Monday Meal Review: Andorra

Andorran Meal

Hitting stride with Andorra

I’m really starting to figure out this whole “dinner party” thing.

Knock on wood.

Of course, the first two times I did this (Afghanistan and Albania) I was all nerves and chaos. Getting a small dinner for 4 to table with grace felt unattainable. I had never heard of most of the dishes and I did not know how to pronounce many of the ingredients. I was unsure of myself and although I enjoyed eating the meals, I spent the entire day locked in the kitchen in a mad state of panic.

“Honey, could you please….? Oh, no I forgot… honey would you mind? CRUD!” were about the only things I managed to mutter from my own personal tornado.

The good news is my timing gets better with each meal. Also, my stress level goes down. Finally, with Andorra, I enjoyed the entire process. You want proof?

Exhibit A: For a brief moment I thought I might have to remake the dessert from scratch. I wasn’t even worried.

Exhibit B: I was able to go out with my husband and daughter to grab a “commercial coffee of choice” and run some unrelated errands for an hour.

I guess I am starting to get the hang of this adventure.

Researching the food of Andorra

Keith snapped me researching Andorra, surrounded by books, map, and a pile of bibs (on the bookcase).

The Andorran Recipes

Pa amb Tomquet [Recipe]

Andorran Appetizer: Pa Amb Tomaquet

What do I like most about this dish?

Letting my friends assemble their own appetizer was fun! Everyone enjoyed “playing” with their food and getting the flavors just where they wanted them. The spicy raw garlic tastes great rubbed on the bread  with all the other flavors. High quality bread and vine ripened tomatoes makes this appetizer a winner!

What do I like least about this dish?

Be prepared for a little mess as you work get tomato juice all over the bread.

Trinxat [Recipe]

What do I like most about this dish?

This cabbage, potato, and bacon hash is yummy. You get all the effect of comfort food without too much guilt. (Low calorie cabbage keeps the potatoes and bacon from being too heavy.)

What do I like least about this dish?

You cannot flip this “pancake” with a spatula, you have to turn it over onto a plate. Unless you are careful, you could end up with quite a mess.

Grilled Whole Trout [Recipe]

Whole Grilled Trout, Andorran-style

What do I like most about this dish?

Whole trout stays together nicely in its skin, making cooking much easier. The flavor is more intense as well. I’m so glad the snow stayed away so that we could grill the fish 🙂

What do I like least about this dish?

I am not totally heartless. Looking at the fish face was a bit sad.

Warm Spinach and Mushroom Salad [Recipe]

 

What do I like most about this dish?

This spinach salad was a good excuse to try out oyster and french horn mushrooms for the first time. Also, the sweet raisin and crunch of the slivered almonds gave dimension to the salad. Very nice!

What do I like least about this dish?

This salad needs to be made à la minute, meaning right before serving. This means you are in the kitchen while your guests wait around. You can do what I did and precook everything but the spinach. This meant I was only out of the room long enough for it to warm back up and toss with the spinach… maybe 3 minutes.

‘Gypsy’s Arm’ Cream Roll | Brac de Gitane [Recipe]

The Gypsy's Arm Cream Roll | Brac de Gitano

What do I like most about this dish?

The apricot preserves were wonderful. I bought a 100% fruit variety.

What do I like least about this dish?

This dessert has a lot of whipped cream. For my tastes it was a bit much, but everyone else that tried it liked it. The good news is you can adjust how much filling you include based on your preferences.

Ava’s Corner:

Ava eats Andorra

At 8-months old, Ava is more and more active. She loves playing with my grocery bags and watching me cook. When we’re not in the kitchen, she’s working up her appetite in the pool.

Ava swimming

Ava tried a little bit of the trout and seemed to like it. I was surprised because trout is a strong fish. But babies are open-minded; the lesson here seems to be to expose your kids to as much as possible before they have a chance to become picky.

Anyway, I gave her itty-bitty pieces and she did okay gumming them for a while. Then, one piece went down the wrong pipe. Papa had to get her out of her high chair and give her a few good pats on the back. She coughed and was fine, but after that I chickened out on the fish, so to speak. She went back to just eating her yogurt.

10 Comments

  1. Grammie Sue aka Mom aka susan says

    How wonderful…keeping it real…you are challenging yourself beyond your limits…reaching for the stars….

    The spinach salad & dessert are yummy…
    Trinxat interesting..very very delicious, I bet….

    Oh! The videos are great…WHERE IS ANDORA? How about a map!!!

  2. Vicky says

    I totally look forward to your updates on Monday morning 🙂
    Interesting point about starting your kids on a variety of foods early to avoid pickiness later.

  3. Michelle says

    Yummy meal! All the flavors reminded me so much of my Grandma’s cooking. The smell too. For me, this was a very comforting meal. 🙂

  4. Elisa says

    The Gypsy’s Arm looks scrumptious! I wonder why it is called that..any chance it can wander like a gypsy over to my house…tee hee…my mind is salvating..great job Sasha!

  5. Joanne says

    Trinxat was the dish I made. I wish I had made your entire menu. Yum! Congratulations on an interesting and organized adventure perfect for sharing! Good job! (and with a baby too)

  6. Hi there! Sorry to be commenting on a years-old post, but I just found your blog as I was researching this for my own project. My thing, though, is that I don’t know how to cook at all and am hoping I can learn a thing or two before I’m done. I did Algeria last week and am researching Andorra now. Also, I’m just cooking for two and am mortified at the idea of even doing two dishes at once (as I said, I’m new to the cooking thing).

    Really glad I found your blog and hope I can learn from your adventures!

    Cheers!

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