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Jun 14 / Jon

Cocina de Mercado

Translated by Kimberly Roberts.

The following translations are part of a collection of recipes, reviews and blogs written by an avid Spanish cook, Sol Filman Delano on her blog titled Cocina de Mercado. As there are several recipes and reviews on the blog, I have only chosen a handful to translate for the purpose of this project, in an attempt to give the English reader a taste of this Spanish cook’s repertoire.

Source texts: “Calçotada”, “Risotto de Alcachofas”, “Tiramisú”, and “Casa Portuguesa”.


Last Saturday we attended a calçotada in Corbera de Llobregat that a group of friends invited us to. (Calçotada is a typical gastronomical event in the Catalunya region of Spain, where sweet Spanish green onions known as calçots are consumed in large quantities). After the lamb chops, pork sausage, typical Basque chistorra sausage accompanied with red wine, we had 550 calçots for just the 30 of us. It was a huge feast!

Calçots are a variety of fresh white, sweet onions, native to the region of Catalunya. (They are originally from the province of Tarragona). They are in season at the end of the winter and the beginning of the spring (January-February-March).

The traditional way to cook them is directly over the fire (barbeque). When the tips are tender and the outside layer is completely black, you wrap them in newspaper so that they stay warm until you are ready to eat them. Traditionally, they are brought to the table on a piece of clay tile; you eat them with your hands by pulling away the burnt exterior, to reach the tender center.

Calçots are usually accompanied with a romesco sauce. Yesterday, the sauces used were both homemade and store-bought. Romesco sauce is a sauce prepared with almonds, hazelnuts, tomatoes, peppers, bread, olive oil, salt and vinegar. In Mai’s blog you can find an excellent recipe, click here.

¡Bon Profit!

Recipes: Artichoke Risotto

Risotto is my favourite Italian dish. The last time I prepared it was with a variety of ingredients. I always use arbario rice, which contains a fair amount of starch. You can, however use carnoroli rice, a northern Italian rice. This time I’m making an artichoke risotto…in this blog, you can also find the recipe of my version of shrimp risotto.

Ingredients (serves four)

1 cup arborio rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion
6 artichokes
200 ml white wine
750 ml vegetable stock
grated parmesan cheese
black pepper
2 tablespoons truffle oil


1. Prepare artichokes:
a. Rinse under cold water to remove dirt and pat dry. Chop top and tail off.
b. Remove outer layers and snip the top of the remaining leaves with kitchen scissors.
c. Place prepared artichokes in a large bowl of cold water and add a generous squeezing of 2 lemons.
2. Cook the artichokes. (Separate the hearts, cut and reserve. Remove the ‘meat’ of the leaves).
3. Lightly fry in butter, olive oil, and the finely chopped onions.
4. Add the rice. Cook until the rice is translucent.
5. Add the meat of the artichoke leafs.
6. Add a cup of white wine. Stir and let the alcohol evaporate.
7. Add a splash of the hot stock, stirring constantly until the rice absorbs it all. Add more stock and continue stirring. Continue this procedure, a little bit at a time, until the rice is creamy and has a sticky texture.
8. Add the chopped artichoke hearts, more stock and continue to stir.
9. Before serving, add two tablespoons of truffle oil and the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Recipes: Tiramisu

This delicious Italian dessert always wins me over…there are many different versions to prepare Tiramisu out there, but this is my favourite.

Ingredients (four servings)

1 cup mascarpone cheese
20 lady fingers (or similar cookies)
2 egg yolks
200 ml whipping cream (chilled)
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups freshly brewed coffee
Dark chocolate powder
Dark Chocolate (70%)
4 teaspoons of Marsala wine


1. Whip the chilled whipping cream with a teaspoon of sugar until you get firm whipped cream.
2. Over a double boiler, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and the wine until you get a sabayón*; the mix should now be double its volume. Leave to chill.
3. Gently incorporate the mascarpone cheese into the sabayón. Add the whipped cream to the mix.
4. Make the coffee and leave to chill. Soak the cookies in the coffee.
5. Make a base layer of the cookies then grate the chocolate on top. Add a layer of the mascarpone cream and repeat. Finish with a layer of mascarpone cream. Wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours before serving.
6. For presentation, dust with chocolate powder.

Buon appetito!

*Sabayón, also known as Zabaglione or Zabaione, is a traditional Italian dessert. The basic ingredients are: egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine. To prepare, you beat them together over a warm water bath, until it becomes a light and creamy consistency.

Restaurant Review: Casa Portuguesa

In the heart of the neighborhood of Gracia (north of the center of Barcelona) you’ll find a café that is devoted to Portuguese gastronomy and culture.

My first few visits to this place were dedicated to the pastries known as pastéis de Belem, which are to die for! Every time I would walk by, I couldn’t resist eating a freshly baked one, sprinkled with cinnamon.

There are also queijadas (little cheese pastries), homemade cakes and cookies, almond pastries, little chicken empanadas, puffed pastry tarts with cheese, vegetarian tarts and more.

They also feature a wine cellar at the back of the café in which they sell a variety of ports, white wines, red wines and vinho verde, the fresh and light ‘green wine’ originating in the northern regions of Portugal.

This place is ideal to enjoy a bottle of wine, accompanied with a selection of fine cheeses. They play eclectic Portuguese and Latin music and no smoking is permitted inside, which is a lot harder to find than you’d think in Barcelona!

At Casa Portuguesa you can also find a large variety of artesian delicatessen products, such as marmalades, oils, preserves, sauces, patés, chutneys, honey, etc.

58 Verdi Street, Barcelona
t: 933683528

Hours of Operation:

Monday– closed
Tuesday – Wednesday: 5:00pm-11:00pm
Thursday – Friday: 5:00pm-11:30pm
Saturday and holidays: 11:00am-3:00pm, 5:00-11:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm, 5:00pm – 9:00pm

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Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada
This work by Spanish 401, UBC, Professor Jon Beasley-Murray is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada.