Monday, October 15, 2007

What I bought in Barcelona

I'll blog about them as I eat them

Barcelona Cooking Class

Teacher Bego Sanchis at Cook and Taste Cooking School in Barcelona

I attended a few cooking classes in Barcelona. I believe Cook and Taste was the best one.

We learned to make Paella. It was surprising to me that rice used for paella have to be short grained rice. The name of traditionally used rice is called "BOMBA" and they are very expensive. I really think it makes big difference in texture. I never saw it in the US before so I brought it back from Spain. It was very difficult for me to find Bomba in Barcelona. I went to 3 regular super market but I couldn't find it. I finally went to a gourmet food shop in El Corte Ingles to find it.
For some reasons, Japanese people believes that we have to use long grained lice for paella and Pilaf. We Japanese tend to think short grain lice is the sticky kind of rice often used for sushi. But their is a few types of non sticky short grain rice variety such as Bomba and Arborio.
I usually keep at least 5 kind of rice. Right now I have 1) Koshikikari (considered best variety of Japanese rice) 2) Arborio (for risotto) 3) Bosmati 4) Jasmin 5) Broken Jasmin (for Porridge) 6) Bomba.
While I was in Barcelona, I also purchased paella pan. I bought one for 2 people and one for 4-5 people. They were very reasonable costing under 5 euro each. Only problem was it was hard to carry them home...

I used it a few times already.....

Here is the recipe for perfect paella recipe. I changed the recipe from Cook and Taste Cooking School little...

PAELLA DE MARISCO (seafood paella)

Ingredients (4 servings)

8 Prawns
2 Squids (or cuttlefish) -cleaned and cut into rings
1 Pound total of Clams and / or Mussels
2 or 3 cloves of Garlic - peeled and crushed
1 Tomato. - peeled and minced
6 Tablespoons of olives oil (not virgin)
1 Pound of Bomba rice ( or non-sticky short grain rice)
4 1/2 cup of fish stock
8-10 saffrons

Heat the oil in the pan and fry the prawns until slightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the tomato in the same hot oil and fry them till they become one over low heat (20 minuets) Add garlic and fry some more. Add saffron.

Stir in the stock and bring it to a boil. Add the rice and distribute it evenly. RICE CAN'T BE TOUCHED beyond the point! Cook it over medium heat.

Put All the seafood including prawns on top nicely.

Cook it over medium heat for 8 minutes rotating and swirling the pan to distribute the heat evenly. Reduce heat to minimum and cook 10 more minutes.

Let it stand for about 5 minutes covered with foil before serving.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

La Boqueria, Barcelona Spain

La Boqueria, Barcelona Spain

I enjoyed eating fresh seafood in Barcelona. Not only they have many choices but also they were very fresh. Spanish people, like French and Italian, are very passionate about food. I have visited a hole in a wall bar for tapas to a high end beach-side Asian fusion restaurant in Barcelona and food tasted very fresh and tasty everywhere. Almost all of the restaurant had variety of seafood dishes.

I've realized they uses a lot of cuttlefish and squid. I love them so much. Only miner problem I found was that they don't pull off the thin skin like we Japanese do. Also I don't think they eat cuttlefish / squid raw. My favorite way to eat them are raw (sashimi) with soy sauce with fresh wasabi. Spanish people also uses cuttlefish / squid ink just like Japanese to flavor dishes. I think squid ink make a dish richer and more rounded.

One of most popular Spanish dish using squid ink is called Arrozo Negro (Black Rice) since the color of Paella turns completely black.

Recipi for ARROZ NEGRO - provided by Cook and Taste

Ingredients (4 serves)

600 gr of squid

1 big onion, peeled and chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tomatoes, peeled and minced

6 tablespoons of olive oil

400 gr of rice (1 pound / 14 oz)

1,1 l of fish stock (4.4 cups)

8-10 saffron threats or colouring

Clean the squid and cut them in rings. Get the ink from their ink bags and set aside.Heat the oil in the pan and fry the squid rings over medium heat. Take them out when they begin to curl and then add the onion into the pan. Cook it over medium heat for some minutes. Then add the tomato and fry slightly. After some more minutes, add the chopped garlic and fry over medium heat.When the tomato starts to burn, stir in the rice and the squid ink and mix well.In the meanwhile, heat up the stock. Incorporate it into the pan when it boils.Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for (+/-) 8 minutes, rotating and swirling the pan to distribute the heat evenly. Reduce heat to minimum and cook (+/-) 10 more minutes.Let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving.