The traditional Galician fare during Carnaval/Entroido is pork. Chorizos, ham, pancetta, heads, ears, cheeks, trotters, tails, accompanied by tender new beet greens, boiled potatoes, drizzled with olive oil and washed down with local wine, it is a time of celebration and feasting before lent.
Now that we have a functioning kitchen, with a gas stove and a sink and everything, I thought I´d try lacon con grelos (beet greens). I bought a small lacon (the front leg sans trotter) for 2, greens and potatoes at the Sunday market, and after consulting the meat vendor and my go-to source for Galician traditional cuisine (one of V´s aunts in Coruña) de salted it in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water 4 times.
The lacon went on the boil, and 2 hours later the chorizos were added. I pre-boiled the greens to remove some of the bitterness, and then added the peeled potatoes half an hour before serving and the greens for the last 10 minutes.
Results - the lacon was still on the salty side for our taste. Next time I´ll de-salt for 48 hours. The potates were a tad overdone, they really should have been bigger. But the results were reasonably authentic for a first try.
I´ll be making bubble and squeak a la gallega today with the leftover potatoes, greens and chorizo for lunch.
Happy Carnavales everyone!
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The latest offering from the intrepid BBC Team of Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold, and historian Ruth Goodman.
All seven episodes are on Youtube, including the Christmas Feast.
And Part II
ETA - Oops - the team is now in Secrets Of The Castle on BBC.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
I am not a shopper. And I am appalled that the American fetish for mindless consumption has been imported over here. But if you have a long Christmas list, consider patronizing your local crafts and businesses. It´s more important than ever that money circulate in our neighborhoods and towns.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Part 2 here.
Yippee - I finally found a band to look for! I always wondered why live music wasn´t more available in Galician bars like in Scotland or Ireland or Chicago, for that matter, but I think these guys out of Santiago may be ones to look for.
Talabarte is a trio formed by Pedro Pascual, Quim Farinha, and Kin García. They play a delightful acoustic mixture of Galician traditional, celtic, gypsy, folk and jazz.
From a review of their eponymous CD on Rootsworld:
The thing that struck me first about this trio from Galicia in northwest Spain is how big they sound. The CD cover shows three musicians, and I kept looking in the credits to see who else joined them. But there is no one else. Accordion, fiddle, and double bass are all they need to put forth a full sound.
Most of these songs are traditional, but there are a handful of originals in the mix as well. Maybe someone steeped in Galician traditional music could tell these apart, but to my ears the styles of the traditional and original tunes match perfectly. And I definitely sense a Talabartan quality in the way the trio arranges melodies, counter-melodies, harmony lines, and accompaniment, splitting these over the three instrumental voices, making the variations interesting in song after song.