More Spanish Inspiration

As promised in my previous blog post, I have been trying to recreate the tastes of Spain in my own kitchen.

According to our tour guides, Spain is known for paprika. So, of course I brought some home. I chose smoked paprika since I’m already a big fan, but now I wish I had also picked up some plain paprika. Next trip, I’ll get both. For now, I’ve been cooking up a storm with the smoked variety. 


Mackerel is a popular fish in Spain, so I decided it was time to try it out. I had never prepared this oily fish before, but I know that it’s high in omega 3s and low in mercury, and I’ve been wanting to incorporate it into our diet.


I did a little research to come up with ideas that resulted in this very simple recipe using the main flavors I associate with Spain (or maybe it’s really Barcelona)—olive oil, garlic, and paprika. I’ve made this dish twice now, once by mixing the ingredients together and rubbing them onto the fish:


And once by sprinkling each ingredient on top and rubbing them in with my fingers:


I ended up writing the recipe the latter way, but I haven’t actually decided if that will be the final version. I’ve included the recipe below, or you can go to the recipe section for a Print Friendly version. 

On my second try, I had some leftover rice, so I seasoned it with the same three ingredients that I will now call the Spanish Trinity: olive oil, garlic, and paprika. I added a chopped tomato and voilá! (I know, that’s French, but I don’t know the Spanish translation. Feel free to comment below if you know.) I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do! And don’t forget to check out our recipe for Smoked Paprika Chicken.



Yields 2 servings  

*** Easy!

$$$ Moderate

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes

Tools: baking sheet, parchment paper (optional), measuring spoons, knife and cutting board

2 (6-ounce) mackerel fillets

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Paprika (smoked recommended)


1 garlic clove


Preheat oven to 450°F.


1. Line the baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and spray with oil. Place mackerel fillets on the paper. (Alternatively, spray the baking sheet with oil and continue without parchment paper.)

2. Drizzle olive oil over the fillets and brush or rub to evenly coat surface.

3. Sprinkle generously with paprika and salt.

4. Mince garlic and sprinkle over mackerel. Rub into fish with fingers.

5. Place in hot oven and cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until done.  



Garnish with a lemon wedge and cilantro if desired. Serve with Spanish Rice and a salad.



Yields 2 (3/4-cup) servings

           “One evening I wanted to liven up some leftover rice, and since I was making Spanish Mackerel, I just used the spices I already had handy. It was an instant hit!” ~Bobbi 

*** Easy! 

$$$ Inexpensive! 

Prep Time: 10 minutes, start to finish

Tools: knife and cutting board, small (8-inch) skillet, measuring cups and spoons


1 garlic clove

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon paprika (smoked recommended)

1 small tomato

Salt to taste

1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice


1. Mince garlic.

2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat, then add smoked paprika and garlic, stirring frequently.

3. Chop tomato and add to skillet, along with salt. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Add cooked rice and stir until warmed through.



Serve as a side to Spanish Mackerel, or any grilled fish or chicken.

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™