Day 2: El Quim

21 Mar

Today was another fun day of staging.  Quim’s son, Yuri, is very gracious, and he’s teaching me how to make certain dishes.  He told me that whenever the asparagus with bacon, or the calamari, or the mixed seafood plates were ordered, that I’d make them.  This was excellent, since they were all grilling items.  I love their food – so simple, fresh seafood, lots of olive oil, piping hot grills and pans, just a few sauces, lots of garlic and cava.  You don’t need much more than that when you’re using top shelf ingredients.

And, of course Quim spoiled me again with a ridiculous lunch.  He treated me to a really special fish, the skin of which was delectable.  We also had gambas con cava, traditional tomato bread, clams, artichoke omelette, cheesecake with passionfruit, a very special flower tea, and a phenomenal white wine.  The white was called “Fenomenal”, and it was a 2011 rueda.  I’m going to go hunting for this one soon.  It was spectacular with the seafood lunch, as well as with dessert.  I asked Quim what his favorite beverage is and he said cava because it can go with anything – 1st course, 2nd, course, dessert, after dinner, prior to dinner, anytime, really!  I agree.  That may be my new favorite beverage while I’m in Spain.

Quim also asked one of his friends to get me some fresh seaweed, so his friend called on Albert Adria from Tickets, and he got me 3 kinds of fresh seaweed because I was terrible at explaining what type I wanted.  I actually went for the largest of the 3, although the other two smaller ones looked more similar to the ones used in poke in Hawaii.  The larger one was less salty.  So, with that seaweed – alga, en espanol – I made ahi poke for everyone.  Some of the cooks really liked it, while others were a little suspect.  Sesame oil, raw ahi tuna, seaweed, onions and salt?  I can see how that might seem a little weird in Spain. I think I’ll show them a Lebanese lamb dish – kibbeh – next.  That will also be weird, as every butcher in Spain I ask  if he can grind lamb, gives me a very strange look like,” why would you want to grind it?”  No matter, I’m doing it.

I’ll have to think about what else to make with the remaining alga, as I feel badly there is so much of it and Quim and his friend went out of their way to get it for me.  Suggestions?  Write me.

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