Time for Catalonia food experience :).
In a previous post you could read about us going to Stockholm and being a part of a Gastronomy experience. Now it is time to review the press conference and let you know all about it.
The reason for the press conference was that the Catalan Tourist Board has declared 2016 as the year of Gastronomy and Wine tourism.
First things first…
Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, located in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-largest city in Spain and the center of one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe and the Mediterranean basin.
After arriving it was time for some mingling with other visitors and exhibitors and after that we were escorted into a room where we, not only got information about Catalan food, but we also got to put on aprons and learn a bit of cooking ourselves. We made Xató, that was really good.
After that, we got to see the master chef performing magic in front of our eyes and we got to taste his dishes as well. As if this was not enough of food… then it was time for the actual tasting with was not less then 14 – yes 14 different dishes for us to try out. The food was coming in all the time and there were wines to taste as well. I was to excited about the food to be able to mingle and I was quite full after the tasting.
One of the very interesting things I learned is that instead of using salt in Catalan cooking, they use sea saltwater that is distilled = a great idea!
This is what we got to eat:
And now after showing you all these great dishes we now give you a recipe for Catalan Fideuá so that you can make some Catalan food yourself.
And to be honest… I can’t wait to go to Catalonia and continue exploring their food!
Table of Contents
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- ½ pound small shrimp, shell on
- 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 small dried hot red peppers, or use 1 pinch cayenne
- ½ teaspoon fennel seed
- ½ teaspoon coriander seed
- 1 large bay leaf
- A few thyme sprigs
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ pounds meaty bones from cod, snapper or halibut, rinsed (or use boneless fish chunks)
- 12 clams
- 1 pound mussels, cleaned
FOR THE FIDEUÀ
- 1 pound fideus noodles (dry), or use Italian fedelini or spaghettini
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of saffron crumbled into 1/4 cup water
- 1 pound mussels, cleaned, for garnish
- ½ pound large shrimp, shell on, for garnish (optional)
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Allioli, for garnish
- Make the broth: Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add small shrimp, garlic, hot pepper, fennel, coriander, bay leaf and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper, stir to coat and cook 2 minutes more.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook 5 minutes, until mixture begins to look dry. Add fish bones, clams, 1 pound mussels and 8 cups water; cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
- Strain through a sturdy mesh sieve into another pot, pushing on solids with a wooden spoon. Discard solids and keep strained broth hot. Taste for salt. The broth should be well seasoned. (Can be made ahead, though eat it within 24 hours, or you can freeze it.)
- Make the fideuà: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put fideus noodles in a large roasting pan or baking sheet. (If using Italian pasta, break it into 2-inch lengths first.) Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil over noodles and toss with hands to coat. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, turning with tongs if necessary until noodles are golden brown. (May be done in advance.)
- Place a cazuela or wide heavy pot on the stove. Add toasted noodles, pressing down a bit. Ladle 3 cups hot broth over noodles and bring to a boil. Push down on the noodles with a wooden spoon as they soften into the broth. Add saffron-infused water and cook for a minute, then stir to mix. Add enough hot broth to cover pasta by 1 inch. Lower heat and cook at a simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more broth (and adjust heat) if mixture dries out.
- Scatter remaining 1 pound mussels over the top, then push them down until barely submerged. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until shells open. Turn off heat. The noodles should be cooked but firm, and the mixture a little soupy.
- If using the large shell-on shrimp, season them and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes per side.
- Ladle into individual soup plates. Mix the parsley with the orange zest. Garnish fideus with shrimp, if using, the parsley mixture and a spoonful of allioli.
Thank you so much for a wonderful evening!!!