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Home » casa + cultura, food

On the Menu: Grilled Spanish Bacalao

Submitted by on July 27, 2009 – 4:26 amOne Comment

grilled_black_cod_with_fried_garlic_and_chilies_vI went to college in Illinois. On a campus of 24,000 students, I met one other Cuban-American kid. He spoke no Spanish and knew little of crazy cubanisms.

So, it should come as no surprise I was regularly homesick for cultura and comida. Desperate enough for it that in the dorm’s group kitchen, I dealt with the ick faces of my classmates and cooked the black beans my mom shipped. (Bless her).

One afternoon when I was living off-campus with two other women, I was especially hungry for real and fancy Cuban-inspired food. So, I popped a frozen piece of cod (bacalao)  into the microwave. (I liked to eat, but didn’t really know how to cook).

I put the fish on a Corelle plate and covered it with a melamine bowl. The house stunk up really fast — imagine bacalao and plastic. Oy!  –  and the bowl adhered to the plate, refusing to lift off, even when I banged the whole thing on the counter. So much for my bacalao and papas. I had to soak the mess for a couple of days to loosen the plate and bowl from each other. My roomates were unhappy with me, to say the least, and in the 20 years since el stinkaroo disaster, I have not attempted to cook bacalao.

But hey, it’s on the Menu now!

The July issue of Bon Appetit has a recipe for cod grilled with olive oil, fried garlic and red chiles. It is a beautiful and tempting dish. And no need for a nuker disaster.

menu-monday-webSo, that’s one of the dishes headed to my table this week. Y tu?

Share your menu ideas, or at least your most embarassing cooking story…we’ve all got one. No?

*photo from bon appetit

Share, por favor!

One Comment »

  • Catherine says:

    I’ve always liked cooking. I think I started poking around the kitchen when I was about eight years old or so. Mostly making Cuban food or what I saw my dad cooking. So by the time that I was 14, I had a pretty good hang of it. One day after I finished a play, I invited the cast of the play to my house for some dinner. I was embarrassed to make Cuban food and I immediately opted for oven BBQ chicken. Problem was, I had never made oven BBQ chicken. The adobo was great but sadly the chicken was burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. The mash potatoes were never made because I was running damage control on the chicken. The sides were spilled all over the floor when I tried to get to the oven before the chicken was set ablaze and we ran out of drinks.

    Every so often when I cook, my family will remember my amateur dinner party. I still cringe when I think of it.

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