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Stocking a Spanish Kitchen

How to Equip Your Kitchen Like a Spaniard

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Carbon Steel Paella Pans in Various Sizes

Carbon Steel Paella Pans in Various Sizes

(c) 2013 Lisa Sierra Licensed to About.com Inc.
Garlic Press

Pricegrabber Garlic Press

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Preparing Spanish food does not need special kitchen tools. It requires a basic, well-equipped kitchen. The following are essential items for cooking in a Spanish kitchen.

  • Bottle opener - For wines.
  • Can Opener - A good quality, heavy can opener.

  • Ceramic or clay pots - These traditional dishes are a nice addition to the kitchen tools. Look for good quality dishes that can be used on the stove, in the oven, or on the BBQ. They are available in various sizes for cocidos (stews), and other oven-baked casserole dishes.

  • Colander - A metal or plastic colander, large enough to drain a pound package of pasta or a couple dozen clams after scrubbing.

  • Cutting boards - Solid wooden or plastic cutting boards, used for various tasks.

  • Espresso pot - To prepare strong coffee, particularly useful in coffee-flavored desserts.

  • Flour sifter - A basic sifter for flour or powdered sugar. It does not need to be large.

  • Frying pans - Many Spanish dishes are fried or sauteed in frying pans. At least one cast-iron skillet or large, heavy frying pan about 12-14 inches, another for smaller one for making omelets, 8-10 inches. 

  • Garlic press – A sturdy, metal press - one designed to press cloves without having to peel them.

  • Hand mixer or food processor – Either of these can be super helpful to any cook. No need to buy a budget-busting mixer or processor.  A basic version will do.

  • Knives - Paring, slicing, carving, bread, etc. A set of good quality knives is essential.

  • Mixing bowls - 3-4 in a variety of sizes.

  • Mortar and pestle - For crushing garlic and making pastes. This is indispensable for making sauces and traditional dishes, such as romesco sauce.

  • Olive oil can or heavy mason jar - For the storing leftover oil.

  • Paella pan - For cooking paella.

  • Pots and pans - A variety of pans, from small saucepans to stew pots, standard sizes with heavy bottoms.

  • Poultry shears or meat clever - For cutting chicken.

  • Pressure cooker - To speed up the cooking process of stews, etc. The typical Spanish cook uses a pressure cooker to make many traditional Spanish dishes in a fraction of the time it took their grandma.

  • Ramekins - For flan, Spanish custard with caramel sauce. They are small, round porcelain dishes, perfect for making single servings of a variety of custards and desserts, including crema catalana.

  • Roasting pans - For oven roasting meats.

  • Rolling pin - For dough.

  • Spatulas - For a variety of tasks.

  • Spoons - At least 2 large serving spoons and a slotted spoon.

  • Stick Blender - For making sauces, mayonnaise or quick blending, whipping or beating. This is particularly helpful when making alioli or creamy soups.

  • Tongs - For turning hot meats and other food.

  • Vegetable Peeler - For potatoes, carrots.

  • Whisk - For beating eggs, cream and sauces.

  • Wooden Spoons - Several sizes, used for many types of cooking.

Gift Ideas

  • Top Gifts for the Spanish Food Enthusiast, Fabulous Gift Ideas for Spanish Foodies Who Love to Say ¡Ole!  From paella pans to churro makers and wine openers, there is something for everyone, and every budget.
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