Quarantine Travels: Spain

We are big fans of the Food Network around our house. We watch a lot of Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. A few weeks ago, we were inspired by an episode where Guy Fieri visited Barcelona.

The Food

We had so much fun making Spanish food this week.

Our first recipe was tortilla Española. This egg dish filled with veggies and potatoes has always been a favorite of ours whenever we go to Tapas restaurants. The recipe calls for the potatoes, onions, and peppers to be fried before adding the eggs. This made a huge difference in the flavor of the final dish, which was so good. The trickiest part was flipping it over in the pan, but with practice, we will get better at that.

Of course, we had to make paella, which was an intimidating prospect. Mark Bittman came through for us with this easy paella recipe. We had never had saffron in our kitchen before, so it was fun to have a reason to buy some. If you have other recipes that use saffron, send them my way. We added some spicy sausage in addition to the shrimp in the recipe, which gave it the kick it needed.

It has been very hot in NYC the past few weeks, which made gazpacho sound especially appealing. The recipe came together incredibly easily in our Vitamix. It was a nice fresh start to our meal. A little vinegar and bell pepper also added to the flavor of the dish. It also paired well with the pan basico I made.

We also made churros and chocolate sauce, which was definitely a highlight. They were crunchy, rich, and decadent. It definitely wasn’t easy to pipe them into the oil, but we felt very accomplished when they were done. It gave me all new appreciation of the beautiful churro spirals at Disneyland.

The Entertainment

I mentioned above that the episode of Diners, Drive Ins, and Drives where Guy goes to Barcelona and explores the food there inspired this whole weekend. If you want to check out the episodes, they are the first two episodes of season 26 of the show. Guy learns about Catalan cuisine and, of course, has paella.

The first film that came to mind when I was thinking about Spanish films was Pan’s Labyrinth. I had never seen it, and I didn’t know that much about it other than it was a film set in Spain right after the Spanish Civil War. It is a lot darker than I realized. If you haven’t seen it, I will give you warnings that it is very violent and gory including torture and violence against children.

I have been very into watching City Bakes with Paul Hollywood on Youtube lately. In the show, the judge on The Great British Bake Off has gone to many cities around the world to explore the baking in those cities. This weekend, we rewatched the episode where Paul explores the best bakes in Madrid. He learned that they make puff pastry using lard instead of butter. The empanadas in the episode in particular look amazing.

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