Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunny Day Boquerones

  We're back in Collioure, basking in that Mediterranean sunshine and light. (It was chilly and rainy when we left Léran). Here it's warm enough to settle in at a sidewalk café for lunch. Three courses for 15 euros, taxes and tip, as almost always, included.
   Here is fish country not duck country and that made up most of the choices. Two had little bowls of steamed mussels with slices of Serrano ham. Peter and I had anchovies done two ways, salted and as boquerones--lightly pickled in vinegar. That red bed they're draped over is the Catalan specialty, pan con tomate. Start with a slice of toasted bread, rub it liberally with raw garlic and finely chopped tomato, and drizzle with olive oil. Sounds delicious and is.
   Squid and prawns cooked on a plancha (or planxa) was my pick for the main course. Truth be told, the seafood was overcooked but the side dishes, the persillade on the squid, the delectably creamy potatoes, the stuffed tomato and the aioli, stiff with garlic, and sauce romescu (a purée of more tomatoes, garlic and roasted red pepper) were considerable consolation. Desserts were equally typical of the region: crème Catalan--basically crème brulée, or a couple of scoops of thoroughly delicious French ice cream. 

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