This dessert is part of the culinary heritage of northwestern Spain. Very few people know consuming this delicious dish once led to the deaths of Spanish Jews and conversos during the Spanish Inquisition. Often made with breadcrumbs instead of flour, the dish is mentioned in the book La Lozana Andaluza by Spanish converso Francisco Delicado. In the story, the Andalusian conversa Aldonza arrives in Rome after fleeing the Spanish Inquisition and remembers how she learned to prepare nuegados from her grandmother.
3 tsp. olive oil
Peel of 1⁄2 lemon and orange
2 cups flour
1⁄4 cup ground almonds
1⁄4 cup ground walnuts
1 tsp. white wine (optional)
1 tsp. sugar
1⁄4 tsp. baking powder
neutral oil for frying
1 cup honey
1 tsp. orange blossom water (optional)
- With a knife, peel the whole lemon and orange (without taking the pith). Add the peels to a frying pan with the olive oil.
- Being careful not to burn the peels, fry over low heat for 3 minutes. Let cool.
- Chop the orange and lemon peels. Keep the flavored oil.
- Put the flour, ground almonds and walnuts into a large bowl, making a well in the center.
- Add the eggs, white wine (if using), sugar, and flavored oil. Mix with a spoon, starting from the center and working outward.
- Add the baking powder.
- Put in a stand mixer with the hook attachment for 5 minutes or knead by hand for 10 minutes. You can add more flour if the dough is too sticky, but do not add too much or it will lose its elasticity.
- Form long, thin rolls from the dough, roughly the thickness of your finger. The dough will dry out a bit and will be easier to handle.
- Cut each strand into smaller chunks, roughly the width of a fingernail, with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.
- Heat the neutral oil in a frying pan or in a fryer at medium temperature.
- Fry all pieces until they are golden. Be careful, they cook very quickly! Take them out of the oil and put them on a paper towel.
- Heat the honey and orange blossom water in a saucepan. Do not let it boil.
- Prepare a large plate for the nuegados. You can also arrange them in portions using small cupcake or muffin liners.
- Stir the small fried pieces in the hot honey for 1 minute in batches. When they're done, take them out with a skimmer.
- Put the fried pieces on the plate or in the paper liners and let cool.