Courtesy Luis Roger, chef, BCN Taste & Tradition, Houston
Few wines from Mallorca are available in the U.S., which is all the more reason to visit. The Moll grape (a.ka.. Premsal Blanc) makes refreshing, aromatic whites and is by far the most common white variety. It’s often blended with Moscatel, Chardonnay, Macabeo and Parellada. The reds, mostly Manto Negro and Callet, can be intriguing and delicious, often with savory saline notes. Serious wine hunters should keep an eye out for obscure Mallorcan grapes like Gorgollassa, Fogoneu, Giró Blanc and Giró Ros.
Names to look for: Ànima Negra, Binigrau, Can Xanet, Bodegas José L. Ferrer
Caldereta de Langosta
Houston’s BCN Taste & Tradition, named for Barcelona’s airport code, is one of the best spots in the U.S. for the cuisine of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. The owners have also just opened MAD, which highlights the cooking of modern Madrid. This is an elegant version of caldereta, the Balearics’ signature seafood stew.
- 4 live lobsters, up to 1½ pounds each
- 12 cups lobster stock (ingredients and directions below)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups bomba or Calasparra rice
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- ¼ cup canned tomato purée
Add lobsters headfirst into large pot of boiling salted water. Cover and cook for 12 minutes, then transfer to plate. When cool enough to handle, remove tails and claws. Set aside. Use remaining lobster for stock.
Bring 8 cups stock to boil. Cook until reduced by three quarters. If necessary, lower heat to avoid boiling over. Keep warm over low heat.
Meanwhile, warm oil in deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and brandy, and cook until absorbed. Add tomato purée and 4 cups stock. Cook, uncovered, until rice becomes tender and liquid absorbs, about 20 minutes. Add salt, to taste.
Remove meat from claws, and crack lobster tails. When ready to serve, sear lobster quickly in hot pan just until heated through (3 minutes for tails, 1 minute for claws). Divide rice, lobster and sauce among plates. Serves 4.
- Heads and shells from 4 lobsters, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 5 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 quarts store-bought fish stock
In large pot, warm oil over medium heat. Add lobster, and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, carrot, onion, fish stock and 2 cups water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. While cooking, crush lobster and vegetables with potato masher or immersion blender. Strain. Stock may be frozen for up to 6 months. Yields 6 cups.
Avancia 2017 Old Vines Godello (Valdeorras). “I love this wine with shellfish,” says Paco Calza, BCN manager and wine director, of this Galician Godello. “It’s robust on the palate, with a perfect balance of fruit and minerals, and aromas of tropical citrus and pears.”
For a Mallorcan pairing, look for Ànima Negra 2018 Quíbia Falanis White (Vi de la Terra Mallorca), a Premsal Blanc-based white with tropical-fruit flavors balanced by notes of citrus and seashells.