Unusual Facts: There is no airport or national bank in Andorra and Andorra has never been at war with any other country
This week was Andorra. Thanks to Mum’s friend, Toni, I was able to actually obtain some recipes for this tiny country. For those who haven’t heard of Andorra it is a tiny country on the border between France and Spain.
The entree was a spinach and pine nut spread which we had on buttered toast. The main dish was similar to a mushroom risotto. The dessert was like creme brulee only orange flavoured. All dishes were very delicious.
I managed to get in e-mail contact with mums friend Toni and she sent me this in reply:
The National language of Andorra is Catalan, although they are their own principality their cuisine is strongly influenced by Spain. Food is simple fresh and local.
Lunch is a big deal and takes a couple of hours, typically not starting before 1:30pm.
So for a typical Andorran menu you can expect.
Starter; Catalan bread, sliced and toasted on an open grill (the slices are very large), you peel a raw garlic glove and scrape it over the bread, drizzle with olive oil and squash half a sliced tomato into it – yum !
Main; Meat and roasted vegetables, red capsicum, egg plant and artichoke are popular. Everything is once again roasted on the grill – more olive oil and garlic.
Or Botifarra con Judias Blancas is also typical (Catalan Sausage and white beans)
Dessert; well Crema Catalana is almost always on the menu, it is Creme brulee as we know it.
The Andorrans are big meat eaters, Im sure that most of the steak on their menus would come from cattle reared in the mountains, you can find them roaming everywhere.
Lunch is almost always accompanied with red wine and washed down with a small strong coffee called a Cortado. For dinner, they do it all over again at 9PM, no wonder they need siesta’s with all this eating!
Our favourite restaurant in Andorra is Moil dels Fanals it was just 150m from our front door, here is their website; http://www.molidelsfanals.com
- Pine nuts
Place the spinach in boiling water and, when it is cooked, drain it and chop it up fine.
Fry a few of the pine nuts in a large frying-pan and then add the raisins.
When the pine nuts are browned, add the spinach and stir it for a while. It is also very tasty if you add rehydrated beans.
- 6 cups rice
- 14 cups water or stock
- 1kg assorted mushrooms (scotch bonnet, woodwax, milk-cap…)
- 50g butter
- 2 onions
- 2 bulbs garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 glass white wine
- 1 sprig parsley
- olive oil
- Black pepper
In an aluminium casserole, sauté the finely-chopped onion, the chopped garlic and parsley, and the bay leaves.
When the onion is transparent, add the mushrooms and leave it all to cook for a further five minutes. Next, add the white wine.
Add the rice and stir it a bit. Next, pour on the boiling water or stock, adjust the seasoning and cook it for about two minutes on a high heat. Then put it in the oven on 180ºC for two more minutes.
This rice is very suitable for serving with meats.
Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 stick cinnamon
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- 2 cups milk
In a pot, beat together the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until thoroughly blended and the mixture turns frothy. Add the cinnamon stick and grated lemon rind. Pour in the milk and cornstarch. Slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly, just until thickened. Remove pot from heat immediately.
Tip: As soon as the mixture thickens and you feel resistance while stirring, remove the pot from the heat or the mixture may curdle or separate! The texture of the finished crema will be grainy instead of smooth and creamy as it should be.
Remove the cinnamon stick and ladle the milk mixture into 4-6 ramekins (depending on size). Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
Before serving, preheat the broiler. Remove ramekins with the crema catalana from refrigerator and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin. When broiler is hot, place the ramekins under the broiler on the top shelf and allow the sugar to caramelise, turning gold and brown. This may take 10 minutes or so, depending on your broiler. Remove and serve immediately.