A Spanish Reprieve

It’s been a bit over a week since I started my inpatient hospital rotation. The days are much longer, and the pace is much faster. Juggling 20+ patients of varying medical complexity on some afternoons and weekends is definitely a sink or swim experience. It’s easy to feel bogged down after a while, but fortunately Sarah and I have been pre-preparing a lot of ingredients for our weekly meals (many of the recipes we have posted) so that we can throw something together in 15-20 minutes on most nights when we return home. Within the seemingly unending hustle and bustle of the day, it’s always nice to be able to enjoy dinner together for 10-15 minutes before we’re busy studying for our next set of board exams or looking over our patient lists and to do’s for the next day.

Sarah’s parents gifted me the Flavor Bible for my last birthday. The first page has the formula, “Flavor=Taste+Mouthfeel+Aroma+The X Factor.” The X Factor is described as the emotional, mental, and even spiritual aspects of a meal. It’s the reason why there will never be a chef in the world who can match up to your mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather’s recipe. It’s the reason why even the simplest meal allows us to take a quick breath and disconnect temporarily from the pace of life.

We will always remember our time in Barcelona with fondness where we found ourselves frequenting the local corner bistro on many nights and hanging out with the locals. We liked to sit at the bar, gesticulating and speaking in a mixture of broken Catalan and Spanish with the waiter as we sipped on cava or vin de la casa while munching away on plates of tapas. There’s nothing that says tapas like pebrotes, patatas bravas, and pan con tomate.

Pebrotes

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Best enjoyed with a cold class of cava or Spanish sparking wine

Ingredients:

  • Padron peppers                                                1lb, whole
  • Oil                                                                         1.5 T
  • Salt                                                                       To taste

Toss your peppers in a large bowl with the oil until they are nice and coated. Stick them on a sheet pan in a single layer into the oven on broil. They take 10 minutes or so to get a nice color and char to them. Remove the peppers from the oven and sprinkle on the salt while they are still hot (use coarse sea salt if feeling fancy).

The experience in eating these is a little bit of Russian roulette. Most of the peppers are not spicy, but every once in a while you may find one that packs a punch which just adds to the experience (I’ve been lucky thus far). Enjoy at your own risk!

D

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