Good evening, it’s been a while but here we are… Tonight we have travelled to two countries and the food was delicious.

Where did you go, I hear you ask?  Well our main course took us to Tarragona, the Roman city on the coast south of Barcelona. Our dessert was a delicacy from the shores of the Aegean sea.

As an adult, it worries me when someone tells me something tastes good. What’s good to one person may be appalling to another and I always feel duty-bound to agree that yes, this food does indeed taste “good” even if I do not especially care for it. I don’t really like or want to rain on someone’s taste parade but I much prefer it when someone says something comparable with “this dish is pretty spicy which I love.” This sort of language does not corner me into agreeing, unfairly that I like something or admitting that I do not like something then feeling bad about it. Describing food is something we have to be mindful of and know that no two people taste the same.

However, last evening our son cooked and I was worried, genuinely worried, when I saw what it was. I love fish, love fish curry, but was unsure about whether the combinations of  the fish in the dish and also whether or not my husband would eat the monkfish.  The picture showed the dish to be very uninteresting and unexciting. 

How wrong was I?

This fabulous dish – Romesco De Peix, which translates into Seafood Stew with Romesco pepper sauce was. A well-prepared delightful meal with great presentation and an interesting flavour that I had never experienced before. This classic dish takes its name from the nyora or romesco chilli pepper. The sauce was very garlicky, dense with nuts and fantastically aromatic.

Tarragona is a port city found in northeast Spain on the Costa Daurada by the Mediterranean Sea. It was founded before the 5th century BC, it is also the capital of the Province of Tarragona, and part of Tarragonès and Catalonia. It was previously known as Tarraco. It was the oldest Roman colony on the Iberian Peninsula and turn into the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Citerior, and of Hispania Tarraconensis during the Roman Empire.

Tarragona’s cuisine is an echo of its bygone and ethnic character and as a Mediterranean port, it owes much of the richness to the sea where there is plentiful fresh seafood from Catalonia’s largest traditional fishing port and an absolute abundance of local produce that has given rise to a regional cuisine with a distinctive flavour and genuine personality.

This I totally concur to after last night’s meal, it was the food of the gods and I would highly recommend it to anyone. William cooked a gastronomical encounter that left me full but still wanting more. William certainly outdid himself. It was all lovingly prepared and this dish from Catalonia  –  which contained monk fish, cod, sea bass, and clams – was without a doubt one of the most scrumptious dishes I’ve ever had the joy of experiencing. I would certainly eat it again. I would recommend you all try it.  If you research you could find it could contain any other firm-fleshed white fish, maybe a bit of salt cod. And nearly any type of shellfish, cephalopod or bivalve  can be combined, such as mussels, squid and prawns.

Wils recipe came from Sarah Woodward: The Classic Mediterranean Cookbook.

Dessert was as I remembered it from when I was a student and it seemed to be something we would eat regularly, it certainly was a lip smacking experience and brought lots of good memories flooding back.

Baklava, Pastry with nuts, was originally made up of 40 sheets of pastry, which symbolised 40 days of Lent and was traditionally served and eaten on Easter Day.  The popularity of this sublime dessert spread and soon became a favourite of Turkish Sultans, who absolutely loved the buttery pastry and sweet sticky syrup.

Baklava is a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the Levant, the Caucasus, Balkans, Maghreb, and of Central and West Asia

The word baklava is first demonstrated in English in 1650, a borrowing from Ottoman Turkish  The name baklava is used in many languages with minor phonetic and spelling variations.

Although the history of baklava is not well recorded, its recent form was probably established in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul.  The Sultan bestowed trays of baklava to the Janissaries every 15th of the month of Ramadan in a pageantry procession called the Baklava Alayı.

Baklava is normally prepared in large pans. However, Will used a deep baking tray. Many layers of filo pastry  separated with melted butter and laid in the baking tray. A layer of chopped nuts, which are typically walnuts or pistachios, but hazelnuts. These are placed on top, then more layers of filo then repeat the process until all ingredients used. Then before baking the dough is cut into regular pieces, often oblongs.  

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After baking, a syrup, which may include honeyrosewater, or orange flower water, Will’s had rosewater  is poured over the cooked baklava and allowed to soak in.. 

IMG_2489Baklava is usually served at room temperature, often garnished with ground nuts.

All I can say is that this was the most enticing dessert and was prepared with great care and attention to detail. The presentation and the taste were both perfect., it was nutty, sweet simple and palatable.

Williams recipe is from  Sarah Woodward: The Classic Mediterranean Cookbook.

This whole dessert was a divine,combination of different nuts along, sugar, honey which formed the syrup –  that came together with the butter and syrup and a well chosen dish.

Thank you Will for cooking and, we look forward to sharing with you our followers again very  soon. If you try this let me know and I can share.

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