In Catalunya, all kitchens have a terracotta or iron casserole, frying pans , a mortar and pestle to prepare “picades” and sauces , and a set of wooden spoons. The oil and vinegar set is on the table with the Catalan “porró” ( traditional glass pitcher ) .
The “mocador de fer farcells”, a cloth used to wrap everything, now covers de table. The satt cellar is next to the stoves and a pot of parsley is by the sink.
Ingredients: onion, ripe tomatoes, olive oil, and salt
Preparation: Finely chop the onion and place it in a pan heated with olive oil. When the onion has turned golden brown, add the very finely chopped ripe tomato and a pinch of salt. Add a tablespoon of water if the mixture goes dry. It mus be cooked down to a marmalade-like consistency
Variations: you can add garlic, letting it turn golden brown just before adding the tomato. For very specific stewed dishes, add pepper soon after the onion.
This consists of pounding different ingredients with a pestle and mortar into a paste which is added to the stew. Garlic, parsley, almonds , hazelnuts, toasted bread are the most common, but there are also picades with pine nuts, saffron , dried red bell pepper flesh, chocolate, chicken and fish liver, among others . You can thin it down with a little liquid, such as wine, water or stock. A recipe with “picada” must specify the ingredients and when to add it to the stew.
Ingredients: 6 grilled tomatoes, 2 red bell peppers blanched, 1/2 garlic head grilled, 1/2 tsp paprika, 15g roasted almonds, 15g roasted hazelnuts, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper
Preparation: Blend togehter the peeled and seeded tomatoes, peeled garlic, pepper flesh, almonds, hazelnuts and paprika while gradually adding the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Ingredients: 2 soaked red bell peppers, 1 ripe tomato, 4 garlic grilled cloves, 1 slice fried break, 1/2 glass mellow wine, 6 roasted hazelnuts, 6 roasted almonds, olive oil
Preparation: in a mortar, crush the peeled garlic cloves, almonds hazelnuts, fried break and pepper flesh. When you have a smooth mixture , add the peeled and seeded tomatoes and wine. In a frying pan with very hot oil, lightly fry the mixture so that the pepper does not burn. Add water to thin the mixture and put it in a casserole. When it comes to the boil, add the fish , meat or vegetables of your choice.