In the week of All Saints, 31st October, the tradition here is roast chestnuts and the marzipan sweets known as panellets, perhaps the most popular example of autumn cookery. But these are not the only seasonal food: pomegranates, sweet potatoes, wild mushrooms and quinces are all considered essential in this country. We recommend a festive menu to use all of these – you can buy them at the Caprabo supermarket in illa Carlemany. Get your apron on and we’ll begin!
The hors d’oeuvres is liver pâté on skewers with apple and quince. For the first course a cream of sweet potato soup and for the main course, a rabbit stew with mushrooms. And for dessert, pomegranate with wine and sugar. And to go with the after-dinner coffee, panellets and roast chestnuts.
The quince is an aromatic fruit that’s hard to eat raw, and is cooked with sugar to make codonyat, a kind of firm jelly. Preparing the skewers is very easy: put a medallion of pâté on a piece of toast and then a thin slice of apple on top, after putting the skewer through both of them. Top it off with a piece of codonyat and a salt flake. An exquisite mixture of sweet and savoury flavours!
To make the cream soup, take sweet potato, ordinary potato and leek, chop them up small and fry them in a little oil and a pinch of pepper. Once golden, put it all in a pan with boiling water and a little salt, and simmer for about twenty minutes. Whiz it up in an electric mixer, add butter and enough of the water from cooking to achieve the right thickness. And it’s ready to serve!
The rabbit stew takes a little longer. For best results it has to simmer slowly, like all stews. Fry the rabbit and put it in the pan with a good picada (a mix of breadcrumbs, nuts and stock), together with the mushrooms, which should have been fried beforehand. Simmer it all gently for a good while until it is smooth and creamy.
For the dessert, carefully extract the seeds from the pomegranate – antioxidant and rich in vitamin C – so that there are no traces of yellow skin, which would give a bitter taste. Next, put them in a bowl and cover with wine and sugar. Leave the mixture to stand for about forty-eight hours to give it a pleasant taste and sweetness, ready to eat.