We were going to ignore this restaurant by the highway during a trip to Andalucia last November. It was off-season, and if this place was popular in the summer it definitely did not look appealing in the dark, deserted on a highway roundabout. But I heard a lady take the time to thank our resort’s front desk for the suggestion one evening, so I kept it in mind. One night after driving back from Seville, we decided to give it ago and we were so pleased that we even went back a second time.
A cousin was caught in a photo of Marea when it was named #1 Best Restaurant in America in GQ, which is where we heard of it for the first time. That cousin, the creator of the Avanzato Feast of Seven Fishes, raved about it as his latest favorite restaurant, so we knew it would be good. But in the way things go by the wayside in NYC, we still never made it out there until a work perk forced us to.
And it was divine. The server was friendly and tolerated my wife’s question on whether the beautiful dish on the website was in the menu. (It was not. It was merely an image from their photo shoot.) We ordered what we thought was a modest selection of two appetizers, a pasta dish and an entree, and ended up stuffed anyway.
The sea urchin wrapped with lardo could very well be your last meal at deathrow. I could do without the lardo as the urchins were meaty and melted in your mouth, the lardo upping the whole combination to another level of indulgence. What is lardo anyway? To me it just sounds like cured fat. Continue reading
How easy and inexpensive is this to make? I love this dish because it’s the best way to use some leftover wine. The broth it produces with the mussels is excellent for dipping a baguette. A bag of mussels in relatively cheap and when this is served in a large bowl as a communal dip-and-eat appetizer, it’s really a lot of fun.
Every year during the holidays, my office receives a few boxes of smoked salmon lox as presents. They are too cumbersome for my co-workers to take home so I often end up with them, usually giving one to a friend who is going home for the holidays, and either serving the other one at a party or coming up with interesting recipes. This year we decided to make half of it into a pasta dish.
It was fun to play with the salmon’s pretty color and combine it with the earthy color of roasted pine nuts and the striking green of parsley. We began by sauteing garlic and onions and simmering a quarter cup of white whine and some lemon juice. Lemon rind was added for additional zest. Continue reading
When I was first displaced from my homeland, I learned that the best way to relive and return to a geographically inconvenient location is by cooking its cuisine. This is how I learned to cook Filipino dishes and replicated the aromas of kitchens back home. Smell is, after all, the strongest trigger of memory. And it’s my weapon of choice for homesickness.
Of course, paella isn’t exactly Filipino. But, but, but if you’ve done your homework at all then you would know that paella graces many feasts in the Philippines, more festive and complex than regular mainstays like noodles and fried or roasted pork, and often too delicate to successfully make for a large party.
Plus you know how I love Spain. Let me count the ways: Continue reading