Friday, 16 January 2009

A Spanish-inspired Feast

The Monkey and I spent New Year in Barcelona this year, visiting friends, aimlessly wandering the backstreets, drinking in art, cava and, of course, eating a vast array of foods - tapas, pintxos, the freshest of seafood, and rustic feasts to soak up the excess booze. A particular highlight was strolling through the tightly packed alleys of La Boqueria, Barcelona's most famous food market. Pigs' heads, live lobsters, long strings of russet-coloured sausages, mounds of alluring cheeses - all the best of Spanish produce is on display here, and if we had more room in our suitcase (and, realistically, if the Euro hadn't been quite so strong) we would have bought an awful lot more. In the end we contented ourselves with a few circuits of the market before settling in for a couple of cervezas at a nearby tapas bar.

It was a glorious few days - somehow relaxing and adventurous at the same time, thanks in no small part to our great friends who welcomed us, introduced us to their friends and, perhaps most importantly, showed us some of their secret food spots. We came home laden with goodies purchased at La Boqueria and elsewhere, and decided to have a little fiesta at home in honour of my brother's 30th birthday, and to remind us of a wonderful holiday.


Frutos secos - roasted almonds, roasted salted broad beans
Jamon 'pata negra' (from black-footed pigs) - served just as it is
Pan con Tomate - DIY style
Gambas a la Plancha - grilled shell-on prawns in garlic
Pintxos of boquerones (anchovies) on rustic bread with tapenade
Tortilla - just plain, with potatoes, onion and garlic
Chorizo, roasted and garnished with chopped parsley
Patatas bravas with spicy mayo
Green salad with avocado
Cheese - Tetilla from Galicia, Manchego from Catalunya
A couple of bottles of good cava and some rough Spanish red wine

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