Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cowboy - Catalan Cook-Off

Before the Texans left Barcelona, my Dad whipped up a big pot of his Chili and my Mom made Texas Queso (microwaved Velveeta cheese with canned Ro-Tel tomatoes) - Yum! We wanted to show our Spanish friends how to eat Texas-style.

To bring a little Catalan flavor to the meal, my dear friend / language exchange partner, Caterina, prepared a regional delicacy, Crema de Catalana, which bears a strong resemblance to Creme Bruelee, but is "mucho mejor" (according to anyone from Catalonia). Both dessert and chili recipes are posted below.

Here are the dueling chefs:

No effort was spared in bringing the Texas to Barcelona, and everyone was impressed when the Velveeta log was unveiled:

Not to be outdone, Caterina busted out her grandmother's branding iron, which is used to to caramelize the top of the dessert.

We had our doubts, but surprisingly, Texas Chili and Crema de Catalana make a very good combo!

Crema de Catalana

8 egg yolks
1 liter of whole milk
200g of sugar
120g of white flour
80g of corn flour
1 orange peel
1 lemon peel
3 sticks of cinnamon

Put the milk, fruit skins and the cinnamon sticks in a pot to boil. In another pot, mix the egg yolks, two types of flours and sugar into a thick paste. If the mixture needs more liquid, add warm milk. Once the milk has boiled, add the egg yolk mixture and let it thicken, without heat but stirring it all the while. 

Pour the mixture into small bowls or into one large pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a cool place (or the refrigerator) for five hours.

Later, sprinkle sugar on each dessert and heat the top with an iron broiler or butane torch until the surface caramelizes.

Big Daddy's Texas Chili

4 New Mexico Chilis
4 Californian Chilis
2 red wrinkled chilis
2 smoked jalapeno chilis
3 white onions
5 cloves of garlic
2 or 3 pounds of beef stew meat
cumin seeds
dark beer
white corn tortillas

Cut beef into small chunks and brown in a pan without oil, working in batches. Rough cut 2 onions and garlic and sauté, also without oil. When onions are slightly brown, add the meat, one bottle of beer. a bottle of water, salt and pepper to taste.

While the beef is simmering, de-seed and de-vein all the chilies. Put chilies in a saucepan, cover with water and turn the fire on low. Then, toast the cumin seeds. 

After ten minutes, blend the chillies and cumin seeds and add to meat. 

Cut the tortillas into small chunks and add to the meat as well. Let the chili simmer for at least two hours. Serve over white rice and garnish with cheddar cheese, diced onions and tomatoes.



  1. thanks for recapturing a wonderful day of family, friends, and food

  2. So good to be in your blog!!And a really pleasure to cooked for all of us!