I am making Catalan food for a history project, can anyone share recipes or give any tips for 'traditional' Catalan food?

Good day, sir!

The problem you might find with Catalan food is that many ingredients are... well... from Catalonia.

Nonetheless, there´s some easy to do dishes that are not too complicated. The most important question I´d ask is, do you want to do 1 dish for many, many small dishes or how do you want to prepare it?

Some ideaS: - Pepito: Basically, this is meat on bread. You take beef loin, cook it slowly with onions (the beef needs to be very tender, as you want it to come off with a bite, not cutting it) and add some thyme, black pepper (then one you mill on the go, not the milled one, never by that one!) and some salt. I personally like to add some sauce ot it, using lea&perrins (Worcestershire sauce) and a couple of droplets of Vaindox (another sauce). But that´s up to taste. You should add some olive oil to the bread (a baguette works great).

You can always go save with Tapas, too. "Calamares a la romana" or "Calamares a la andaluza" are always an easy go and it´s basically just squid dipped in batter. You fry them and done. Serve them with half a limon cut, so that people can squeeze it and it´s done. Obviously there´s million of suggestions for batter and the quality of the squid is very important, but that´s jut a whole other story.

I´d suggest to cook some Paella, but to be honest, doing it right will take a LOT of time and I don´t have a receipt that is bullet proof. My gf and my father cook them very nicely, but I´m more a reference to the meat cooking, rather than the rice.

As FannymcFlaps suggested, "Carxofa al forn" is another very easy dish to prepare. You take some artichokes, cut the base slightly (just enough they can stand on its own) and take the hardes leaves out. Put some olive oil, salt and pepper on them and put them on the oven tray with a little water in it (1 inch). Leave them in the oven at 180 Cº for about 20-25 minutes and that´s it.

Very relevant is to always serve some bread with tomato rubbed on it. What you have to do, to do it right, is buy some bread, I don´t know how you call it, here it´s called "Pa de pagés" (like this: http://www.nongluten.es/108-large/pa-de-pages-forn-ricardera.jpg) and toast it. Then cut some tomatos in half and rub them on the bread. Rub them firmly. You want to really get the tomato on the bread (some people grind tomatos and then just pout them on the bread with a spoon). It depends on what tomatos you have available. The best ones are like these: http://blogs.cadenaser.com/tinta-de-calamar/files/2013/07/tomates500.jpg Add some olive oil (yeah, we use it for everything) and some salt.

I´ll leave you with a last recipe I use to do my spanish omelette, or what we call, tortilla de patata (also very popular in Catalonia). Take 1 or 2 potatos (the big yellow ones if you don´t find the dirty brown ones (the ones that look like they are covered in dirty. These are the best ones, if you follow my recipe, but it´s a personal recipe, so some purists probably will want to burn me on the stake). Basically, what you want is to have an omellete with potatos in it. So what I do is, I peel the potatos, clean them and then cut them in small pieces, I want them to be thin but more or less the size of a square inch. Then you will fry them. But not until they are fully cooked, but as soon as they start the gold up, you put them off the frier/pan. If they are not fully coooked it´s ok. They´ll get cooked later. I always add onions to the mix, but this depends on your preference. For me it´s a must. I cut the onion to verythin pieces and cook them slowly in a pan with just enough oil so that they don´t get stuck to the pan. Once the onion is done (you want it to be almost transparent, cook it at a medium heat for about 10 minutes [please note that the time varies on the heat and how thing you cut them]). Once both the potatos and onions are done, you want to dry oil off them. Remember that no one wants to eat an oily omelette. So put them in a kitchen paper and leave them there for a minute, so that it can soak up the oil. Then take 4 or 5 eggs and beat/whip it so that you have a nice smooth base, ideally with no clots. Once the potatos and onions have soaked off and are not too hot, mix them all with the eggs and add salt and pepper to it. Then mix it all good and put it in the pan. The pan is ideally a bit tall and not very big. The omelette should be 1 finger, or 1,5 fingers high/deep. Before you put it in the pan, pour some olive oil on it and with a paper, make sure the whole pan is covered in olive oil. Or rather than covered, painted. Remember, it needs very little olive oil. Just enough for it not to stick to the pan or get burnt. Then pour the omelette in the pan with it running at low-medium heat. You can then choose to cover the pan if you prefer or leave it open. With a small stick-spoon (the typical wooden ones to cook, keep checking the sides to see if it doesn´t burn. At first, you´ll see the upper part of the omelette being all runny and wet. But as it gets cooked, it´ll soon become more solid. Once it´s not too runny anymore you want to turn it. Now, I just make it fly and turn in the air. But this is tricky to do. Especially if it´s your first time, so just use a dish that´s as big as the pan, at least, put it on it and hold the pan up, turn it and oyu´ll have the omelette on the dish. Then put it back in the pan, so that the part that was not being cooked is on the bottom now. The upper part should now be yellow-gold. If it has some brown lines it´s ok. Here, again, it depends on taste. I like the omelette to be a bit more cooked, but most people like it a little more rare. So you´ll have to play with timing a little so that you get what you want.

I hope this helped.

Good luck and bon profit!

/r/spain Thread