Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Before moving away from Barcelona, the sweet ladies on my team gave me a book of tapas recipes as a going away present. Naturally, the book is written in Spanish, so it takes a fair amount of translation work on my part to figure out the recipes. I don’t think I always get it right, but it usually comes together in the end.

The book isn’t dedicated solely to Catalan tapas; all of Spain is represented, and this Basque classic has been tempting me from its pages for weeks. It has been calling to me like a salty sea siren (not a sea wife, mind you – shout out to my fellow Game of Thrones fans!), luring me in like centuries of sailors before me, and I decided to embrace the salt cod.

Davis and I entertain pretty frequently, and I wanted to shake up our Sunday supper menu a bit. As a good party hostess, I sent out a message before dinner stating that we would be eating something that might not suit everyone. Fortunately for me, everyone was stoked at the outcome – even the fish averse asked for seconds.

I won’t lie though – this is a labor-intensive meal that takes some forethought. You have to soak the fish for at least 8 hours, and change the water fairly often to make sure it’s not too terribly salty. It’s worth the effort, but a 30 minute meal this is not.

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Tuna Nicoise Toast

What do other people eat when they’re on their own? Davis was out of town this week, and I found myself eating the most random assortment of things. For instance, I had an avocado and some almonds one night and rice with stewed tomatoes on another. Does an avocado and almonds even constitute as dinner?!

Feeling a bit dissatisfied on the food front, I took a look around to find what I could find to take me outside of my normal single-person food doldrums and when I saw this in Bon Appetit – I was stunned. Easy comfort for me is almost always fish on toast.  I am so ashamed I hadn’t thought of this before.

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Jan & Robin – Home Fries

Being from the southern US, I grew up eating home fries almost every morning, and I still like to make them on weekends topped with an egg for an easy hash. I actually have a scar on my left hand from a grease fire caused by getting the oil too hot whilst making home fries for a class breakfast at 15; I’ve gotten a little better since then. I still have an aversion to frying, and now I put them in the oven. It also helps to use less oil and makes them a little less calorie-heavy.

So: less scarring and healthier. Everybody wins.

Jan & Robins are simply yummy things to look at. 

Just in case you aren’t familiar with how to make home fries there is a recipe after the break.

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Pasta Carbonara

Pasta carbonara is something that I’d actually never tried until I moved to NYC. We ate a lot of pasta when I was a kid, but normally pasta was with tomato sauce and that was about it. Lately, Davis has been the one to break out this dish on nights when I get home late from work. It is incredibly easy to make and always super filling. I normally am not one for carb-bomb dinners, but Davis can’t get enough of them. Somehow, he manages to stay rail-thin in spite of his predilection for less than nutritious fare. Life isn’t fair.

This weekend, with the slightly cooler breeze coming through the windows, I decided to make an all out carbonara feast. A small thank you, if you will, for him always trying to make it easier for me to come through the doors after a rough day

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Baked White Beans and Rice

Today I woke up feeling a bit under the weather, and I needed something filling without being too overpowering. The perfect meal in a time like this is some good ole’ fashioned baked beans and rice. I suppose this would be considered peasant food, and there is nothing wrong with that. This batch of delicious requires nothing fancy, no long grocery list, and not a ton of standing up in the kitchen time. As Davis mentioned mid-meal, this also accidentally filled our vegan dish requirement for the week. You can make the beans from scratch, but in a moment like this, I felt a jar of canned white beans did the trick just fine.

Aside from feeling a bit ill, I have been recently a craving salad like nobody’s business, so I had to have one of those to round out the meal. I’ve never been very good at making salad dressings; it’s a skill that I’ve been working on improving and have to say this one turned out brilliantly. Adding white wine to the dressing and red pepper to the salad provides the tie in to the baked beans and rice, keeping the flavors relatively consistent. Similarly to how a rug that can bring a room together, using the same ingredients in two different ways can bring seemingly disparate dishes into unison.

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Carrot Soup and Stuffed Tomatoes

My husband and I used to have a system in our house where we would try to eat one vegetarian, one vegan, and one fish dish a week. This way, we were reducing our meat consumption each week by just a bit. When we started prepping for our move overseas, any kind of routine became pretty difficult and we sort of lost track of our old system. As we’re settling into a routine again, its time to get back to business, and I figured this was a good week to start.

I had eaten some Crema de Zanahoria at a local favorite restaurant recently and thought to myself, “there is no way I can’t make this at home.” After making a point to revisit the Fannie Farmer Cookbook this week, I went to do some recipe digging and as fate would have it, I found that it included a quite tasty-sounding recipe for carrot soup. I couldn’t be happier with the results; as Davis said, “this one is going into heavy rotation.”

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