Catalonia is a region bordered by Spain, France and the Balearic Sea known for its distinctive language and food. Combining elements of French, Spanish, Basque and North African influences, Catalan cuisine is a celebration of the Mediterranean terroir and millennia of cultural dialogue. Chef José Arato, owner and Head Chef at Pimenton, brings a handful of Catalan specialities to the table in this elegant meal of robust Mediterranean flavours.
Delicate croquettes flavoured with the renowned Spanish ham, Jamón Serrano, a regional delicacy admired as far back as the days of the Roman Empire. These breaded and deep fried fritters of thick, creamy flavoured bechamel are one of the most popular Spanish tapas, and can be found in many flavours throughout Spain. Served with a garlicky aioli sauce.
Thick and juicy Spanish Gordal olives marinated in garlicky, spicy olive oil; perfect to whet the appetite.
A Catalonian grilled vegetable salad named from the Catalan word escalivar, meaning “to roast over ashes or embers,” as it is traditional to cook the vegetables over open flame. A selection of Mediterranean vegetables — most commonly red peppers, eggplants and onions — typically grilled in their skins and dressed with lots of garlic, parsley, lemon & olive oil.
Cordero a la Catalana
Lamb shanks, marinated for 24 hours in cava, a Spanish sparkling white wine, then slow-cooked with garlic and herbs until it falls off of the bone. Served with patatas a la pobre, (“poor man’s potatoes”) a classic Spanish dish of potatoes & onions cooked in olive oil, and minted fresh green beans.
The most famous of Catalunya’s desserts is similar to French creme brûlée, but cooked on the stove instead of the oven. Crema catalana uses citrus peel and sometimes cinnamon to flavour the custard, and the crisp sugar crust is traditionally caramelized using a special small round hot iron made for this purpose.
Chef José Arato is the owner and Head Chef at Pimenton, a Toronto catering and gourmet food project specializing in Spanish and Mediterranean fine food. Along with paella, tapas and Moroccan cooking classes, Pimentón has a stand at the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market where you can taste and experience the Mediterranean every weekend. pimenton.ca
Every weekend The Depanneur invites a guest chef to host a fun, informal dinner party.