jueves, 12 de febrero de 2009
Welcome to the new and improved alllkindsofdelicious experience! After a period of restructuring and reimagining, I'm back to share my culinary and otherwise delicious adventures in Spain.
Before we get to the meat of the thing (pun very much intended) a few general notes on life in Madrid. I'm working on a very interesting Masters program in International Development and program management. Classes are a little long (four hours of Spanish lectures) but I'm learning all kinds of cool stuff (did you know how you say breeding ground in Spanish? Well, I know you've been waiting your whole life for this, it's caldo de cultivo literally "broth of cultivation...")
I'm still making my living teaching the people of Spain the subtle differences between "make" and "do." I have great students including a group of twenty marketing student hipsters (our last lesson involved facebook, David Bowie and Simon Says...), a team of aeronautical engineers, and a linguist phd student who is writing her thesis on an Indo-European suffix. Other than work and school, there are cooking projects and lots of funtimes on the mean streets of Madrid.
A new friend from school told me the other day that she was having long-distance boyfriend problems, the solution, carrot and apple cake, obvio! The recipe was a smashing success (I recently purchased an American-style measuring cup from a Chinese shop, meaning I no longer have to mess around with the stupid metric system. That is a lie, I love the metric system but I haven't yet internalized grams and centimeters, making baking euro-style a bit precarious.) The cake was even easy enough to throw together for a mid-week gathering of roommates and friends. It tastes great and comes together in a snap with household staples.
Apple Carrot cake delight!
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup apples - peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup carrots, grated
In bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla apples and carrots. Stir into flour mixture. Bake in a fun, greased loaf or other shaped pan Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until bread test done. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack before removing from pan. (This is important, mouths have been burned from premature removal of apple-y goodness. I'm not saying whose mouth, I'm just saying it can happen!)
But woman cannot live on cake alone (sadly!) So, what to serve as prelude to a cake? Lately I've been obsessed with the giant heads of curly escarole sold in the little vegetable shops near my house. The frizzy leaves can be eaten cold in a salad or cooked in tons of garlic and olive oil fueled concoctions.
Easy Idea for escarole number 1:
Saute one onion finely chopped and a few cloves of garlic with a little salt until translucent. Add some sausagey bits and cook til a bit crunchy. Add chicken stock, cooked white beans and bring to a simmer. Add a lot of chopped up escarole and cook until it wilts. A little lemon juice wouldn't hurt... And bread, of the crusty variety, is key!
Slightly more involved escarole infused dinner option 2:
Make a little sauteed escarole with garlic and a sprinkle of lemon juice. Serve it under pounded chicken or turkey breasts filled with a yummy pepper and goat cheese mixture.
2 thinly pounded chicken or turkey breasts
1/4 cup chopped roasted peppers (piquillos if you can find them)
a pieces of soft goat cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs (fresh is best, whole wheat is even better, make them more chunky less powdery. This can be done by toasting two pieces of bread til well done and crumbling them between fingers)
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds or pine nuts or chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
a little fresh parsley would also be nice but not necessary
salt and pepper
half a lemon
Mix everything but the lemon juice and chicken in a bowl. Spread the chicken onto a plate, salt and pepper each side. Divide mixture between pieces of chicken in a loggish shape and roll up. In a large saute pan, set chicken seem side down in some hot olive oil. Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through (the thinner the meat, the faster they cook). Squeeze a little lemon juice over the chicken rolls and serve over cooked greens. Wait for "oohs and ahhs," pour a glass of wine and enjoy!
More to come!!