My first gastronomic project has ended, and it was an awesome experience.
This is the short version of the article.
The long version would explain how thrilled and surprised I was when I was offered by 7 beautiful girls a great set of chalk plates, 4 squared and 2 small rectangle; this and a pot of blue persian salt and a small basil plant.
The 7 angels are:
While trying to explain how happy I was for this present, Bea said something like “well now you’ll have to cook for all of us”. From this, I decided that I would create a recipe for each using the plates.
This experience led me to buy and cook things I had never used before. To think of what I would cook in a way I’d never have before.
When I cooked the first plate, Pulpo a la gallega, I didn’t have in mind yet to mix the name of the recipe with the name of one of the girls. But writing on the plate with a chalk for the picture, my brain took the iniative to make an awesome but yet simple association: as of nowhere, Pulpo a la Gallega became Pulpo Ana Gallega. That was it, I had my full concept: prepare a dish which name would be matchable to the name of one of the girl, write it on the plate, take the picture and upload it to show them my love.
First plate: easy, for Ana, Pulpo Ana Gallega.
Bought a precooked pulpo, chopped it, in a pan with garlic, and potatoes, with all the needed spices.
Second plate: Arroz con habeas (habas) y alcachofas for Bea. Will never peel those beans again, way to long. It was the first time I ever cooked artichokes. Actually, I discovered while eating that it would have been a lot better if I had cut the spikes of the artichokes first, kind of annoying to eat. But still good overall.
Third plate: Crispirones (chipirones) a lo pelayo. That was the first time also that I bought chipirrones, made quite a mess preparing them, but in the end, turned out to be really good.
Fourth plate: for someone a bit special, Patricia. Being from Logroño, I thought of “patatas a la logroñesa”; but I felt like it wasn’t reflecting how much I cared for this girl. I ended up doing “corazon de Patatricias (patatas) y flor de bellota”. I am VERY proud of this Bellota ham flower. Delivered the day before saint Valentine, to say “I love you” just one step before the actual common “I love you”. Yes, food can say that.
Fifth plate: for my dear very very dear Paula. First, playing with ‘Pau’ of ‘Paula’, I though of “Paullo con Pautatas” (chicken and potatoes), but again, didn’t reflect my care for her, so after a lot of thoughts, I ended up preparing for the first time Bacalao, that ended up in “Bacapao a la Roa” (baca-PAULA- Roa), delicate and spicy, just like her. (My discovery from that recipe: wow, that fish stinks a lot. But still so good.)
Sixth plate: for Rocio, that turned out to be a tricky name to associate with a recipe. Ended up preparing, again for the first time, gambones and prepared “arroz y oasis de gambones”. Ok, in this case I had to pull the string and use “oasis” in the name to match with Rocio, but it worked fine.
Seventh plate: Silvia. After giving several thoughts, I couldn’t find ANYTHING that would match with Silvia. I though of a desert, but meh… But still, I made it differently since the relation with name was made through the name of a sauce I created for the ocasion that I simply called “Salsa Sil”. Turned out to be a delicious sauce, and I felt like I had accomplish my mission of matching taste and how much I care for her.
And that was it, 7 recipes, all invented, placed in a good aspect for a nice picture, for 7 girls I truly care about, the chichi’s.
I’ve discovered, at the same time, that eating something that has been placed with care on the plate changes the experience and the sensations. Food placed with care and attention tastes differently; we definitely eat with our eyes too.
Although it was though work most of the time, I will miss the experiment, although I’m glad I went through.