martes, 27 de noviembre de 2007


So, remember how I wrote about being a recovering picky eater? Well, last night I made some serious headway. What I am about to tell you may not seem like much, but for me, it was a major leap forward. Last night, sitting around a small wooden table, drinking deliciously tart white wine from a small ceramic bowl/cup, I ate two pieces of purple-tinged octopus. The felled beast arrived at our table sliced into bite sized chunks, the little suction cup bits and tentacle points dusted with smokey paprika. The meat was ocean-y and chewy and not totally unpleasant. My dining companions were all over it. I demurred after my two bites and moved onto the other dishes that completed the Galician spread.

Galicia is the northwestern province of Spain directly above Portugal, and these Gallegos know how a thing or two about a thing or two. When the bread basket arrived (with a little screen at the bottom to catch the crumbs or
migas) I bit into a dense, chewy slice and sighed a brief sigh before the crust's gentle crunch took over. Then there were these croquetas. Fried bits of almost feathery, bacalao tinged bechamel with a perfectly golden crust. For a little Spanish surf and turf, we then used our tiny forks to inhale a plate of juicy, salty, ethereal steak bits and fried potatoes.  Dessert was thick slices of tetilla cheese, a creamy, rich showstopper topped with an equally thick slice of slightly grainy, sweet but not cloying, preserved quince (dulce de membrillo.) Perfect!

I wish that there could be an accompanying recipe for Pulpo a la Gallega, but I can't quite bring myslef to wrestle one of these sea monsters.  Maybe you should just come to Spain to visit me and you can try for yourself!

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