Saturday, June 1, 2013


The feria season in Spain has begun! Starting with the April feria in Sevilla, on into May with the romería of Rocío, the horse fair of Jerez and, this week, the grand feria of Córdoba, it’s time to get out the traje de flamenca, flouncy flamenco dress, and brush up on your sevillanas and fandangos. Get the horses, if you’ve got them, groomed and ready for parading. Believe me, feria in Andalusia has nothing to do with tourists. It’s the year’s biggest event for the locals.

The flamenco dress has evolved from a tight-fitting, polka-dotted dress with a flouncy skirt, worn by gypsy dancers, to high fashion frocks worn by Andaluzas of all sizes. The feria season is preceded with designer fashion shows featuring the season’s new styles—different necklines, sleeve and skirt lengths, fringe, ruffles, colors and prints. This year’s styles tend to saturated solid colors—tangerine, fuchsia, turquoise—with deeply plunging backs and tiers of ruffles exploding from the hips. Wow. Get your faralaes on! (Faralaes, plural of faralá, are flounces.)

Flamenquines are fried pork rolls with ham and cheese.

This week’s recipe has a bit of feria flounce, too. Flamenquines are crispy, fried pork rolls with a stuffing of ham and cheese. OK, I really don’t know why they are called flamenquín, which could mean “little gypsy,” or “little Flemish person” or “little flamingo.” But, probably not.

Flamenquines, a tapa bar favorite, supposedly originated in Jaén or Córdoba. While it has many variations, the one I first tasted in Jaén remains my favorite—pork cutlets rolled around ham and cheese. The rolls are breaded and fried until crisp.

I made an experimental roll with a few spinach leaves laid on top of the cheese slice. Very good. You could try also a strip of roasted red pepper or a cooked spear of asparagus in the filling. 

To fry the rolls, heat the olive oil until shimmering, but not smoking. Put a few rolls at a time into the skillet, turn them to seal on all sides. Then lower the heat to medium and fry on all sides until golden-brown. This way the pork cooks thoroughly in the time the crust browns.

Serve the flamenquines with alioli (garlic mayonnaise), with a spicy tomato sauce, with chutney or simply with a wedge of lemon.

Flouncy Fried Pork Rolls

Makes 6 rolls.

Layer pork, ham and cheese.
6 thinly sliced boneless pork or veal cutlets (about 1 ¼ pounds)
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley
Thyme leaves (optional)
Thin slices of serrano or cooked ham (3-4 ounces)
6 slices cheese (such as Manchego)
½ cup flour
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
¾ cup fine dry bread crumbs
Olive oil for frying

Place the cutlets between layers of plastic wrap and pound them to a thickness of ¼ inch. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley and thyme, if using.

Across each cutlet lay strips of ham and a slice of cheese. Starting with the wide edge, roll up the cutlets, jelly-roll style, tucking in the edges. If necessary,  secure the rolls with toothpicks.

Place the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in 3 shallow bowls. Dredge the rolls first in the flour, patting off excess. Then put them in the dish of beaten egg, coating them well. Let excess egg drip off, then roll them in the bread crumbs, taking special care to seal the ends with egg and crumbs. Let the rolls dry for at least 30 minutes. The rolls can be prepared in advance and refrigerated, but bring them to room temperature before cooking.

Heat oil in a skillet to a depth of ½ inch. Fry the rolls, a few at a time, until they are browned and crisp on all sides, about 4 minutes total. The meat should be cooked through and the cheese melted. Drain briefly on paper toweling and serve hot.

These rolls have spinach leaves too.


  1. Janet, sorry to contact you here but I don't know of another way. I live in Alabama and it's growing season. I want to try Judias like the kind used for Judiones de la Granja. Do you think if I buy some from La Tienda or the like, I could plant them and have them produce? Do you know of the specific variety of bean used? I must have judiones!!

    1. NLemonds: Why don't you try planting the judiones from La Tienda and let us know if they germinate. Or, search on-line for a Spanish seed supplier.

  2. Janet, I'll try it and let you know...I ordered from La Espanola Meats. I'm really excited!!
    PS - I found two of your books at a used bookstore today and snatched them up! One was a 1989 4th printing of "Cooking in Spain". Reading and re-reading while dreaming of Spain.
    ...I'll let you know about the beans. Is this the best way to contact you?

    1. NLemonds: Good luck with the beans! You can contact me thru the blog, that way your bean experiences can be shared with other readers. Very cool that you found the cookbooks in a used bookstore. COOKING IN SPAIN was first published in 1987! It came out in a new edition a few years ago.