Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 39

So, I don't want you to worry. I still go to school every day. I just got behind in my notes and my life due to an insane week at school. You will hear about this madness soon and then you will understand why halfway through the insanity I had to go get acupuncture to keep myself from spontaneously combusting. But for today, we fry.

Did you know bread was so good deep fried? No one told me this. I thought it was just something people did at like county fairs. But in class we fried bread to go into our sopa de ajo. I had made this soup before in college because it is cheap. It has garlic, bread, cumin, paprika, saffron, beef broth, and beaten eggs. You lightly fry your garlic in olive oil to infuse it first. Then, fry your bread. Then remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil and add spices. Add beef broth and chopped up fried garlic and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in some beaten eggs and top with fried bread. Its really good. And obviously simple. Our next dish was not so simple. Its a version of "Mar y Montana" which means sea and mountain in Spanish. Its a braise of chicken breast (seasoned with cinnamon) and shrimp with tomatoes, garlic, and brandy. Its actually not complicated but has this annoying paste called picada that you add at the end to thicken and enrich the dish. The picada is almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate, and fried bread. Its not unlike nutella, but rough. You bind it in the food processor with olive oil. Its crazy how the cinnamon comes up later. I wasn't in love with the dish.

It looks like sludge, huh? Well, people liked it. People also like fried potatoes. People like me like fried potatoes. Look how pretty waffle cut chips are. We used a mandoline. Duh.

So waffle chips don't need a first fry. You just deep fry them at about 350. They are amazing in your mouth and feel light and airy. They should be immediately salted and eaten. We had to soak and dry all the potatoes first, though.

These cuts above had to be blanched in the oil at about 325-350 to cook them with no color first. Then the oil was heated to 360 and they fried until golden. We needed homemade aioli to further increase our caloric intake.

Notice the ratio of aioli to ketchup. I find that funny. So after that I had half of a coke which I don't normally drink to wash down the salty fatty starchy mess. I felt sick for like 3 hours. I don't deep fry at home. My parents never deep fried when I was growing up. So this was exciting and slightly naughty. Bad fried food! Bad!
Tomorrow when I recover I will be making paella and sangria. Just the thing to help one feel balanced again.

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