Picada, meaning ‘to chop’, is a Catalán technique of making a thick tasty sauce by simply chopping or pounding something firm – like nuts, pulses or bread — with something wet and tasty – like olive oil or eggs. Your best tool is a mortar and pestle but if you want to avoid kitchen biceps feel free to enlist the help of an electric blender.
This picada is used to thicken, flavour and enrich braised chicken or rabbit. It is added to sauces at the last minute and the sauce is then brought to the boil and allowed to rest until served. A picada adds layers of flavour to a dish — like peeking through a series of curtains, each time finding a more exciting and beautiful one.
Pound the roasted almonds using a mortar and pestle until broken up like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and pound until well mashed together. Gently toast the saffron in a non-stick frying pan until you can just detect the aroma coming from the pan. This should only take a minute or so. Put the saffron in a small dish and add 1 tablespoon water. Let the saffron steep in the water for 1 minute then add to the almond mix. Blend through and season with the sea salt. Almond picada will keep in the refrigerator for 2–3 days.
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