Escargots à la Provençale

Escargots à la Provençale Daria Souvorova 3 hours 20 minutes serves: 2 We have been celebrating a lot here at Chez Nous Dinners of late! Over the past few weeks, we had our Catalan Dinner celebration, we celebrated Nico’s (my partner’s) 31st birthday with a Moroccan Feast, and the two of us threw ourselves a…

Crema Catalana

I am a lover of Crème Brûlée and was thrilled to learn that the quintessential Catalan dessert, Crema Catalana was very similar in structure to the Crème Brûlée…now to figure out how they are different! Where Crème Brûlée is a cream flavored with Vanilla Beans (check out my recipe for Crème Brûlée here!), Crema Catalana is steeped with a combination of citrus zests and cinnamon.

Most of the recipes I have seen for Crema Catalana call for a cream cooked on the stove top with cornstarch, and I gave several versions a try…they were ok…but I prefer a baked cream, so I incorporated my technique for the Crème Brûlée, for beautiful and consistent results.

Brazo de Gitano Cake with Persimmon Jam

This is the thought process that created our Brazo de Gitano. I saw a lot of rolled cakes during our trip to Barcelona. This cake, sometimes referred top as the Swiss Roll, is as the name implies, from Switzerland, but has made its way into French, Spanish, and Pan-European cuisines. Each culture alters the fillings based on tastes and local produce. In Barcelona, the flavor of the day is Persimmon. I love persimmon and figured it would be a beautiful flavor to finish our dinner.

Escalivada of Roast Vegetables

When I first started reading about Catalan food, this is the dish that I kept seeing at the top of every “you must try this” dish. This easy and rustic dish is very satisfying. It works beautifully on its own, or as a pairing to a series of other dishes, or perhaps a platter of roast meats. I chose some of my favorite vegetables to roast, but, you can change up the vegetables by season. Perhaps some asparagus and summer squash in the warmer months. Or leeks in the winter? The best part, you can make this ahead and serve it chilled! This is an amazing quality for a dinner where you are preparing several dishes.

Salt Baked Sea Bass

Seafood is paramount in Catalan cooking! That is why I wanted to serve some whole fish for our Catalan dinner. This simple and beautiful recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner, but is also impressive enough for any feast! Simply stuff the cleaned, intact fish with a few sprigs of rosemary and encrust them in a mixture of egg whites, salt, bay leaves and thyme. So delicious!

Rabbit Paella with Artichokes

One of the stars of our Catalan dinner was the Rabbit Paella with Artichokes. Many of the dishes on our menu were Pescatarian, a nod to the thriving fish markets in Barcelona and the whole Catalan region. To balance this out, I wanted to add some meat to our menu. Chicken seemed boring, and I have been cooking a lot of lamb of late, so I decided to go with some game. I couldn’t get my hands on more venison in time, so I decided to go for rabbit.

Calçots in Romesco Sauce

I am proud to say that last weekend we hosted our own traditional Calçotada!  Calçots are similar to green onions and leeks and are in season in the Catalan region for a short time during the winter.  From January to April, Catalans feast and celebrate these mild green onions by grilling them up on a fire and serving them with a delicious Romesco sauce made of fire roasted peppers, tomatoes, almonds, and toasted bread. Roast your calçots on an open flame if possible, that gives them a great flavor. A charcoal grill is a great alternative, and if it is -100 degrees outside, broiling them works great too!

Catalan Sardines with Susquet on Toast

Catalan Sardines with Susquet on Toast Daria Souvorova 45 minutes serves: 8-12 We had the opportunity to try a variety of fish stews in Barcelona. I was feeling sick after taking one too many face-plants in the snow while learning how to ski in the Pyrenees, so the stews were a welcome revelation. The weather…