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lunch

The houses and inns along Passeig del Mar in Caldetes/Caldes d’Estrac.

It seemed like a good idea at the time to relish the beginning of fall on the beach in Caldes d’Estrac, swimming in the Mediterranean’s surprisingly strong current, and tucking into a delicious lunch at a tiny seaside restaurant. We had been teased with a quasi-sunny day the previous Friday, but clouds intervened before we were able to stay outside for long (not that it stopped me from at least getting a momentary dip in the sea) and so when that Monday dawned bright and sunny, there was naught else to do but go to the sea, armed with chairs and towels and books. I spent most of my time in the Mediterranean, either swimming or standing strong against the intense tide to collect seaglass, shells, and pieces of clay tile.

In retrospect, I think this was a bit of a mistake because I am now sure that this was the day that ruined the rest of the fall season for me and Michael. It doesn’t help that since we touched down in JFK that following Wednesday we’ve had more than our fair share of lousy weather (see: frankenstorm and then nor’easter), but even on our nicer days I’ve been yearning to go back to the little bar in front of Kalima and eat tapas, drink beer, and watch the sea while bathed in sunshine.

Boquerones with olives and beer.

Our lunch that day was very simple: a starter of some anchovies and olive oil and bread, and then gambes a la planxa for me and pintxos moruns for Michael. I had been looking forward to getting those whole shrimp since we booked our tickets, but it wasn’t surprising when Michael went with some pork with a side of papas fritas; while we enjoyed at least a few meat dishes at every place we went to, the portions were not large and often they were cured, so when he had an opportunity to enjoy some fresh meat to himself, he took it. Read More

Sopa de Albóndiguillas Catalana

Dear readers, I have the vapors. I cannot believe that La Roja have taken the World Cup, even though they are an amazing football/soccer team, and as a result it should come as no surprise that I inundated poor Michael with lots of Spanish food over the entirety of the weekend. It was all I could do with the enormity of this final; having listened to the commentators on ESPN Radio constantly remind their audience that “no team has won the Cup after losing their opening game” and yet being buoyed by every victory (low-scoring though they were), I was always a mixture of cautious optimism and paralyzing fear while either listening or watching a game. When Iniesta masterfully sent that cross into the net with only minutes to go in the second extra time period, both Michael and I jumped from our seats and cheered…after the “1″ came up on our television screens. While it’s all very bittersweet as it is over 1,400 days until the next WC, I imagine my Spanish will improve immensely thanks to me now officially following FC Barcelona in La Liga.

If you’re curious, you can see some great shots of the final and the subsequent parade in Madrid here. Prepare yourself for an overload of the cuteness, however.

That’s enough football/soccer talk for now, however. Onto the celebration food! Read More

Pasta Salad with Broccoli, Carrots, and Green Onions

Do not check your address bar: you’re still here at The Manhattan [food] Project and yet–and yet!–you are still seeing broccoli in the picture above. My nemesis, my foe, the vegetable that gets the bulk of my scorn has somehow made it into our kitchen and into food–into pasta, of all things–and somehow I didn’t throw a fit. Well, not a large fit. Read More

In an effort to break me from the PB&J habit, I started experimenting with eggs back in the fall.  This one is among my favorites, and a perfect brunch sandwich:

Soft-boiled Egg and Cheese Sandwich

Soft-boiled Egg and Cheese Sandwich

Soft-Boiled Egg & Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp goat cheese, plain or herbed (preferably one that’s easy to spread, like Charvie)
  • 2 slices whole grain/whole wheat bread
  • Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dark, leafy greens of your choice (optional–I only thought of this after I ate the whole thing and realized that it would be nutritionally complete from all major food groups this way)

Directions:

  1. Bring an egg to a rolling boil, then let it boil for about 3 minutes, or longer if the idea of runny yolks really gross you out.  At the end of three minutes, sit the egg in cool water.
  2. While this is going on, prepare the bread.  Thinly spread one side of each slice with the goat cheese, and then add Italian seasoning blend or Herbs de Provence, if desired
  3. Peel eggshell off, then position on one slice of bread and gently slice the egg to a rough dice, arranging it on the slice.
  4. Freshly grate the Parmesan over the egg–just a little will do the trick, then season it all to taste with salt and black pepper, freshly ground if possible.  Add dark leafy greens of choce (mine would be baby arugula).
  5. Slap the other slice on top, flip over, and enjoy!
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