Personal

Eats All Around: A newsletter by me (Ella Quien Come!)

Hello everyone! I’m going to try and keep this quick. This post is about the newsletter I’ve just launched.

My life has changed SO much in the past month. I now live in Houston, Texas, most of my routine has drastically changed, and my cooking flavors are wildly different (I’m exploring more Tex-Mex vibes now!). To be honest, I’ve been feeling lazy AF so the blog and my overall creative process has been suffering. I’ve needed somewhere to channel all of that energy, so I created a food newsletter.

 

Epilepsy-inducing GIF of what my newsletter looks like.

I know you don’t come here to read about my personal life and you’re here for the food, so rest assured I got you.

Instead of updating the blog once a month (riiight), I’ve opted to start a bi-weekly newsletter where I share short recipes and other food stories. Would this be something that is of interest to you?

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To be Categorized

Thai Red Curry Veggie Soup

This can also be called “empty your fridge” soup. There are a few things I always have in my kitchen/fridge: curry paste (red or green), sesame oil, fish sauce, limes, and ginger. You can’t really do much with these ingredients on their own but they sure make a great base. For any curry. So on Sunday afternoon when I was feeling lazy AF and trapped in my house because of cloudy weather, I decided to make a cozy soup with everything I had in my fridge. Lucky me, I had a good base.

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Cooking for Friends

Pulled pork steamed buns

Long time no blog. As of recently a few of my friends and colleagues have pointed out that I haven’t updated this place in a while. Sorry, been to busy eating and not documenting it. Also, “I just don’t have time anymore”. Queue the eye roll.

I decided to make time; I’m currently on a train to Madrid writing this. Hooray, prioritization! Efficiency! It seems like my sporadic blogging days are over. But whatever, let’s talk food. 

The other night Marc and I went to our favorite East Asian supermarket. We originally went to buy edamame and sauces to make an uninspired stir-fry. That was when we saw the frozen food aisle. It had frozen bao buns. Immediately a Gua bao craving came over us and we decided to take a crack at making them. It’s quite easy really–you just have to steam them! And honestly, making bao buns from scratch is not on my calendar at the moment. If I ruined the fantasy, just imagine I made them. To go with the buns we made pulled pork in the slow-cooker.

So for this one in terms of cookware you’re going to need a steamer (doesn’t have to be bamboo),  a slow cooker, and access to a decent East Asian supermarket (if you’re in Barcelona I recommend Supermercado Honesto).

Ingredients for the pulled pork:

  • Lime
  • Garlic
  • Red onion
  • Ginger
  • Whole, crushed or powdered Cayenne
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Pork: I used loin but another cut that works very well is pork shoulder
  • Chicken: I like to have options so I also added chicken breast
  • A slow cooker

For fillings

  • Cilantro
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber

Topping sauces:

  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha

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pizza

Lazy pizzas on a Friday night

I love cooking. It’s always something I look forward to every day. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, meriendas, dinner, snacks, drunk concoctions—you name it. So when I found myself craving pizza on a Wednesday night I decided to delay my pleasure until the weekend and make the pizzas then. Also, my fridge was empty and only had time to go shopping on Friday night. Wild.

Ingredients:

Toppings:

  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • Crispy bacon
  • Diced bacon
  • Pre-made pizza dough (I’m lazy)

For the sauce:

  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Dried cayenne peppers (2-3 depending your heat tolerance)
  • Oregano (dried or fresh)
  • Basil (dry or fresh)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

Method:

Chop the vegetables very thin so they can bake quick, set aside. Fry the bacon until very crispy, set aside. For the sauce: Sautée crushed garlic and the dried cayenne peppers in olive oil until golden on a medium heat. Add oregano and basil. When the oil is very fragrant add the tomatoes. Mix. Leave the sauce on a low simmer, add salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too acidic add a teaspoon of sugar. Then ensemble the pizza. Easy.

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Barcelona, Personal

Shakshouka brunch

Sunday mornings are always easygoing at my place. No alarms and no rush; just a flow of “do as you please” in the air. Today was no exception. I sat on the couch and with a cup of green tea watched an episode of Chef’s Table. It left me stunned.

It features Jeong Kwan, a Buddhist nun who resides in a temple in South Korea and cooks vegan cuisine in the most spiritual way I’ve ever seen in my life. I really identified with her approach to food because of her sense of community and communication.

“With food we can share and communicate our emotions. It’s that mindset of sharing that is really what you’re eating. There is no difference between cooking and pursuing Buddha’s way.”

Man did this inspire me for today. I embodied her mindset and went off to cook a beautiful Shakshouka brunch with some intimate friends. A few had never tried this before and I was beyond excited to make it for them.

Over bloody marys we chopped crisp bell peppers and roasted tomatoes. Talked about where shakshouka comes from, Theresa May and wondered if she’ll pursue the Maldives after this Gibraltar ordeal, and discussed our current obsession with Big Little Lies.

What I love about this recipe is how soulful it is. It’s quite straight forward to make and has all of the makings of a great comfort food dish: a delicious sauce and a runny egg.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium green poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 eggs
  • 9 medium sized tomatoes (you can use 200gr of canned tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped

Method:

Roast the tomatoes with salt, pepper and olive oil at 170°C for 20 minutes. In a separate large pan at medium heat add the olive oil, followed by the peppers, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes. Then add the sweet paprika and cumin. Cook at medium heat this for about 15 minutes.

After the tomatoes are soft, peel the skin off and blitz them in a blender. After you have a smooth sauce, add it to the pepper and onion mixture. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes, then add the eggs and cover them. Cook for 5-7 minutes, remove from the heat and top it with parsley, salt and pepper.

This dish is sweet and spicy. Quite soulful. Eat it with bread, tortillas, or even rice if you’re feeling it. We had them with arepas and avocado and let me tell you it was seriously delicious. I really recommend it. Ah, it we washed it down with white wine because, well, it’s Sunday and you can’t judge me.

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Barcelona, Catalan

Empedrat: Lentil and codfish salad

Okay, before I’m burned at the stake by Catalan cuisine connoisseurs, hear me out: I know what a traditional empedrat salad is, I just like playing around with classic dishes. If you’re not familiar with this dish, I’ll explain: Empedrat is traditional Catalan salad made of ganxet beans (also known as Santa Pau beans), raw (sometimes cooked) cod fish, green & red peppers, tomatoes, onions, and  black olives. It’s juicy, tangy, and very refreshing. And I love it. So much that if I don’t have ganxet or white beans at hand, I’ll use the next best legume. In this case, it was lentils.

Making empedrat is pretty straight forward. The veggies included are not exotic or hard to find, and the measurements can be done “by eye”. The key ingredient in it is cod fish. Regardless if it’s fresh or frozen, the briny taste of the cod is the main flavor. I always try to use fresh fish, but sometimes frozen is the only one available and that’s okay. If you use frozen fish I recommend you sauté it in olive oil before adding it to the salad. To make a tasty empedrat salad, you’ll need:

  • Beluga lentils
  • Red bell peppers
  • Green peppers
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Cod fish
  • Parsley

For the vinaigrette:

  • Olive oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

Mix 4 parts of vinegar with 2 parts of oil, salt & pepper to taste and there you’ll have your vinaigrette!

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