Cooking Catalan Dishes with Cuina a la Sils (with recipes!)

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Who can resist cooking with grandma? I mean, I already love cooking, but there’s something extra special about cooking with grandma. She knows so much about the food and traditions that have been passed along through the decades, and she always cooks with love and joy.

We were so excited to see that the cooking demonstration we were attending in the small town of Hostalric in the Catalan countryside outside Girona, Spain, was to be given by the grandmas of Cuina a la Sils, who would be cooking Catalan dishes for us.

Cuina a Sils cooking Catalan dishes

Cuina a la Sils is an organization formed in the ’90s that supports the recovery and preservation of the rich culinary traditions of our grandparents, that have begun to fade in modern households.

Rather than allow those recipes and traditions to disappear, Cuina a la Sils educates about and demonstrates the use of traditional cooking methods and recipes, all over the world. They started out as a couple of grandmas, but their numbers have grown, as well as their diversity.

Cuina a Sils

It’s not just grandmas, but also men and the younger generation. What better way to learn about the products and dishes of Catalonia than to watch a demonstration and then to do it yourself, right?

We had the good fortune to see the grandmas cook three traditional dishes, and we made sure to capture video of each dish being made so we could pass the information along to our readers.

The dishes made for us included fideus a la cassola, Bacalla amb panses i pinyons, and bunyols de poma. Watch the grandmas make these dishes.

The recipes for these dishes can be found on their website, but unfortunately it’s only in Catalan. (You can always use Google translate!) To make it easy on you though, we’ve translated our favorite of the three recipes: Bacalla amb panses i pinyons.

The dish is called Cod with Raisins and Pine Nuts in English. It’s incredibly easy, only requires a few ingredients and is so good you’ll be wishing you’d made a double batch.

Here is all the food the Cuina a Sils made for us. Each dish was incredibly tasty.

Cuina a Sils meal

A big thank you to the Costa Brava Tourism Board for introducing us to Cuina a la Sils and their delicious traditional cooking. See all the coverage of our trip to Costa Brava in Catalunya.

Bacalla amb panses i pinyons (Cod with raisins & pine nuts)
Yield: 6 servings

Bacalla amb panses i pinyons (Cod with raisins & pine nuts)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Tender cod in a flavorful sauce of raisins and pine nuts.


  • 6 - 4 oz fresh cod filets, skin on
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp white raisins, can use red if necessary
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat the olive oil in a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet to 350ºF.
  2. Dredge the fish filets in flour and place skin-side up in the heated oil.
  3. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, flipping only once.
  4. Remove filets to a plate.
  5. Drain all but 1/2 cup of olive oil from the skillet and set to medium heat.
  6. Add onions and leeks and simmer over low heat until carmelized and reduced. Very little moisture should remain in the mixture.
  7. Add tomato paste and parsley, stir well to incorporate, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  8. Add dry white wine, salt, pine nuts and raisins and stir to incorporate.
  9. Return filets back to the pan and coat with the tomato and onion mixture. Allow to cook an additional 5 minutes, then transfer to plates and serve.

(As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own honest reflection of our travel experiences).


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Learning to cook Catalan dishes with the grandmas of Cuina a la Sils in Costa Brava, Spain
Learning to cook Catalan dishes with the grandmas of Cuina a la Sils in Costa Brava, Spain
Cooking Catalan Dishes with Cuina a la Sils (with recipes!)

14 thoughts on “Cooking Catalan Dishes with Cuina a la Sils (with recipes!)

  1. noel says:

    What an interesting recipe, combing sweet and savory ingredients – this sounds really delicious and I would love to try making this

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I wasn’t sure about the grapes in the recipe until I tried it. They were the best part! It was delicious. If you try to make it, come back and let us know how it went.

  2. Skye says:

    Oh this looks awesome. I love the ethos behind their organisation. The Catalans really do well at preserving their culture and it’s something I admired while living there. The Bacalao looks amazing! What a fun activity and so great you got to have such a local experience.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I really do too, Skye. They’re doing a really important thing to preserve the culture and heritage of the past.

  3. Fiona Maclean says:

    That looks delicious! I love doing cookery classes when I am travelling and this one looks quite special! I also love Catalunya – we tend to focus so much on Barcelona and forget the rest – and it’s a really beautiful region isn’t it

    • Laura Lynch says:

      We love doing them too because there’s no better way to learn about the culture of cuisine. If you get to that area again, definitely check out Costa Brava. It’s sooo worth it.

  4. Christina says:

    Catalan cooking seems to be popular at the moment. The recipes look like they’re easy to follow. I might give it a go myself as the food looks delicious.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      The recipes were all fairly easy to make, and you can get the ingredients anywhere. If you do try to make them let us know how it goes.

  5. Anita Hendrieka says:

    This recipe seems so delicious, I am definitely going to have to try it out. I love the combination of the cod and raisins! I don’t think I have tried a combination like that before. Sounds absolutely scrumptious!

  6. Megan Jerrard says:

    Some of my fondest memories from childhood are going over to grandmas house and learning how to cook – her apple pie was the best and we still make it to this day! I would love to learn from the the grandmas of Cuina a la Sils!! What a fantastic idea for an experience!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I have those same fond memories. I think that’s why this organization is so successful and well loved in the area.

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