CANARIAN TAPAS – MOJO RECIPES
Canarian tapas are very popular in Fuerteventura and each resort has a bar or two where you can try a good range of different traditional foods, all at the same time. If you are new to Canarian Tapas and would like to know more about their origin and history, then click here. But if you are already familiar with them and want to recreate some of the dishes at home, then we have lots of recipes for you to try. Some of the more popular tapas you will find on a menu in Fuerteventura, are listed below.
- Sancocho Canario
- Gambas Al Ajilo
- Papas Arrugadas
- Pimientos de Padrón
- Queso Asado
- Ensaladilla Rusa
- Rancho Canario
- Croquetas caseras
- Puchero Canario
- Escaldón de Gofio
- Ropa Vieja
Eating Out In Fuerteventura
There is always a good range of Canarian Tapas on offer and each bar or restaurant will have their own adaptations and family recipes that they use. Some will have specialties of the house that are well worth trying’, such as homemade goats cheese from their family farm or freshly caught seafood from their family boat. Others will have a set menu or Menu Del Dia, which is a little more limited where choices are concerned, but is a great way to eat delicious food on a budget. Most restaurants will also have a menu that you can choose from, so you can pick exactly what you fancy. In these establishments, each dish will have a price (or two prices if they offer a tapa and racion option) next to the description, and you can simply order as much or as little food as you like. Often places with a larger tapas selections will also offer deals, such as 5 or 10 tapas for a set price. It is worth asking your waiter before ordering if they have such an offereing, as this way to great way to try more dishes and new flavours and often works out much cheaper than ordering everything individually. The waiters are also really good at recommending popular dishes and translating the more exotic sounding name’s, so that you can chose a nice mixture of the things you like and avoid the things you don’t.
Canarian Tapas – Lost In Translation
In each tourist resort around the island, you will find restaurants offering Canarian Tapas in the form of a ‘meal deal’ which is designed especially to attract tourists. Many chefs and restaurant owners know, that most holiday makers want to try the local cuisine but are often a little intimidated when it comes to deciding what to order. If you have a good command of the Spanish language or a decent app that can translate on the go, then that can make things easier. But there are a lot of dishes which simply do not translate or give you any clue as to what ingredients are in the dish. Good examples of this are sancocho or Bienmesabe ( which are both delicious by the way! ) So, to get around this problem the restaurants have put together a special meal. It is a sort of tasting menu, but with proper tapas-sized portions. These are designed for sharing and made up of the most popular dishes. There will usually be two or three options available, such as Tapas for 2 people, Tapas for 4 people, and Tapas for Two people including a bottle of wine. These will consist of an agreed amount of tapas, for example 10 or 15, all served for a set price. The tapas will be chosen by the chef and designed to complement each other perfectly, so you can just sit back, relax and be amazed at all the different kinds of dishes that are laid out in front of you.
Canarian Tapas and Mojo Sauces
Whatever way you decide to chose your tapas, there are a few staples which are always on offer and accompany Canarian Tapas perfectly. These are known locally as Mojo’s ( pronounced Moho’s ). They are tasty little sauces, which go really well with most tapas dishes and add another level of flavour to your meal. These are usually served with freshly cut bread or a Canarian Specialty known as Papas arrugadas or wrinkly potatoes.
Mojo Rojo Recipe
This is the red mojo that will undoubtedly arrive at your table. It is the spicier mojo of the three and is sometimes called Mojo Picon or Spicy mojo. When you are out and about, each restaurant will have their own family recipe, so even though they will all taste similar, the heat intensities will vary from place to place. It is a pleasant tasting sauce and a fragrant mix of sweet and spice, which makes it the perfect accompaniment for something salty, such as wrinkly potatoes or croquettes. If you want to recreate this at home, then you can tailor the heat to match your palette, just by adding in a little more hot pepper.
• 1 Bulb of garlic
• 2 hot peppers (chopped finely with the seeds removed)
• 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon of paprika
• 4 tablespoons of vinegar
• 16 tablespoons of olive oil
• Salt for seasoning
• A little mineral water (optional)
First, peel, crush and finely chop the garlic cloves. Next, grind the chopped garlic, cumin and peppers in a mortar and pestle, until they form a soft paste. Next, slowly add the paprika, oil and vinegar and stir well. Taste and add a little salt if required. (Dilute with the mineral water if you want your sauce to go further). Serve by placing your wrinkly potatoes in a terracotta bowl and pour the mojo over the top. Alternatively, place the Mojo in a little dish and serve it on the side.
Mojo Verde Recipe
This is a fresh tasting sauce, with a mild yet tangy taste. It compliments most tapas and has a wonderful fragrant aroma. It also works particularly well with fish.
• 1 Head of Garlic
• 1 Bunch of Coriander
• 50ml of vinegar
• 250ml of olive oil
• 1 Teaspoon of Cumin
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley ( optional )
Take a pestle and mortar and add in the garlic, salt, cumin and vinegar. Crush it all together until combined. Next, add in the finely chopped coriander leaves and add the oil little by little. Mix well, crushing and you stir to release the oils from the coriander into the sauce. This is easier in a food processor or mixer. Finally, taste and season accordingly, then serve in a little bowl, alongside the tapas of your choice.
The white, creamy dip that you will be served is not technically Canarian and actually originates from the Spanish mainland. However, it is a very popular dip across all of the Canaries and the Balearic islands, so you are likely to see it on most menus. The name ‘Alioli’ means ‘garlic’ and ‘oil’ in Catalan and Provençal, and was introduced to the islands by seafaring folk, centuries ago. From its appearance, you may be fooled into thinking that is it an ‘Aioli’ or garlic mayonnaise, but actually there are no eggs used in its production at all. However, it does taste like a garlic mayonnaise and is a fabulous way to start your meal, especially when enjoyed with thick chunks of freshly baked, crusty bread.
• 4 cloves of garlic
• Olive oil
• Lemon juice
Add the garlic and salt into a mortar and use the pestle to smash it, until the garlic begins to turn into a smooth paste. Add in some lemon juice and mix again. Next, slowly, drip in the olive oil, whilst continuously mashing and stirring. Keep turning the mortar as you work in a circular motion. Eventually the mixture will begin to thicken and turn into a smooth, creamy consistency. When thickened, cover and chill until you are ready to serve.
The Easy Options
If you don’t have all the ingredients in your cupboard or just fancy trying Mojo that is already made for you, then there are a couple of links below for you. There area lot of different versions to chose from, many of which are widely available in Fuerteventura and can be found in all good supermarkets. So, if you want a quick fix and do not have the time to make them yourself, grab a few jars and a fresh, crusty loaf and enjoy!
And if you fancy trying them with Papas Arrugadas, then the simple recipe is here too.
Let me know what you think by leving me a comment below and any questions… please just get in touch.