funproject

Slow Food dinner

01/10/2010 - Fun Team

This FüN- Slow Food Dinner came about in response to a previous, dinner – one that we considered to be less successful; it was expensive, the food was bought in big chains without thinking about the procedure, what implied a big amount of money and an excess of energy consumption.

That same night we thought “What would be the dinner we would like to cook according to our principles?”. Then, we decided to cook a more energy efficient dinner the next time, within a moderate cost. The initial budget was 30€ for a group of 10 eaters. At the beginning we didn’t know much about the Slow Food principles, but we started to research and soon became convinced, deciding to apply the sustainability principles to the dinner we would be organizing soon.

To gain a new perspective and to have more fun, Henrique and Iskra joined the initiative from Amsterdam, with the same principles.

The first step was to define the menu. A slow food dinner is not necessary restricted to only ecological products. Doing so in our urban areas would mean a higher economical cost, increasing the initial 30€ budget. The products, instead, must be seasonal and produced in a closer region, favoring the small producers and reducing the middle man. We may look at other aspects too, like any unnecessary packaging and the price/quality of the products.

Special thanks to…

  • The pasta artisan Davide Spada, who uninterestedly help and teach us how to prepare the pasta for the lasagna we served on the Slow Food dinner. You can find him on: Pasta Fresca Artesanal Italiana, C/ Bruniquer 32, Gracia, 08012, Barcelona ; davide.spada@hotmail.com ; tel +34 93 28 40 750 / +34 61 86 11 063).

Related links

  • Slow Food International
  • L’Ànima de Vi – Natural Wines shop (c/ Mariana Pineda 3bis, 08012 Barcelona ( tel: +34 93 36 83 612)

The dinner in Amsterdam (Iskra&Henrique)

The menu

When we set out to prepare our slow food dinner we didn’t yet have a clear idea of what we would cook and some details of dinner were only decided in the same day as the dinner, already after we had bought the ingredients we would like to use.

As starters we served two quiches: ones with tomatoes, bacon and white cheese, the other one with zucchini and white cheese. Together with the quiches, we served a cold cucumber/mint buttermilk soup. Buttermilk (karne melk, in dutch) is widely drank all over this country and although most people that are not from around are not used to it and find it too bitter, it turned out to be excellent with this cold soup.

For the main dish we chose to cook a dish that is commonly made in Bulgaria, Iskra’s home country: stuffed vegetables. This is a simple, easy and healthy dish that tastes great. We chopped zucchinis, onions, gouda and white cheese and mixed them with stirred eggs. This mixture was used to stuff zucchinis and bell peppers that were than taken to the oven. To go along with the dish we prepared a dill and garlic yoghurt sauce (served cold).

As dessert we decided to prepare a refreshing strawberry ice cream served with a gallete and grated white chocolate on top. Not only it is a delicious dessert, as it can also be prepared in the previous day, leaving you with more time to focus on the rest of the meal.

With the dinner we served a freshly made pear juice and red wine.

The ingredients

All dishes and also the pear juice were, of course, home made and all ingredients used were local products produced in the Netherlands. Exceptions to this were the wine (sorry, there’s no such thing as dutch wine… We chose the nearest decent wine – french), the white cheese, which was brought by Iskra from Bulgaria, and the olive oil, brought by me from Portugal (we served, thus, as the “middle-man”). We tried to buy most of the products in the Dappermarkt. This is one of the busiest street markets in Amsterdam, opened 52 weeks a year, 6 days a week. Here we managed to find most of the fresh fruits and vegetables we used to prepare the dinner. The remaining ingredients were bought in a local supermarket and a minority in a biological market.

With these ingredients we were able of preparing a dinner for 12 mouths, which claimed to be very satisfied both with the quality and also the quantity of the dinner. No one was hungry, in the end… And this for only ~35 euros (excluding the costs of the wine), which gives it an average of just below 3€ per mouth. With the wine the costs would amount to ~4.5 euros per person.

The dinner in Barcelona  (Laia&Rafa)

The menu (in Spanish)

En la cena servimos para picar aceitunas y pan, y como entrante una crema de acelgas y calabacín, algo que es muy sencillo de preparar y que ¡siempre sale bien! La crema lleva, además de las acelgas y calabacines, patatas, cebolla, ajo, aceite y zanahorias. Se corta todo, se cuece en agua todo junto durante cerca de una hora. De preferencia se deja freir un poco los ingredientes en aceite, antes de añadir el agua. Al final se tritura todo con la batidora.

Como plato principal, preparamos una lasaña de ricotta y espinacas, preparada naturalmente con salsa bechamel casera, uvas pasas y queso parmesano. Optamos por un plato que va al horno, por qué es algo que siempre resulta fácil de preparar para mucha gente, y te permite preparar todo, y llevarlo al horno, evitando tener que estar cocinando hasta justo el momento de comer. La salsa bechamel se prepara con leche, mantequilla, cebolla, natas, sal, pimienta y nuez moscada. Se pone en una fuente camadas de láminas de pasta, espinacas, ricotta y salsa, y por encima queso para derretir en el horno. No necesita de mucho tiempo de horno, cerca de 30′ a 180º.

De postre preparamos un batido de plátano con canela.

Para acompañar la comida servimos vino tinto natural y limonada.

The ingredients (in Spanish)

Casi todos los ingredientes son productos ecológicos, o como mínimo productos sostenibles. Todos adquiridos en un radio de 500m de nuestro piso, y todos provenientes de España ( y sur de Francia). Todos en cursiva, porque no es enteramente verdad. El parmesano viene de Italia, pero tampoco se trata de ser muy radicales con nuestro consumo. Basta con ser conscientes e intentar comprar nuestros alimentos de forma sostenible.

El pan es de confección ecológica, comprado en una panadería del barrio, y las aceitunas arbequines que servimos proceden de los olivos del tío de Laia en Calafell, transportadas por ella misma.

Los calabacines son del Llobregat, las patatas del sur de Francia, las cebollas de Valencia, las  zanahorias de Segovia (ecológicas) y las espinacas (ecológicas), han sido compradas en el mercado de la Abacería en el barrio de Gracia (Barcelona). Las acelgas son de nuestra propia terraza, y los limones del patio de unos amigos de Tenor Masini (Sants, Barcelona).

La mantequilla es de la sierra del Cadí (Catalunya), y la leche también de Catalunya.

Finalmente, las láminas de pasta que utilizamos en la lasaña, las hemos preparados nosotros mismos con la ayuda del Maestro Pastaio Davide Spada, de Gracia..

El vino es de producción ecológica, y viene de una granja de cerca de Tarragona, comprado en la tienda L’Ànima de Vi, también en Gracia..

La cena, servida para 13 personas, tuvo un coste total de aprox. 45€, o sea cerca de 3.5€ por persona.

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