Self-isolation, week 10: it’s HOT…! (plus the fanciest take-away)

Paella de arroz negro

On this 10th week of being trapped at home we’ve experienced HOT temperatures, which caused us to eat lots of salads and other home remedies. We also got a fishmonger delivery so we ate a lot of fish-based dishes, and finally, we gifted ourselves a very fancy take-away! 🎁

All the salads

One night we had TWO salads: prosciutto + melon, and basil, avocado, tomato and mozzarella (with some nice olives for good measure).

Then Devvers mortared the rest of the basil into a pesto:

… which we then consumed with pasta and gnocchi (not on the same night, obviously):

There’s such a vast difference between home-made and commercial pesto, you wouldn’t believe it. Ours had just a few pine nuts, but it tasted SUPER pine-nutty already. And to think that commercial pestos often have cashew nuts, blargh…!

Sort of Japanese dishes

It was also hot enough that I felt like having cold soba noodles; in fact they were the first cold soba noodles that we ate this year 😁

Cold soba noodles
Cold soba noodles—and yes, the eggs were from different batches…

We also had salmon with courgettes, with rice topped with authentic furikake from the Japan Centre…

… and Devvers devised this dish of miso paste aubergines (nasu dengaku) which we also labelled “accidentally vegan”. The grilled top looks very burnt, but it actually wasn’t…

The FANCIEST take-away: Hide at Home

Devvers had been talking about this for the longest time and we finally did it: we got the Hide at Home take-away. Wow! It was really yummy, beautiful and posh!

Also, it travels well, whereas other take-aways arrive smashed down to pieces, unappetisingly tepid or are very hard to reheat without ending up like a mass of chewy sadness.

The wine pairings were also really good. We enjoyed this, from the beginning to the end!

Sundays are for vermouths, aperitivos and… paella with squid (and its ink)

I’m determined to keep making Sundays special somehow (I suppose it’s my instinct demanding we have some sort of punctuation to mark the pass of time).

My solution so far is to cook nice rice dishes that take more attention and time to cook than I can normally allot during the week.

This Sunday, I cooked something I had never cooked before: a paella de arroz negro i.e. a black rice paella. A challenge!

This was made possible thanks to the fishmonger delivery, which included both fresh squid and squid ink.

It’s fun to eat black rice as you can end up with really black teeth and tongue… or simply black dishes! I think we could even have used more ink, but it wasn’t a bad outcome given it was the first time I cooked this paella version.

We also tried out a new vermouth, the 4 xavos blanco:

Desserts and other things

I made a melon seeds horchata:

Horchata de pipas de melón - Melon seeds horchata

Our fruit + veg box came with this big pineapple, which Devvers blitzed down to pieces:

We then had the pieces as dessert (with the rest of the melon) and also on a ridiculously sweet piña colada porridge (with coconut AND coconut milk) 🤪

I also made a Spanish arroz con leche, which I had been craving for a while, not really sure why! You can see how creamy it was—you can’t even see the rice grains! ✌🏼

When it gets very hot in Valencia, we have “café del tiempo”, i.e. you brew a normal coffee, add sugar and stir if needed, and then pour it over a glass with ice, sometimes also with a lemon slice. This cools down the coffee to a more agreeable temperature.

And it was very hot this week, so I felt like it was the right time!

Café del tiempo

20th May 2019: we find a Valencian bar near our hotel, fabric shopping in Nippori, sake tasting, tonkatsu for lunch, and beer with old friends

On this day we went totally off the beaten path and spent the time doing somewhat non-touristy things—plus we found a Valencian (!) bar just a few blocks away from our hotel! Of all the places!

Continue reading “20th May 2019: we find a Valencian bar near our hotel, fabric shopping in Nippori, sake tasting, tonkatsu for lunch, and beer with old friends”

Self isolation, week 8: the known classics, the new classics

We resorted to two types of ‘classics’ this week:

  1. the known classics: the dishes we like and who never disappoint
  2. the new classics: classic dishes we’ve eaten in restaurants, but not made ourselves before

It was a really good break from the extremely anxiety inducing messaging coming from the pinnacle of ineptitude hanging out in number 10…

🙄 *collective eye roll* 🙄

In other news, the local shops seem to have gone back to pre-lockdown and pre-stockpiling stock levels. They even had eggs! And toilet paper! But it is still very stressful to go to the shops.

Continue reading “Self isolation, week 8: the known classics, the new classics”