Spanish Traditional Cooking–The Mortar and Pestle 3

mortar and pestleThe mortar and pestle, a millenary evolution of grinding ingredients between two stones, remains today the most primitive food processor in our kitchens and a basic utensil in traditional Spanish cooking. Used for pounding and muddling mixtures of herbs and spices for sauces (mayonnaise and ali oli, for example), marinades, dry rubs, etc., it is ever present in Spanish kitchens. Can it be replaced by more modern food processors? Yes, but the results are never the same. Where the French use roux for thickening sauces the Spanish often use fried bread crushed, usually with other flavorful ingredients, in a mortar. In this brief video we see the process for preparing the flavoring for a Catalan “picada.” Here’s the video;  now you can start pounding and mulling:

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Video courtesy of Foods from Spain

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