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Catalan Romesco Sauce is a Spanish dip that goes with any grilled poultry, fish, egg or vegetable. Made of roasted tomatoes, garlic, hazelnut, almond and a red pepper with a touch of paprika. A perfect condiment for BBQ season! A Catalan ritual This nutty sauce originates from Tarragona, about an hour south of Barcelona, Spain. The chances are… if you visit and try any restaurant on the outskirts of the city you’ll end up with romesco sauce on your plate. It’s generally eaten with grilled meat, fish or veggies but also on their famous patatas bravas with some aioli. The Catalan rural houses often have a grilling spot in their backyard where in winter months they do Calçotadas. The equivalent of a Sunday brunch… Catalans have this ritual consisting in grilling these special long onions, called calçots. Usually, served with some barbecued meat and veggies while sipping on good wine all afternoon…

The ultimate tapa for Catalans, pa amb tomaquet, or Spaniards, pan con tomate, is the simplest and most beloved of tapas, a lightly grilled bread with tomato, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and if you wish: a little garlic flair to it. Pan con Tomate Tapa – Pa amb Tomaquet (Catalan) If you’ve ever set foot in Barcelona or its region, you probably saw this Pan con Tomate or Pa amb tomaquet on every single table. Omit to order it at the restaurant… surely your waiter will ask you if you want some with your meal. It’s simply inconceivable not to order it. Pan con tomate or its Catalan term Pa amb tomàquet is such an integral part of their culture. So popular, to the point of having a book written about it, by Leopold Pomés called Teoria i práctica del pa amb tomàquet. You know it’s a serious matter when a…

This authentic Sangria Española without added sugar contains some apple, peach and orange pieces, plus a little fizz, in the end, to make it extra festive! The word Sangria comes from the word “Sangre” which means blood, therefore a traditional sangria should be the colour of blood. Nowadays, there are tons of different variations of sangria out there, some made with white wine others sparkling wines and all kinds of fruits. However, the original version, the traditional Sangria Española, is and will always be the ultimate summer star! Sangria’s Origin Sangria’s origin is not clear, some say it was a way to upgrade the lowest grad wines from Southern Spain by adding fruits (sugars) which would help balance the sharpness. Others say, it was an invention of British sailors, bringing along with them some Spanish wine to the Caribbeans and mixing it up with rum and fruits. Truth be told,…

A Salmon & grilled Asparagus with Romesco Sauce on a bed of quinoa topped with a nutty Romesco Sauce is a great way to bring a healthy Mediterranean sun to your plate. Salmon & grilled Asparagus with Romesco Sauce is the perfect set of Spanish flavours. This gorgeous orange sauce is a rich, nutty and ultra-healthy one. Suitable for the BBQ this recipe is inspired by charred veggies with Romesco, which is popular in Catalunya. The Romesco sauce can be found in jars in European markets if not, here is my recipe! Catalan Romesco Sauce The idea here was to showcase the Romesco sauce and grilled asparagus altogether. It could have been a piece of grilled chicken fillet, omelette on top or nothing at all and it would have been as delicious. Romesco is a typical Catalan sauce consisting of roasted tomatoes, pepper pulp, paprika and roasted nuts (almonds and hazelnuts)…

Fried Eggplant with Honey is a popular vegetarian tapa in Spain. Nice crunchy eggplants deep fried in olive oil and finished up with a sprinkle of salt and good quality honey. Ever wondered about nice authentic vegetarian tapas ? This crunchy Fried Eggplant with Honey tapa is what you are looking for! Called ‘Berenjena con miel’ in Spanish this tapa originate from the south of Spain. Nowadays, you’ll find it in about every tapas bar in Spain. It’s usually served with a nice honey or a darker cane syrup and a nice sprinkle of salt. A great sweet and salty dish! Golden rule of deep frying with olive oil Knowing the common eggplants contains lots of water which makes them often saggy once cooked, the only way to make them relatively firm and crisp is by coating them in a light coat of flour and breadcrumbs and fry them up at high…

Spanish Burger got a thick patty made of minced pork, paprika, parsley and garlic topped with manchego cheese, roasted bell pepper and a nutty homemade Romesco sauce to give this burger an “Olé” touch! This Spanish burger taste like Spain, with a lovely pork patty filled with sunny spices, a bit like chorizo style. A really traditional recipe filled with Spanish flavours. They would be great also as tapas, a smaller version would make fantastic little bites. The patties In Spain, pork is king! It’s everywhere, sandwiches, hams, meatballs, stuffing, etc. Plus, beef is pricy so they often use a mix of pork and beef or solely minced pork to make their burgers. Surprisingly juicy and tasty, these patties bring a whole new perspective on burgers. On top of that, I’ve spiced the patty up ‘chorizo’ style! Meaning I’ve added some lovely paprika powder to the meat, giving it a sunny touch. The…

These Galician Scallops also known as Zamburiñas are exquisite especially served with a smooth white wine béchamel and a crunchy Iberic ham! Surf and Turf at its best! The Variegated Scallops, called Zamburiñas in Spain, are a small variety of scallops about half smaller than normal scallops. Check the picture below to see the difference. Those mollusks are changing sex many times during their lifetime to end up male. Which I find strange because ‘shell’ or “Concha” in Spanish means “the lady part” in South America… Well, let’s leave it to that! The Coral In Spain, the coral (roe) is also eaten, especially with this smaller variety of scallops. The coral is that orange part lying on the side of the scallop, with Zamburiñas way more tender than the usual scallops. If you make the recipe with normal-sized scallops, you should avoid leaving them in, they are usually quite rough to eat. Otherwise,…

“Coca” is a Catalan, or northern Mediterranean coast of Spain, traditional dish. In other words, it’s a Catalan Pizza made with a touch of olive oil resulting into a crusty soft bread sometimes thick and other times thin and crunchy. They do all kind of “Cocas” in Catalonia, from sweet to savoury, minis to long and large, thin to thick and most of the time into rectangular form. One of my favorite is the “Coca de recapte” which means “leftovers coca” and mainly it is an eggplant, onion and pepper in escalivada (smoky, roasted veggie) but it could also contain meat, etc. because its name says it… it’s “a leftovers” coca. This version of coca, I’ve posted here, is a similar one although I’ve added a touch of goat cheese (my leftovers of the day) and let go of the whole roasting part. Cutting the cooking time by 1 hour. You could also add anchovy to…

This vegetarian paella is filled with mediterranean vegetables; zucchinis, onion, garlic, bell pepper and the famous smokey paprika from Spain (pimentón de la Vera). Paella is a great dish, you can make it with whatever you feel like, the base though usually stays the same, the sofrito, which is fried onion in olive oil and garlic and the pulp from a tomato, you let it reduce and this is the main base for any paella. In Spain, they say 1 out of 100 paellas are made with saffron… because of it’s price, instead they use paprika, coloring powder or the paste of dried capsicums (ñora, choricero and piquillo). Those four dried peppers are the base to the famous paprika (pimentón), the ñora and choricero are sweet and quite similar in taste, the Mediterranean coast uses more the ñora, which is rounder, while the west uses the choricero, a long and sweet pepper. The Piquillo is a mildly spicy one, and…

Monkfish in saffron-sherry sauce and dried tomatoes is a dish inspired by a southern Spanish dish called Cazón en amarillo. Cazón is a small shark (school shark), a traditional dish from Andalusia, but since those are becoming hard to come by, I’ve exchange it for monkfish or as they call it in Spain “chicken of the sea”. The recipe is usually served with fried potato in a stew style terra cotta pot. My personal touch is the dried tomatoes, which give that dish some extra color and also a welcomed salty touch that contrast good the wheaty saffron flavor. The base of the sauce is the most important part here, it’s a “tipico Spanish” base sauce, which is called sofrito. It consist mainly of softening a finely chopped onion, garlic in olive oil and reduce the juice of a grated tomato to a paste, then you add whatever liquid to it like; wine,…

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