BCN Taste and Tradition

With all the different people I meet everyday, my memory for face and name has far exceeded capacity. With taste and smell, however, my memory  still remains  vivid . The smell and taste of cuttle fish (in our dialect, nukus), brings back memories of my childhood when my aunt would cook this, adobo style. She would cut it in rings for me. After each meal, I would look in the mirror and have a good laugh on how it has stained my teeth black.

We have dined in BCN back in the days when I was searching for the best cochinillo. I didn’t really like their version very much so I didn’t write about it. Last week,as I was browsing at my pictures in Barcelona, I found one of me eating Arros Negre. I knew I had to have one again. So instead of booking a flight, I chose to give this restaurant try. I am so glad I did!

The flavors of Spanish cuisine are not shy and subtle. Dining at BCN Taste and Tradition brought out a lot of good memories of growing up in country that was colonized by Spain for 333 years, as well as the food adventure I recently had in Barcelona.

Red Sangria – big, bold flavor. Fruits marinated in red wine for 3 days. I enjoyed this as much as the one I had in La Rambla
Spanish chorizo – not to be confused by Mexican chorizo! The Spanish variety is cured, usually served uncooked, with very dense flavor.
Gambas Al Ajillo – Shrimp with garlic. Good portioned appetizer, about a dozen huge shrimps cooked in garlic, to perfection
Arroz negro con sepia – this is what brought me here, and it did not disappoint. Bomba rice cooked and flavored perfectly.

D had his usual filet mignon…I really wish he would order something else. I have stopped taking pictures. With dessert, he was bolder. He didn’t get chocolate cake; he got almond cake. And instead of coffee, he ordered Carajillo. Just like that, he was Daredevil.

“Tarta de Santiago” almond cake
Carajillo – hot espresso added to Licor 43, on the rocks –that’s why it looks steamy. Absolutely divine!!!
Best Pedro Ximenez I’ve had in my life. I expected no less from this wonderful, authentic Spanish joint. Perfect dessert wine. 

I am so glad we gave this restaurant another try. Now that there does not seem to be any new restaurants opening, I will probably reconsider those that I dismissed due to my poor food choices.  Meanwhile, I have ordered Cooking Base for Squid Ink Paella from Amazon….






Hummus – Instant Pot Edition

I finally succumbed to getting this Instant Pot out of FOMO. It seems like every kitchen in America has one. As usual, Amazon Prime remained complicit in my online shopping addiction,  by promising to deliver in 2 days if I placed my order in the next 3 hours…

Back when D and I were still in Cali, I made hummus from scratch. It was not very mainstream then.  It is really easy, but time consuming. With IP, the whole thing came out in less than 2 hours.

Put a bag of garbanzos in the IP and add 6 cups of water. Manually set IP to high then cook for 35 minutes.

I won’t get into technical details on how to operate your IP because there are so many models out there. Read the manual!

I also said that the whole thing is less than 2 hours. While cooking is only 35 min., the preheating takes a while, around 20 minutes. Then there’s the time on releasing the pressure. There is always an option for quick release, but I am a sissy when it comes to hissing sounds accompanied with sputtering of hot water, so I turn the whole thing off and let it release its angry pressure on its own, which is about 15 minutes.

While waiting for the beans to cook, assemble the rest of the ingredients in a food processor.

juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup tahini
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup of warm bean liquid

Tahini is a sauce made of ground up sesame seeds. I got a jar from Trader Joe’s. It can be used a salad dressing as well. I just realized that I resurrected a kitchen gadget lounging in my cabinet labelled “what was I thinking” —my Ninja!!!

Here’s the cooked garbanzos. A pound will yield almost 6 cups. You only need 3 for this recipe.

Drain and save half a cup and add to food processor. FYI, garbanzos (unsalted) are healthy for dogs. I give the rest of the beans to my pups, and they love it.

Blend until smooth, adding 1/2 cup of olive oil slowly.

This is the part when most people salt it. I am not a big fan of adding salt in anything. In this dish, I get the saltiness by adding tapenade.

Voila! Home-made, husband-approved  hummus.