. The same happens with chickpea flour. You can make your own flour with a stout food processor from chickpeas though.

Tortillitas de camarones (adapted from Pisto y Nopisto)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup camarones (you can substitute shelled shrimps, but not too big. It won't be the genuine thing, but I'm sure it will be delicious anyway)
  • 1 cup finely diced onion and parsley (I didn't have any parsley this time, so no nice green touch)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Virgin olive oil for frying

Mix thoroughly both flours with the water to avoid any lumps. Then add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and leave to rest for two to three hours. I guess the purpose is the hydration of the flours.

Pour olive oil in a shallow and wide pan to a height of 1-1.5cm and put the pan on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough, pour a tablespoon of the batter in the oil. Pat it with the spoon to spread it a bit and get a thin tortilla. At Casa Balbino they recommend that the oil shouldn't go higher than 80 ºC. According to my experience, that's the secret for getting uniformly browned tortillas: to cook them on medium temperature, even if it takes long. If the oil is too hot, the edges will brown too soon and the center will be softer and puffier. I like them this way too, but my family prefers them crispy. You can try both ways. As a sidenote, the oil will splash quite a bit, so prepare yourself to make a mess on your range. In my case, I cook and D. does the cleanup... (holding back a smile).

Then put in the pan as many tablespoons of batter as you can fit. Flip them over when they are nicely browned on one side. And... that's all folks. Lay them on a paper towel as you go to absorb some of the oil (yes, they do soak quite some oil) and... just eat them... I like them in any way, even when I burn my tongue or when they are cold... Should I be punished for that?

Last advice: please don't use any other kind of oil but olive oil for frying these... it would be sacrilege.

14 comentarios:

Clementina June 27, 2009 at 1:01 AM  

Hola Miriam,
I would just loovvve to cook these tortillas de camaron. Any idea where I can buy the chickpea flour here in California. Como siempre, me encanta tu blog (or, is it "ciberbitacora"? Me se dice en Espana?)!

Miriam June 27, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

Hola, Clementina!

Bueno, sé que en la cocina india utilizan la harina de garbanzo, creo que se llama "besan flour", mira este enlace:
Entonces es probable que se encuentre en tiendas de productos orientales.
Y en España también se dice blog, aunque lo de ciberbitácora me gusta :-))


Amber June 27, 2009 at 8:27 PM  

Hi Miriam,
I've been talking about these lately after reading about them in Culinaria. I can't believe you posted this! Perfect timing. I'll make sure to try them soon.
I'm going to Spain in October. Maybe you can give me some pointers on where to go?

Miriam June 27, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

Hi Amber!

They are positively delicious! And easier to make than you may think, you should give them a try. Nice that you're coming! October is the perfect month, I love autumn. I hope you enjoy your trip, if you want some advice and addresses, don't hesitate to write to my e-mail: miriamcillagm ampersand hotmail dot com
Please do! :-)

Anonymous June 27, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

Love prawns and this recipe is so very tempting!!

Vera June 28, 2009 at 2:37 AM  

They look fantastic! I can easily imagine how great they taste!

Miriam June 28, 2009 at 8:59 PM  

Ruth: Thanks, you should try them!
Vera: Thanks for visiting, your work is terrific.

foodcreate June 28, 2009 at 9:12 PM  

They Look Fabulous! I'm going to make them ahead of time so I can take them the Picnic.

Thaks for sharing your recipe:)

And you can visit me if I can visit you:) Post your comments, Join foodcreate !

Have A Wonderful Day~

Miriam June 29, 2009 at 4:20 PM  

Thanks, Foodcreate!

Diana Bauman June 29, 2009 at 10:47 PM  

Hola Miriam!

I am so glad you posted this as my Tita in Sevilla makes these for me every time I visit! My favorite!! Ohh, how I wish I could eat one right now :)


Diana Bauman June 29, 2009 at 10:49 PM  

To Clementina aka "La Traductora" :

You can find chickpea or garbanzo flour in healthfood stores or your local Trader Joes :)


Diana Bauman June 29, 2009 at 10:54 PM  

Despues de leer el commentario por completo, se me hiso agua la boca :) Mi familia son de Andalucia y tienen pisos en San Lucar y Chipiona. Estoy tristisima que en los EU no se encuentra camarones :(

Siempre encantada de leer tus recetas y blog!



Miriam June 29, 2009 at 11:09 PM  

Wow, Diana! Then you know exactly what tortillas are like...


Anonymous April 11, 2010 at 4:49 AM  

Chickpea flour is also commonly used in Indian cooking and can be easily found in Indian supermarkets and grocery stores -- you'll find it under the name "besan flour." It's a little bit grainy and yellowish.


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