All posts tagged: cooking

Codfish in blue mold

Bacallà amb verdures – Codfish with vegetables

Inspired again by the Catalan kitchen, this time we want to the the following recipe codfish with vegetables. Codfish is dried fish and was essential food for sailors and soldiers. Because of its preservation, it is non-perishable. Try it out and enjoy your meal!

Ingredients:

800 g of cod
1 lemo
100 g of flour
olive oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 small eggplants
2 small courgettes
2 onions
2 big tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
1 branch of rosemary

Colourful vegetables

After washing, cut the vegetables into small pieces.

Preparation:

Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on the codfish (fresh or well watered) and then roll it in flour. Fry from all sides in hot olive oil.

Codfish in olive oil

Fry the filets in hot olive oil.

Cut the vegetables into small cubes. Heat olive oil in a wok. Sauté onions and peppers. Then, add the rest of the vegetables and the garlic. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the vegetables in an ovenproof dish and put the fish with rosemary on top of it. Let it cook in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes until firm to bite.


Traditionally, the vegetables ragout is served on top of the codfish. However, we do it the other way round and put the fish on top of the vegetables.

Plate ready to eat

The meal is served. Enjoy!

Ice cream with frozen berries

Where does ice cream come from?

The temperatures are rising and so is our appetite for some tasty ice cream. But have you ever wondered where it does come from? We did some research. You won’t believe what have found out.

Once upon a time in China

Ice cream as we know it today has its origins in China and Greece, not in Italy, as you may think. 3000 years ago, they used snow and mixed it with spices and honey.
The Italian trader Marco Polo finally brought the recipe to Europe, where it soon turned into a delicious speciality. Thanks also to the cooling effect of saltpetre, which was discovered later.
Soon afterwards, various recipes with rose water, cinnamon, chocolate were spread.
In the 18th century, the first real ice cream parlour opened. Its breakthrough however came with the invention of Carl von Lindes refrigerating machine, the predecessor from today’s fridge.

Fruit ice cream

The ice cold refreshment has its origin in China, really surprising!

Ice cream burger

In Girona, for example, you can try some real extravagant variations in the famous ice cream parlour of the Roca brothers, owners of one of the best restaurants in the world (currently no. 3 on the list) El Celler de Can Roca. There, you can order an ice cream burger consisting of two brioche rolls, filled with your preferred ice cream and topping, and heated up in an waffle iron. Try it!

Ice cream in a roll

It may sounds strange to eat ice cream with bread, but the panet is really tasty.

If you rather prefer to make your own ice cream, here is an easy recipe and the best thing is: you don’t need an ice cream machine!

For example with quark:

Recipe for home-made ice cream

The preparation is super fast and easy and the self-made ice cream is low-fat, rich in protein and each portion only has 88 calories.
Just purée 150 g of low-fat quark, a tsp of honey and 150 g of frozen fruits like strawberries or other wild berries with a hand blender. Afterwards, garnish with fresh fruits and serve immediately! If you want to prepare frozen yogurt, use Greek yogurt instead of quark. If you don’t count calories, use some whipped cream. Simply delicious!

Frozen wild berries

The best thing about this recipe, you don’t need an ice cream machine to make your own delicious ice cream.

Finished ice cream

Decorate the ice cream with some fresh fruits and enjoy! Bon appetit!

Ready to eat

Stuffed squids (Calamars Farcits)

Inspired by the Catalonian kitchen, we wanted to try stuffed squid, a traditional recipe of Catalonia. The ingredients are simple and also the preparation is very easy. Try it out!

Ingredients:

1 kg of squids
250 g minced meat
1 onion
2 small tomatoes or chopped tinned tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 egg
salt and pepper
herbs as you prefer (parsley, basil, thyme)
olive oil
flour
a little bit of white wine

Preparation:

Clean the squid carefully, pat it dry, remove the fin and tentacles and cut them very finely for the stuffing.
For the stuffing, finely dice the onion and the garlic and then mix it with the minced meat, chopped tentacles, salt, a little bit of pepper, egg and
chopped parsley.
Stuff the squid and secure with a toothpick. Afterwards, roll in flour.
Heat some oil in a pan. Fry the squid from all sides and add the chopped tomatoes. Add white wine and allow to simmer over low heat. Add the herbs and season well. Cover it and allow to stew. Turn them once. Remove the lid and allow the sauce to simmer.
Before serving, strew some parsley on it and serve with salad or rice. Bon appetit!

Catalonias all-rounder – rice (arroz)

Tradition and modernity

What is your first impression when hearing the term rice? Asia? South America? Paella?

Exactly – but was anybody thinking of Catalonia? Because you definitely should! Catalonia is not only known for its beautiful Costa Brava or world-famous footballers. It is also known for its extraordinary cuisine and its excellent rice which grows in the region for centuries. The municipality of Pals is one of the most visited places in the interior of the Costa Brava and mostly estimated for its rice cultivation. Specific conditions such as the smooth climate, plenty of sunlight, fresh water and long experience of the rice farmers are the foundation for an excellent reputation, even outside of Spain.

bounded rice-plant

The rice will be collected after harvesting

 

From wetlands into worldwide cuisines

Between mosses and water mouths of the rivers Fluvià, Ter and Muga it was able to create a tradition since the 15th century. Even at that time the product was of high availability and could be used for a plenty of dishes. Presently, Pals shelters three producers of rice who cultivate a total of seven different types. About 7 million kg of the rice produced in this region are marketed. Especially the varieties Teure and Bahia are bestsellers. Of which importance the grain is for the community is shown by the extra created gastronomic campaign during the months of March and April. Chefs of the most renowned restaurants add their personal touch to traditional rice dishes. On top of that the cereal is very healthy, nutritious and gluten-free. Rice is rich in carbs and can be served as a starter, main course or dessert as well as savoury or sweet. It’s simply an all-rounder of the Catalan and international cuisine.

Arroz de Pals – Riceharvest in Pals

Rice-farmer of Pals

Farmer with a traditional catalan headdress

The process of rice cultivation almost begins in the months of May and June, when the corn get´s planted. During summertime it now has time to mature to be harvested in mid-October with skilful handles. For the small community of Pals it is important to maintain the crop in the most possible traditional way. Mechanization doesn´t matter. Quite the contrary – horses are still an integral part of transporting the harvested rice plants.

Horse and its farmer

Horse and farmer are ready for takeoff

A small party for the local press and those who are interested in rice harvest get´s celebrated at every end of the year. Even this year – on 17 October – at the farm of Carles Mas de Pals. Nearly 200 visitors participated in different workshops.

Baskets in Pals

Baskets on the little market in Pals

A little market offers some in-house products like sweets, traditional basketry and of course the famous rice. But what would a rice festival be without a common meal? A cosy lunch between hay bales and cookware was perfect to enjoy the variety of rice and varied tasty ingredients.

Lonely streets and the smell of late summer

streets and gaps of Pals

Beautiful streets and gaps in Pals

Pals doesn´t only offer unique properties. It’s the perfect mixture of idyllic city life and living close to the beach which makes it special. Due to the fact we are close anyway, we decide to visit the beautiful centre. During summer tourists urge through the winding streets in droves. We are fortunate. Although some passersby are still in town it is really quiet. Scent of lavender is in the air. Sun is shining. The few opened cafés are well attended. It feels like the perfect late summer day. We also enjoy a café con leche in the sun before we continue towards the viewpoint. Along the way we stroll through some of the varied shops. Jewelry, ceramics, clothing. Pretty treasures nearly everywhere. Once on top of the viewpoint you can enjoy a fantastic look to the sea and to the Bay of Montgrí. Without the obligatory provisions we can´t leave Pals . So we get us a couple of Magdalenas. The muffin-like pastries are available in various flavors. From almond and apple to chocolate-nut, lemon and yogurt or classical jam. We´re in heaven and ready for our way home …

For the small and large appetites – traditional rice dishes

Rice is healthy, versatile and one of the most commonly consumed foods in the world. Paella is probably the best known traditional meal in Spain. However Spanish cuisine offers a far greater variety of rice dishes. No limits of imagination. We have prepared our two most

Traditional Paella

Traditional Paella

popular rice recipes and hope you like them as much as we do. Try your own combinations and enjoy! ¡Buen provecho!

Rice in a casserole

What you need for about four persons:

  • 600g rice
  • 400g ripe tomatoes
  • a large potato
  • about 2 medium eggs
  • Cloves of garlic to taste
  • 4 large (sharp) peppers
  • about 2kg different kinds of fish
  • parsley, salt and olive oil

Preparation: first put 2-3 peppers for a few minutes in a pan, then remove from the pan and mash. The fish heads (you can also take parts of fillets) now put in the same oil, simmer briefly, add the tomatoes and the crushed peppers. Now put in the parsley, crush the garlic and the remaining peppers together. Cook the rest of the fish in a pan and mix it with the other ingredients, boil for about half an hour. Then drain. Now the rice is cooked in the separated fish soup. Meanwhile, the potato can be mashed together with a clove of garlic and added to the rice with the egg yolk- mix well! It is now important to stir constantly. Add oil and salt for your individual taste. After another short cooking serve everything in a casserole. Best, top with aioli.

Arroz Negro (black squid risotto)

What you need for 4-6 persons:

  • 600g rice
  • 1.25 L fish stock
  • 0.5 chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • two ripe tomatoes (grated)
  • some parsley
  • half a kilo of squid or jibia
  • paprika, olive oil and salt
  • paella pan

Preparation: put a little salt and oil into the paella pan. When oil is hot add the onion and fry at low heat until it turns golden brown. Afterwards add the squid, a little later the garlic and tomatoes- let it cook for some minutes. Fill in the paprika and some parsley. Smoothly stir the ingredients so that the squid releases its ink. Finally add the rice, fry everything easy and put in the fish. Cook everything strongly for about five minutes and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Make your own tasting with salt.