Life post-España.

Finally posting something since returning from Spain. Needless to say: what a trip. It was such an amazing experience that I’d do it again 100 times over. Amazingly enough, I didn’t take a huge amount of food pictures (ha!). I remember getting made fun of by one of the Aussie boys I met for taking a picture of tapas, but I think that’s the only picture of food I took during the whole trip. In fact, I didn’t take too many pictures at all. I guess I was too busy taking experiencing Spain.

Highlights:

  • Festival of San Fermin/Running of the Bulls in Pamplona
  • Ibiza – I don’t think I ever raged so hard…and had so much fun doing it
  • Sevilla, Granada, and the southern part of Spain – I liked it a lot better than the north

No boring details (or juicy gossip) here on the interwebs. It’s all written down in my trusty journal – diary – whatever you want to call it. Go ahead, make fun of me.

It took me a while to shake off most of the post-vacation blues. I still can’t believe that I set off for the other side of the world about a month ago, but I’m slowly settling back into my life. Business school applications are starting to take off, so the prospect of leaving Los Angeles in just under a year is something new to be excited about. Palo Alto? Chicago? Boston? New York? And getting into b-school means I get to take another trip, too! That one will be a two-month globetrotting present to myself.

I need to get back into cooking. Spain and her tapas y sangría made me very, very lazy. I also think it messed with my metabolism. Amidst my laziness, I found the time to make 2 somewhat noteworthy dishes. The kale salad with peaches and mango vinaigrette was an attempt to detox.

Kale Salad with Quinoa & Mango Vinaigrette

1 bunch kale

1 peach, sliced

cherry tomatoes

1 cup uncooked quinoa

Mango vinaigrette (see below)

Cook quinoa (1 cup quinoa: 3/4 cup water), fluff, and set aside. Wash kale, remove spines, and cut until small pieces. Toss with quinoa and mango vinaigrette until slightly wilted. Let sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator (to overnight) so that flavors can incorporate into kale. Add peaches & tomatoes. Enjoy!

Mango vinaigrette

1″ ginger root, diced

1 ripe mango

1 lime, juiced

1-2 tbsp rice vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

agave, salt, and pepper to taste

Add ginger, mango, lime juice, and vinegar to food processor and blend until smooth. Blend olive oil with mixture until emulsified. Add agave, salt, and pepper to taste. All other proportions can also be adjusted to taste.

**Note: a lot of my friends say they hate kale because of its bitterness. I found that working the dressing into the kale until it wilts a bit and then letting it sit really takes out any bitter qualities. 

——————

The skirt steak with chimichurri and guacamole was an attempt to fill my craving for meat (and apparently chimichurri and guacamole) after not eating it for a week. Watching calves getting dragged, beaten, castrated, and branded on the Argentinian episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations will take away any and all desire for meat. I like variety so I couldn’t choose if I wanted to go full-on Argentinian with the chimichurri or go the Mexican route with the guac and make tacos, so why not make both?!

Skirt Steak

1-2 lbs skirt steak

4 tbs olive oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 tsp rice vinegar

Combine all ingredients in plastic container or Ziploc bag. Marinate 45 minutes, up to 2 days.

Heat pan on high until almost smoking and melt 1 tbsp butter. Cook and sear meat for 3 minutes each side for medium-rare. Let cooked skirt steak rest for 10 minutes (tent with foil) and then slice thinly against the grain.

Chimichurri 

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley

6 cloves of garlic

3/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

juice from 1/4 lemon

1/4 tbsp red onion, diced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Pulse parsley in food processor to chop. Add remaining ingredients and blend.

Guacamole

3 avocados, pitted and mashed

1 lime, juiced

1/3 cup red onion, diced

1/2 bunch cilantro, diced

2 roma tomatoes, diced (or 1 large tomato)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)

1 pinch cumin

salt to taste

Combine ingredients and adjust salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour for the best flavor. Adjust seasonings accordingly to taste right before serving.

I was fed for a good 4 days with all the meat. FYI, chimichurri tastes great mixed with plain yogurt. Then again, I love most things topped with plain yogurt.

Hopefully, I’ll have some more photos and recipes over the next coming weeks. On my roster:

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