Feliz Día del Amor y la Amistad!
This weekend was the celebration of our most adored “f” words: family, friends, food! I also should be quick to point out, there are few things that the Spanish do better than food, family and friends. They’re known for their charismatic and hospitable nature, as well as their attention to food and a good party. It was any wonder we picked Spain to play a part in our weekend brovskyland adventure.
THE DINNER: The meals in many European countries are long and drawn out. Here in the states we tend to eat and run, work and run, party and run. So much running and it doesn’t get us much of anywhere fast. Other countries, Spain leading the pack here with the Italians and French, savory life and take their time doing just about everything. It’s not a rumba but a slow tango.
Their lunches and dinners last hours and hours and generally many of their dishes are slow cooked. When you think of Spain, you most certainly think of Paella. We definitely wanted to make sure to cover this dish on our trip around the world. The paella is traditionally served with meat, but I did run across a few vegetarian renditions that made me happy as a clam. Speaking of clams, we went the uber traditional route and made our paella with seafood and pork. The Iberian peninsula is known for their pork, by the way—world renowned in fact. Marrying this with the seafood (clams, mussels, squid, prawns…). Let’s talk about saffron too, friends… this Valentine’s day, this foodie fell head over heels for saffron. We are planning a fall wedding if you’re curious 😉
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five this Dinner!
All things considered, this was really easy. I have always wanted to make paella. It’s pretty much to holy grail of Spanish cooking. Beyond that, I’ve never met a paella that I didn’t like. So this week was something I’ve looked forward to when we started this project. The two stars was actually pretty liberal- this meal was very easy, and stress free. The reason we gave it two stars was that as previously noted during our trip to Italy (week #31), cooking shellfish gets a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with mussels and clams it’s certainly intimidating. We were unable to locate squid, which was a bummer, but that’s Colorado in February for you! This would also add to the difficulty as squid is temperamental and if you cook it wrong you’ll most likely end up eating a rubber balloon. Yikes! But really this only took max 45 min to cook from start to finish and that probably included a good ten minutes of metric to standard translations…
Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for Dinner!
This was pretty much a resounding FIVE STAR across the board, even my dad, who typically is the hold out judge with that last half star, finally gave in during helping no. 2 and awarded Spain five stars. It was everything it should be. I was amazed that there were very little spices in this meal apart from the salt, pepper and garlic—there was not an additional spice, and yet it was so flavorful! There was, however, the addition of saffron. It melt when it comes to this herb paired with seafood. Amazing. Overall, this was lovely. Pork and shellfish played well together and on a snowy Rocky Mountain Sunday afternoon this was just the ticket. Please know, that there were no leftovers to be found.
Where are we off to on our proverbial jet set next weekend?? Well, we are regretfully leaving our Spanish holiday and heading to Africa to Somalia for week #41!!! Also, we have a special quest judge joining us from South Carolina for Sunday!
🙂 Stay tuned!
Till, next week, Dear Valentines, please eat your heart out!
– L & K