La Vinyeta with I Cook It – A Catalan Adventure #incostabrava

After a pirate themed day in L’Estartit, our Catalan Adventure continued that evening with a trip into the countryside to visit La Vinyeta with I Cook It.  We left the hotel at 6pm and headed in land for about an hour and half until we reached the family run vineyard, La Vinyeta based in Mollet de Peralada.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It The vineyards rolled out in front of us as far as the eye could see, with mountains in the background.  It was a real contrast to the landscape on the coast and it was incredibly tranquil.

We thought that we were visiting La Vinyeta for a cookery demonstration, but we soon realised that we would be helping in the process.  Tonight, Daddy P would be learning to cook – who says you can’t teach an old dog a new trick???

We were introduced to the I Cook It team of Jordi and Anna.  Jordi would be showing/helping us to prepare Gazpacho, Spanish Tortilla, Catalan Surf & Turf Paella and Crema Catalan.  We were in for a treat.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It

We’re used to seeing toasted bread drizzled with olive oil on our trips to Andalucia, but in Catalunya a normal breakfast would consist of Pa Amb Tomàquet, Tomato toast, with coffee.  The tomato toast is delicious, and I could eat it at any time of day! Rub a slice of toasted bread with a ripe tomato and eat.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It

As the sun set outside the cookery course began.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It

Everyone who wanted to, got to helping in the making of our meal.  Monkey and some of the others were a little too young for that side of things.  He was happy to pop in, see what was happening, and run back outside with the other children and play in the courtyard.

La Vinyeta with I Cook It

Daddy P enjoyed helping to make the Spanish Tortilla and is this is something we eat at home, he now has no excuse not to make it for me for a change!

We had a wonderful meal and a true taste of Spanish cuisine.  It was a great experience and something I’d love to again with Monkey in 3-4 years time when he could really participate.  At the end of the evening we came away with each menu so we can try to recreate our Catalan Adventure.  I’ll details the recipes below for you too:

Crema Catalana

Servings – 4 people
Prep time – 5 minutes
Cook time – 10 minutes
Passive time – 2/3 hours

Ingredients

1 ltr milk
200g sugar
8 egg yolks
45g cornflour
1 cinnamon stick
peel of one lemon

In a pot, bring to the boil the milk, cinnamon and lemon peel.
In a big bowl, beat together the egg yolks, cornflour and 3/4 cup of sugar until all thoroughly blended.
Pour in the milk and mix until the mixture turns frothy.
Slowly heat the mixture stirring constantly, just until thickened.  Remove from heat immediately.
Ladle the milk mixture into 4 ramekins.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin and burn it with a torch or broiler.

Surf & Turf Catalan Paella

Servings – 8 people
Prep time – 5 minutes
Cook time – 20 minutes
Passive time – 2 minutes

Ingredients

720g Bomba Rice
1.5 ltr fish stock
1.5 ltr chicken stock
8  of each – prawns, mussels
2 small cuttlefish
50g pork ribs
50g chicken
50g small sausages
2 onions
400g tomatoes
1 of each bell pepper/green pepper
some asparagus, peas, artichokes and saffron

Stir fry the cuttlefish and the meat in little pieces in a pan with olive oil.
Cover the bottom of a pan or casserole with at least 1/2 inch of oil, heat for several minutes then add the onions.  Reduce heat and cook uncovered until the onions are wilted, stirring occasionally.  Continue cooking in this manner until the onions have turned golden brown and are beginning to caramelize, adding and cooking off a bit of water if desired.
Add the tomatoes and mix well, then continue cooking until all liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes have begun to melt into the onions.Add the meat, cuttlefish and rice and mix together.Add both chicken and fish stock and cook over a medium heat, moving as little as possible so that the rice grains are loose. Add more liquid as necessary to keep the rice fully covered.  Add some peas, artichokes, asparagus, saffron.After 10 minutes, add all the seafood and cook the rice for another 6 minutes.Turn off the heat and leave for 2 minutes before serving.

Spanish Torilla

Servings – 4 people
Prep time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 30 minutes
Passive time – 5 minutes

Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled, sliced and sprinkled with salt
1/2 chopped onion
5 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Important: The size of the frying pan is important.  A Base dia of 20 cms is about right for 2-3 people.  If using a larger pan it should not be too heavy as you need to turn the tortilla out using both hands.  Use a non-stick pan if you don’t have a well seasoned frying pan. It’s helpful to have a flat saucepan lid or large plate that fits the pan.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the frying pan, when smoking hot add the potatoes and onion.Toss them around in the oil to get a good coating, then turn the heat right down to simmer.  Add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, put a lid on the frying pan and let the onions and potatoes cook gently for 20 minutes/until tender.  Turn them over halfway through and shake the pan from time to time.  You don’t want them to brown, but just gently stew in the oil.

Meanwhile, break the eggs into a large bowl and using a fork, whisk them lightly.  Do not over beat. Add some seasoning.  When the onions and potatoes are cooked, quickly transfer them to the eggs in the bowl.

Put the frying pan back on the heat, add the rest of the oil and turn back up to medium heat.  Then mix the potatoes and eggs thoroughly before pouring the whole lot into the frying pan.  Turn the heat down to simmer.

Draw the edge in gently with a palette knife, as this will give it a rounded edge.  When there is no liquid egg left on the surface of the tortilla, turn it over to cook the other side..  To do this, place a flat lid or plate over the pan.  Carefully invert both so that the tortilla is on the lid/plate.  Put the pan back on the heat and use the palette knife to gently ease the tortilla back into the pan.  Give it another couple of minutes then turn the heat off.

Leave for 5 minutes to settle.  It should be cooked through but still moist in the middle.

Traditional Gazpacho

Servings – 4 people
Prep time – 20 minutes
Cook time – 5 minutes
Passive time – 1 hour minimum

Ingredients

1 kilo tomatoes, pref plum tomatoes
60g small onions
1 small green pepper
1 small cucumber
1 small cup olive oil
2 dsp vinegar
200g day old bread soaked in water
salt and pepper to taste

Put the tomatoes, onion, pepper, cucumber, vinegar, oil and bread in a liquidizer.  If you want to dilute it, then add a glass of water.
Put the mixture into a bowl, add salt and pepper and leave the Gazpacho to chill for at least 1 hour.
Serve the Gazpacho in soup bowls, add diced tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and croutons as a garnish if required.

 

La Vinyeta with I Cook It was a great experience.  It was an excursion we probably wouldn’t have undertaken if we were travelling independently.  But it showed us that it’s good to try something totally different.  Daddy P tried and enjoyed cooking; something he never does at home.  Monkey enjoyed the freedom to run around with new friends whilst I knew he was safe.  I could relax and enjoy watching a feast be prepared.  Even better when you could sit down and enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labours at the end of the evening with a glass of wine from La Vinyeta.

It was a shame that the La Vinyeta shop wasn’t open in the evening to be honest.  I think we all would have purchased some local wine and I would have loved to have bought some Gazpacho home too.

It has to be said that Jordi from I Cook It is brilliant.  He was humorous and obviously loves what he does.  He could interact easily with the older children and really was the perfect host for the event.

At the end of a long and exciting day it was time to head back to the hotel in L’Estartit for our last night.  In the morning we would be heading north up the coast to the town of Roses.  Another day in our #catalunyaexperience and you can read all about our adventures next week.

disclaimer:  we were guests of the Catalunya Tourist Board throughout our taster weekend. Our comments still remain our own, honest opinions

 

 

About Over 40 and a Mum to One

I'm a Mum in my late 40′s with a 7 year old son. I had a busy life in Export Sales before my Monkey came along, but decided to become a stay at home Mum once he arrived. Now I enjoy writing my own family lifestyle and travel blog. sharing the adventures that we have as Monkey makes his journey through school.We have a cat called Brewster who makes appearances and I’m a mad Ferrari Formula 1 fan, so that expect to hear about as each season unfolds.We love reviewing toys, games and books and would love the opportunity to look at anything that fits in with our family lifestyle. We are always out and about and offering an insight on the places we visit, with a passion for nature thrown in for good measure.If you like what you read please leave me a comment, I love to hear from people, and always try to reply. Enjoy the read.

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