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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Mustard Roasted Potatoes with Smoked Salmon & a Poached Egg

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Brunch – is there another word that evokes such delectable promise? Technically, it’s different from its lesser-known and more-awkwardly-pronounced first cousin “brinner,” by only by the time of day in which it is eaten. Still, I think we’d all agree that brunch is an event all of its own. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking on brinner by any stretch of the imagination. Cholesterol be damned, I love eggs.

This is something I thought of when, in typical Roxie Ginger fashion, I had several ingredients that didn’t seem to go together and needed to figure out a way to make them mesh. Davis being the outspoken mustard hater that he is, it’s hard to sneak the condiment in. Topping that off with smoked salmon – another less than lauded ingredient in our house – and I figured this one would be a tough sell. Luckily though, we had company over for an impromptu movie night and this turned to be a quick, hearty winning dish. Maybe I’m a bigger brinner fan than I thought.

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Shirred Eggs with Cream

Shirred Eggs with Cream

I have a bit of a history of mispronunciation of words I’ve read but haven’t heard spoken. Usually I take the approach of just trying to sound it out and hoping for the best. This approach works most of the time in English, but not necessarily in other languages. Within my circle of friends I have an incredibly embarrassing, and frequently recounted story about the first time I served about crudités. Yes… I went on for far too long saying “crude-ites.” Oh the shame!!

That said, the first time I made this dish I called my gramma Ginger to talk about holiday plans, and she asked what I was doing. To which I said, “making shirred eggs” – as in “Shirley,” and she repeated back to me “shire-ed eggs?” pronounced like “Shire.” Y’know, like where Frodo comes from.

My gramma has a pretty non-regional accent, so I’m hesitant to write this off as a southern accent misunderstood through years of listening with northern Yankee ears. However, when I ran this by my friends, they were not able to conclusively give feedback one way or the other. Now, this might be due to the fact that it’s a kind of an unknown dish in my group, or it might be because nobody knows. I’m open to any definitive answers, if anyone happens to know?

Regardless of how it sounds coming out of my mouth, these taste pretty amazing going in, and because they’re so easy they might replace poe-actch-ed eggs on Sunday mornings.

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