Friday favorites 8/19
Spanish snack spreads, fried seafood, and other things I’ve savored the past two weeks
Ya estamos de vuelta!1 For anyone new, today’s newsletter is the first after a two week publishing pause here at Come como Kiki. It was nice to have a break, but I’m also happy to be back!
Truthfully, my break was full of fun but was also busy—we had some work done in our house and garden, and I had family visiting for the majority of the two weeks. I love nothing more than having visitors and showing them around Madrid, so I enjoyed playing tourist in my own city and aprovechándome2 of the chance to visit spots I don’t go to on a day-to-day basis. I also truly cherished the time with my family; I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else than Madrid at this point in my life, but it is hard sometimes when your closest relatives live thousands of miles away.
While my family was here we also took a quick trip to the province of Málaga, on the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain. I hadn’t been to Málaga since 2007 when I visited with friends and it rained the entire weekend we were there, so it was nice to be able to actually enjoy the city and beaches this time around!
A few quick notes before we get to my favorites:
Welcome, new readers! I’ve had quite a few new subscribers over the break, and I’m so excited to have all of you here! Comments are always open, and so is my email—I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks to everyone who voted on the poll in the last newsletter! It looks like you guys are interested in reading about culinary experiences from my travels, so be on the lookout for those here and there. As I mentioned, the posts will focus on traditional dishes from the destination, including some history behind the food and my experience trying it.
My two week descanso3 was a true break, including putting reading newsletters and emails on hold. If you’ve sent me an email and I haven’t gotten back to you, it’s on my list! I’m also looking forward to catching up on reading all of my favorite newsletters this weekend.
The last edition of Friday Favorites was reading-focused, so today’s is eating-focused! Below are all the foods that have topped my list from the past two weeks.
Spanish snack spreads: Olives, jamón, and picos, oh my! Long days exploring the city meant low-effort but delicious dinners when we ate at home. Since we were trying to introduce my family to all of the different Spanish embutidos4 and snacks, our evening meal typically defaulted to a mix of cured meats, cheeses, and olives. Staples included fuet, chorizo, cecina, manchego cheese, aceitunas manzanilla, picos, and fresh baguette. Oh, and of course jamón ibérico, and ripe, juicy tomatoes seasoned with a swirl of olive oil and a sprinkle of Maldon salt. Be on the lookout for a future post regarding assembling this type of picoteo!5
Tortilla at Casa Dani: It’s a classic for a reason! Even before my family requested to go to Mercado de la Paz (yes, the one from Somebody Feed Phil!), we had planned on taking them there for Casa Dani’s tortilla. You can read more about their version of the dish in part two of my series on tortilla. If you live in Madrid or happen to visit, don’t sleep on their pisto manchego—it’s the best in the city.
Andalusian food: Give me all the fried seafood! Boquerones fritos, cazón, rosada, pescadilla, rabas, calamares, chopitos, tortillitas de camarones (pictured up top)… Maybe it’s from growing up in the southern part of the US, but I have a weakness for fried fish (Shh, don’t tell anyone but one of my favorite restaurants as a kid was Captain D’s). I definitely got my fill when we were in Málaga, and Bodega El Pimpi was by far the best. Getting a reservation is almost impossible, but vale la pena6, both for the delicious food and the gorgeous space!
Brioche de rabo de toro at Mercado de Ibiza: After eating a lot of traditional Spanish fare, I was ready to switch it up a bit, so David and I hit up Mercado de Ibiza, one of my favorite spots for casual Spanish fusion. The ox tail brioche was a standout for me, drizzled with the perfect amount of kimchi mayonnaise and topped with pickled onion. I’m still thinking about it days later.
Figs: As soon as one of the fruit shop attendants saw us this morning, he yelled excitedly, “Hay higos, hay higos!”7 Finally back after a heat wave scare (the same attendant told us a few weeks ago that the hot weather was destroying all the fig crops, and you could see the panic on my face), I’ve made it my personal mission to eat all the figs I can. Do the guys at the fruit shop good-naturedly chuckle at me when I go back day after day to buy kilos of the jammy green orbs? Maybe, but I don’t care. I foresee making another batch of fig jam in our future, if I can stop eating them long enough to actually cook them.
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Have a great weekend, everyone! As for me, it’s time to grab a coffee, some figs, and pull up a chair in our garden to catch up on some reading. I hope everyone has had a great couple of weeks—I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to in the comments!
See you Wednesday!
Ya estamos de vuelta: We’re back
Aprovechándome: Aprovecharse means to take advantage of a situation
Embutidos: Cured meats in the form of sausages
Picoteo: A meal in which you eat small amounts of lots of different foods
Vale la pena: It’s worth it
Hay higos: We have figs