Monday, August 17, 2015

Andalusian Breakfast and the Quiet of Lake Arthur

Quiet morning on Lake Arthur
Location Today:  Pittsburgh, PA - but mentally, I am in Spain
What I am cooking:  Anthony Bourdain's Hanger Steak Salad, White Bean and Kale Soup with Sausage; Huckleberry Muffins
Upcoming Recipe on Thursday:  White Bean and Kale Soup with Sausage

     Last October, we travelled somewhere every weekend of the month.  These were not small trips. From Belgium, we travelled first to Berlin (for a swim meet), then to Seville (to show DD our new favorite city), on to a Fall Meeting along the Rhine with a group of European friends and we finished off the month by driving to Austria to see the opening of the 2014-2015 FIS World Cup Skiing circuit.  By the first weekend in November, there was no way that we were getting in a car or a plane.
     We call them "Down Days" and right now, we really do not need them.  In fact, we have realized that doing absolutely nothing on either a Saturday or Sunday actually makes us really cranky.  We, being the adults in this family; DD is perfectly happy to sleep in, watch tv, text friends, etc.  However, with only one week left before school begins, I can't blame her.  This morning, DH and I drove out to Lake Arthur and for ninety minutes, kayaked around the lake.  It was very peaceful with only a handful of fishermen out on the lake at 8:00 a.m.  We arrived home two hours later, refreshed...and hungry.
     In Seville, the traditional Andalusian breakfast is a tostada.  No, this isn't a fried corn tortilla topped with refried beans ala Taco Bell.  Rather, it is a toast.  The tostada menus at many of Seville's cafes will contain ten to twenty different varieties.  Our favorite is the tostada con tomate.  Simply put, it is toast served with tomatoes.  What is infuriating to me is that I cannot recreate the tomato mixture at home.  I am just not that talented.  However, I do have a favorite online Spanish food purveyor (La Tienda) that carries just the perfect tomato mixture so I always have enough jars in my pantry for a spur of the moment Spanish breakfast.  In the refrigerator, I still have a few precious packages of jamon iberico de bellota (ham from special black pigs that have been raised on acorns...that is a whole other blog...).
     I will explain this simple yet fabulous breakfast more in pictures.  A morning of kayaking, an Andalusian breakfast and the Sunday newspapers...that is much better "Down Day."

This is the star...tomatoes with salt and garlic

Tomato Spread, Spanish Olive Oil and Salt

Let's not forget the Jamon Iberico de Bellota

The Tostada - lightly toasted.

Drizzle the olive oil on the tostada and let it really sink in!

Spoon the tomato spread all over the tostada and top with salt.

This weeks' CSA shipment contained:  Carrots, Green Beans, Huckleberries, Red Onion, Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, PattyPan Squash, Kale

After a week of dining out, we are ready for a food detox.  This week, a simple protein and simple vegetables!

This weeks' CSA Plan:
Carrots:  Easy - Put into Dear Husband's daily lunch
Green Beans:  Simple - just blanch them
Kale:  White Bean and Kale Soup with Sausage
Huckleberries:  Huckleberry Muffins - tasty with less sugar
PattyPan Squash:  Slice into disks and roast
Corn:  Boil and eat - really, we are keeping it easy
Tomatoes:  Caprese Salad with Burrata or Mozzarella

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