Catacurian – Day 2 (part 2): Suquet de peix, salt cod tripe, and tortilla española

September 1, 2010

Lunchtime brought yet another marvelous meal. We began with an appetizer of tiny peppers stuffed with goat cheese, and more cured meats: jamón ibérico, salchichón, and chorizo.

The main dish was a savory rice dish served with tiny monkfish. The monkfish is the hideous gelatinous-looking fish that you see in the fresh fish display at the Pike Place Fish Market. You may recall the monkfish as the one that, when children or elegant ladies approach, lips curled, to more closely examine how disgusting the darn thing looks, the guys behind the counter quickly pull a cord attached to the fish’s mouth, making it appear to “snap” at whoever is nearby and scaring the bejeezus out of the ladies or children.

I found a video someone shot of that here on YouTube.

This dish is typically made with artichokes, but there weren’t any fresh ones to be had, so we skipped them in this dish. However, as of Wednesday morning (the date I’m adding this), this is my favorite dish so far. It was comfort food, which sounds almost odd to my Americanized taste palate since it was a fish dish. However, the rice had such a special texture, very creamy, and the flavor was simply outstanding. The secret, we learned, was the kind of rice—a special variety called bomba rice. I will bring some home. Also, I understand it is available at the Spanish Table – Yum!

Siesta time again. My buddies head out mornings, midday, and evening to walk around town – today was no exception. I elected to stay behind and write a bit, rest a bit, read a bit. Session two of cooking school was about to begin, and I wanted to be on top of my game.

We wandered downstairs around 6pm, and found all of this waiting for us:


Into the pot they go...

So darned cute

Tonight, we were making three dishes: Suquet de Peix de Roca (Rock Fish Soup), Tortilla Española, and cuttlefish with salt cod tripe. (And please suspend judgment about the name of the latter until you hear more and see the photos – it was delectable!).

While we were preparing dinner, we snacked on more chorizo and the famous Arbequina olives, as well as some fabulous anchovy-stuffed olives.

This series of recipes was very complicated, but well worth the wait and the effort. We would have special guests for dinner: Jordi, the owner of the Escala Dei winery we visited earlier, his wife, their two children, and a nephew (from Andorra! Have you ever met anyone from Andorra before?). For the children, we would prepare a tortilla española, and it was time to get busy.

Smiley-face eggs - Can you see it?

We fried some potatoes in olive oil, and added a bit of salt, and when they were pretty well cooked through, we added them into the eggs to let everything set up together, and then poured everything into a slightly smaller skillet to begin the rest of the cooking process. Here’s our classmate Michael flipping the tortilla here:

Dinner was amazing – we didn’t get a photo of our finished, plated dishes – we figured that, with so many additional guests, it would be kind of rude to snap away while everyone else was eating and trying to enjoy the food. Suffice it to say that the rock fish soup was extraordinary, as was the cuttlefish and salt cod tripe. We got to try a little sample of the tortilla española also, and it was super yummy, too.
Dinner finished up around 11, and we were all wiped out so headed to bed pretty quickly. ¡Hasta mañana!


One Response to “Catacurian – Day 2 (part 2): Suquet de peix, salt cod tripe, and tortilla española”

  1. […] opted to write for a bit instead, and managed to get our recap of Day 2 posted on the blog in spite of my near-constant belly-rubbing in an attempt to quell the […]

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