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September 2015

Life Travel

What to Eat Guide- Barcelona/Mallorca Edition

September 30, 2015

The most common question I get from people when they ask me about my trip is, “How was the food?” Unfortunately, it was a bit of a let down. Not sure if we went to the wrong restaurants, ordered the wrong things or maybe I’m just not a fan of their cuisine. Or maybe I was just being a food snob.

Before I left for Barcelona I yelped, read blogs and asked people on where to eat. To my surprise, most of the restaurants we went to were filled with mostly English speaking people. It was a little disconcerting because rather I “eat where the people eat”. I wonder if I just fell for tourist trap restaurants. However, here’s my two cents on the food in Spain.

Prior to my trip, a bunch of friends were raving about Cerveria Catalana. Apparently it’s the “best” tapas restaurant. I was bummed out that we never got to try it because it was a bit far from where were staying. But, it must have been our lucky day because without even knowing we stumbled upon their sister restaurant, Ciutat Comtal. The seafood was fresh and the meal was satisfying. We learned that we love fried cuttlefish. Cuttlefish is so much more tender then squid. I don’t know why we don’t serve more cuttlefish in the states.

Potatoes in Brava sauce; basically a spicy aoli. The fried egg made this dish that much better.

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Cuttlefish…amazing.

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We clearly have a brunch addiction. This was at Milk Bistro. Sadly the lox were overly salty.

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One night we decided to have a second dinner. This was at Bar Lobo. People raved about the fried eggplant, but the wings were my favorite. I wish I wasn’t so full from my first dinner so I could have tried more things on the menu. IMG_4577 (1)

Cera 23 is apparently highly recommended, but was a huge letdown to me. I’m not even going to bother posting photos of that dinner. After having a few disappointing meals, we decided to try Arume, a recommendation from a couple we met during our cooking class. The decor and vibe reminded us of Cera 23 and eventually we realized that it was their sister restaurant -_- We decided to stay and hope for the best. Luckily, the food was better!

Duck paella…I was tired of eating so much seafood.

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We tried deep fried octopus. The texture was so interesting and I don’t know how to explain it, but I’m glad we tried it.

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Believe it or not, I didn’t eat that many desserts. I think this might be the only sweet thing I bought. It was a pistachio donut. I’ve had better.

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I forgot the name of the restaurant, but they have a ton of cute restaurants near the beach. This was a delicious snack, but they definitely skimped on the meat.

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Now for my #1 meal in Spain: Ombu, in Mallorca. We stumbled upon this restaurant looking for wifi and a way to kill time before our flight back to Barcelona. We ended up sitting here for hours and probably tried half the menu. My favs were the fried chicken wings and salmon tartar.

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Our brilliant idea to drink this before heading to the airport.

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Also in Mallorca, and also a winner. Pizza topped with shrimp, hot peppers and sauce. #MERICA.

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Overall, the food didn’t blow my mind, but we did have some good meals here and there. A majority of people in our cooking class seemed to share the same sentiments food and recommended that we visit San Sabastian. Apparently that’s where the best food in Spain can be found.

Chicken

Chicken Schnitzel

September 22, 2015
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I’ve hit a writers slump. I have all these ideas in my head, but not enough time to execute them. Whenever I get a moment to myself I just want to nap or binge on some Netflix. The other night I decided it was finally time for another blog post. I decided to make a quick and easy chicken schnitzel recipe. I was pretty satisfied with how crispy, yet juicy the meat came out. My secret ingredient to brighten up the flavors: Dijon Mustard.

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Chicken Schnitzel

2 large chicken breast

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 egg

1 tablespoon Djion mustard

½ cup Panko

½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon parsley

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon butter

1 lemon

  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts and use a meat tenderizer to pound the meat to ¼ inch thick.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine flour with paprika and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In another shallow dish, whisk the egg and Dijon mustard.
  4. In a third dish, combine the Panko, breadcrumbs and parsley.
  5. Lightly dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.
  6. Next, dip the chicken into the egg mixture.
  7. Coat in the Panko mixture, making sure it adheres to the egg mixture.
  8. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the pan is hot, add half the chicken. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  9. Add the remaining olive oil and butter to the pan and cook the rest of the chicken.
  10. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto chicken before serving.

 

Travel

The Nifty Noodle Goes to Spain- Barcelona Cooking

September 9, 2015
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I’m back from my long hiatus. This summer flew by with so many back to back activities. As much as I love summer, this introvert is kind of relieved that fall is coming.

I recently returned from my trip to Spain. We were only there for a week, but it was just enough time to relax and get away from home. We spent a few days exploring Barcelona before heading to Mallorca to get some R&R. There’s so much to write about this trip that this have to be another multi-post series.

I think Wesley and I would both agree that the best thing we did on our trip was take a cooking class. The class started with a market tour of “Mercat La Boqueria”. Our instructor showed us around all the different stalls as we bought fresh fish and vegetables for our meal. FullSizeRender (3)Look how cute our kitchen was. FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (6)Endless stalls of fish. FullSizeRender (7)FullSizeRender (8)My favorite part was the meat section. We got to sample both Iberico and Serrano ham. Iberico ham will cost you about $85 per pound vs the more affordable Serrano, which costs about $21 per pound. To our surprise, Serrano won the taste test in our group that day. FullSizeRender (9)When we returned from the market we were all given a task to prepare for our four-course meal. The menu consisted of: gazpacho, a Spanish omelette, paella and Catalan cream.IMG_4798FullSizeRenderThis fish stock was amazing!IMG_4803Clearly, everyone was excited to try this. IMG_4804Check out the finished product. FullSizeRender (12)Who would have guessed rubbing garlic and tomatoes onto bread would taste so good?IMG_4802Our gazpacho, Spanish omelette and tomato toast.IMG_4805FullSizeRender (11)IMG_4810  Finished the class with something sweet.IMG_4811

If you’re in Barcelona, you definitely need to check out Barcelona Cooking.