Peppers del Padrón

Holaaa and Happy New Year!!!!

I hope you all had a great holiday and a great beginning to 2017!

I went to Spain for Christmas and while there, I had a popular tapa called  Peppers al Padrón, “Pimientos del Padrón” in Spanish. The peppers are from El Padrón, a town in the northwest region of Galicia.

When I came back to the States I went to the supermarket and I saw something similar, so I immediately thought that I would have to post them on the blog. It’s a very easy tapa to make and really tasty.

These peppers are small, about 3 inches long and green in color. They have a mild flavor, not too hot, not too sweet. You will find them in the markets mostly between May and October.

I think it will be difficult to locate these peppers in the USA, but probably not impossible.  The peppers I purchased are a similar size, and have a similar flavor, though probably a little sweeter. That’s not a bad thing. The important aspects are the size and overall flavor. Since they are served as a tapa, they should be bite-sized. The way to eat them is just picking them up by the stem and eating them whole. (Everything but the stem!) And the flavor. In general, most of the small peppers I find in the US are chili peppers. These tend to be too hot and spicy for this dish.





The best way to cook them is to sauté them in a pan with olive oil and salt.

You might think that they look burned, but they are not, just the way you want them to look.


The substitute peppers! Very colorful.

It is a very popular tapa in Spain, so… let’s do it!


–  1/2 Ib Sweet peppers (or as many as you want!)

– olive oil

– Sea salt (I used Maldon)

Heat a large skillet/pan over medium high heat. Add a generous amount of olive oil and when it’s hot, add the peppers. If the pan is not big enough for all of the peppers, you can cook them in batches. Stir the peppers until they are coated in olive oil. Cook until the skins are blistered, slightly charred, and the texture starts to soften. Add the sea salt and ready to serve! Another classic tapa, easy to prepare, and a great way to incorporate some delicious veggies into your meal.

Pimientos del Padrón

Bon profit!

Arroz de Bacalao (cod)


I’ve been wanting to cook this recipe for a long time… because it is something that is super easy, super fast and super delicious.

I like to go to the market and see what’s new and fresh in the seafood department, actually I like to look for new ingredients in all of the departments. I usually go to the market for 2 things and I am back home with 2 full grocery bags. I am terrible. Every time it is the same. Hopefully, I am not the only one. 🙂

This dish has, rice, vegetables and cod, also known as bacalao in Spanish, bacallà in catalan. It’s a pretty common dish in Catalonia (northeast of Spain) . There are different ways to make it. I thought this would be the easiest.

Ingredients for 4:

– 1 1/2 – 2 cups rice (regular)

– Cod

– 1 medium onion

– 1 zucchini

– 1 red pepper

– 2-3 tomatoes

– 1 yellow or green pepper

– 2 cloves garlic

– 1 – 1/2 cups vegetable broth

Suggestions; you can also add artichoke hearts, carrots, peas….

Chop all the veggies. Cook the onion in a medium pan until is brown. In a separate pan, cook the other vegetables until they get a nice color. Once the onion is cooked, place it into the pan with the other vegetables and stir for a minute. Be sure it’s mixed completely.

As a suggestion, I would say that you can simply slice the tomatoes into small slices and place them with the other veggies. You can do what I did. Boil the tomatoes for a minute. Place them into cold water, peel, and chop them, then place into the pan with the other veggies (they’ll be more juicy).
After that, you have 2 ways to prepare it:

1) If you already have cooked rice: Slice the cod into small pieces and place it into the pan with the other veggies. Pour in the vegetable broth. Let it cook for a few minutes on medium low heat until the cod is cooked. Add the cooked rice. Shake the pan to be sure all the ingredients are mixed well and they get the flavor.

It should be a little juicy, if it looks dry, add more vegetable broth.

2) the other way: Slice the cod into small pieces and cook it with the vegetables for a few minutes. Add it to the vegetable broth and the uncooked rice. Cook on a medium heat until the rice is cooked. Shake the pan every few minutes.






Bon profit!

Enjoy it!

Bon profit!

Croquetas de Chickpeas


I love croquettes. As you can see on my blog, I already have several different varieties of croquetas (croquettes). In Spain, they are very popular. They make a great dinner component for kids and also a great tapa or appetizer. The most popular variety are chicken croquetas. Like a lot of Spaniards, I love finger food, and these croquetas are so yummy that I couldn’t stop eating them.

The variety of croquetas that I made today are Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) Croquettes, translated to Croquetas de Garbanzos. If you are a fan of hummus, I bet (and hope!) you will love these croquetas. The recipe is really easy to execute.

Ingredients for 30 croquetas:

  • 1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  •  3/4 cup milk (2% or whole milk)
  • nutmeg
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • flour
  • bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup canola oil for frying the croquetas

– Blend the chickpeas in a food processor and set aside.

-Cook the onion on medium heat with some olive oil until it turns golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.

-Once the onion starts to brown, start preparing the white sauce.

-Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium pan and place on low heat.  The bottom of the pan should be entirely coated with butter. Once it’s melted, add 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour.  Stir constantly until the flour is brown. Add 1/2 cup of milk and stir until everything has been incorporated (it should like like a béchamel/white sauce). If it looks too thick, add a little bit of milk. Too thin, keep stirring or add a little flour.

-Place the chickpeas and the onion into the sauce and stir. Add a small pinch of nutmeg (it has a lot of flavor!). Keep stirring, you want all the ingredients to be fully mixed. By now, the dough shouldn’t be liquid, if you see that it is too wet, add an extra tablespoon of flour. On the other hand, If the dough is too dry, add a little milk. You don’t want it too wet because it will be impossible to form the croquetas.

-The mixture should rest a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight.

– After the dough has rested, prepare the egg mixture. For this, I beat one egg.

– Next, prepare your bread crumbs.  Pour the bread crumbs onto a large plate. Store bought bread crumbs are fine for this.

– Shape the mixture into small croquetas with a small spoon.

-Dip the croquetas into the beaten egg and then roll each croqueta in the bread crumbs.

– Fry the croquetas. It takes about 2-3 minutes per side.

-Remove the croquetas and let them rest on a paper towel to cool and remove excess oil.


Delicious! Serve warm and… BON PROFIT!

Monkfish al Horno con Cognac


It’s official, its fall folks. The weather has changed so much around my home, instant fall. I hope to get some more beach days in this year, I really enjoy laying down at the beach with a good book. We’ll see about that!

Since the weather has changed so much, I really feel that I want to cook a fall dish. Something warm and filling on a cool, rainy day. When I say warm dishes, I’m talking soups, stews, fish, etc. One of the fish that I really like is monkfish, or rape (pronounced rah-pay) in Spanish. When I first moved to the States, it was difficult to find. But I persisted and have been able to find it.

I can say that Rape is different than other fish. It is pretty firm and meaty, similar to a steak or chicken consistency. The way they prepare it, it doesn’t have many bones either. If you see the whole fish, it is pretty ugly (I am sorry Mr. Monkfish…) But it tastes better than it looks! And that’s what it matters in the kitchen.

Today I made Rape al Horno con Cognac, which translates to Oven-Baked Monkfish with cognac. It is baked in a pan with onions and potatoes, which is very typical of Spanish cuisine. The recipe is simple to execute. If you don’t have cognac or don’t like the taste, don’t worry. You can easily substitute white wine.

Ingredients: 3 -4 servings :

  • 2 lbs monkfish fillets
  • 4 medium potatoes (about 1 medium potato per person)
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup canola oil (for cooking the potatoes)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of cognac
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • paprika

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a large pan, preheat the canola oil on medium heat. Peel and cut the potatoes into thin slices (if you have a mandolin, this is a good time to use it). Fry the potatoes until just soft. You don’t want french fries.  Remove the potatoes, and place on a paper towel lined plate to soak up the excess oil. Season with salt and pepper. You may need to cook the potatoes in several batches if your pan is not big enough.

Next, slice the onion very thin (mandolin is a good option here as well).

In a large baking dish, drizzle some olive oil or cooking spray and line the bottom of the dish with the potatoes and onions. Just pour them in and distribute them evenly. Next, place the fish on top and season with salt, pepper, paprika and drizzle the cognac on top.

(*OPTIONAL:  If you don’t want to fry the potatoes, boil them with the skin on for about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot and then peel them. I find that peeling them after they are cooked is easier.)


Bake for about 15 minutes. While the fish is cooking, prepare the garlic and the almonds using a mortar and pestle. Add a little olive oil to mash it.

After 15 minutes, add the almond mixture on top of the monkfish and bake for 5-7 more minutes.


Ready to serve! I always cook some veggies, this time it was zucchini.


Bon profit and Happy Fall!

Bacalao al Gratin Español


Can you believe that in 2 days it will be fall?!? Oh my! Time flies. It has been an amazing summer, and I feel like I don’t want it to end.

Today I made a cod dish. I think my mind is already thinking fall, because this is a nice cool-weather dish.  Cod is the workhorse of the fish species in Spain, at least for cooking. It is very versatile, historically abundant, and a tasty fish! My grandma has so many cod recipes that I swear that I could make cod every day for a month and change the recipe every day. (I don’t know if it’s a good idea though…!)

The name of the recipe is Bacalao al Gratin Español which translates to Spanish Broiled Cod. Gratin is a culinary technique which I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with. Basically, whichever ingredient you use is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. A gratin is baked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust with a nice crunchy texture. In this case, I used bread crumbs.

This recipe is very easy t0 execute. You can also make it ahead of time! That’s convenient 🙂 Alright, let get into it…

Ingredients for 4 servings: 

  • 4 cod fillets -fresh or thawed if frozen- (2 lbs or about a 1/2 lb per person)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • About 1 lb fresh and ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Core out the stems and slice a shallow “X” in the bottom of each tomato. Drop the whole tomatoes in the boiling water for about 40 to 60 seconds or until they start peeling or shrinking. Strain the tomatoes with cold water and peel them.

Add the tomatoes and the chopped garlic to a sauce pan with butter on medium heat and mash them with a (potato) masher. Stir and add the paprika.

If the sauce looks smooth, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. If the sauce is still chunky, continue to mash it or you can blend it with a blender.

*If you want, you can make the sauce ahead of time. Just keep the sauce in the fridge and when you’re ready, reheat it on the stove for a few minutes on medium heat.


Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Dredge the cod in the flour mixture.


Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the skin is nicely browned. Remove from pan and transfer to a baking dish.

Add the sauce on top of the cod and add the bread crumbs, spreading them all over the cod.


Broil for a few minutes until the surface of the cod gets browned and a nice crust starts to form. You can brown the crust to your liking but keep an eye on the broiler. It can go from a beautiful golden brown to black and burnt in no time! Now it’s ready to be served!

*You can also prepare the fish ahead of time if you want. Remove the cod from the heat and either keep it in the baking dish that you will broil it or on a plate, let it cool down, cover it and store it in the fridge.

I served this cod with homemade gnocchi with a brown-butter sage sauce. (Gnocchi recipe will be in an upcoming blog!) You can serve it with your favorite side dish.

Bon Profit and enjoy the last days of Summer!


Leche Merengada


It´s pretty warm out here, it´s still summer in Maryland! When it’s this warm, I really like to have some refreshing cold drinks in the refrigerator; lemonade, ice tea… When I’m in Spain, I like to have a cold drink called leche merengada. The literal translation is meringue milk. It is common to find it in the ice cream shops during the summer months.

This drink became very popular in Madrid at the end of the XVIII century. Some of the classic Spanish literature novels such as Fortunata y Jacinta by Benito Perez talk about the drink. There is also a very famous children’s song that talks about the cow and the leche merengada:

Tengo una vaca lechera
No es una vaca cualquiera
Me da leche merengada
¡Hay que vaca tan salada!
Tolón, tolón

I translated it in English;

I have a dairy cow
It’s no ordinary cow,
It gives me meringue milk.
Oh! What a nice cow!
Tolon, tolon. (No translation! Just a silly saying)

The drink is the easiest ever to make. It is sweetened milk sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with whipped white egg.  Sounds good right?! Everyone likes it, kids and adults. So let’s get into the recipe!

Hands on; 15 minutes – Total time: 2 hours


– 4 cups milk

– 1/2 – 3/4 cup of sugar (depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have)

– 1 large stick cinnamon

– powdered cinnamon (just a pinch to sprinkle on the top)

– 1/4 lemon peel

– 2 egg whites

In a sauce pan, mix the milk, sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon stick over medium heat. Stir constantly until it just boils, then turn off the heat. Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick, then pour the mixture into a bowl. Let it cool at room temperature and then place it into the freezer for a couple of hours. You just want it to be very cold to serve, not frozen. (You can make it at night for the next day. Instead of placing it in the freezer, place it into the refrigerator). In a separate bowl, whip the 2 egg whites into a meringue. Until the egg whites thicken and get light and airy. Pour the whipped egg whites into the icy cold milk mixture and stir. I like to sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top of the drink. Ready to serve!

Yuuuuummm!! I love it!

Bon profit!

Leche merengada

Leche merengada


Hola hola!!
I am back from Spain and I am alive!
I had such a wonderful time with family and friends in Spain. The wedding day was the BEST, BEST day of my life! It was awesome, and I don’t have the words to properly describe it.
wedding R+I

Mr. & Mrs. Yay! 

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted anything in a while, but I’m sure you understand. The wedding was busy, and as soon as I got back, I was busy with work, including a work trip to  San Francisco. For those who follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some pictures from San Fran. For the rest, you should follow me on Instagram! 😉
Today I made something pretty summery. It’s peach season, and if you’re like me, you have delicious peaches just waiting to be used for something yummy. (They get ripe fast!) I decided to make adelicious and refreshing peach sauce, and I served it with grilled shrimp, and cherry tomatoes and a green bell pepper from the garden. The recipe is very easy, it takes about 20 minutes to make.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
-16 shrimp (peeled or in the shell, it’s up to you)
– 24 cherry tomatoes
– 2 large green bell peppers
– 2 peeled peaches
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/4 tsp of dill
– 2 small green onions
– salt and pepper
In a blender, mix the peaches, the olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and blend it. Once its smooth, add the dill and the green onions and blend it again. Set aside for use later.
Grill the shrimp and the whole pepper and then after 3 minutes add the tomatoes. If you don’t have a grill, you could use a grill pan on the stove, or just sauté them in a pan. Cook until the shrimp are cooked. Slice the pepper  and plate them together and serve with the peach sauce. Simple and fresh. A great way to use summer ingredients.
Bon profit!

Puff Pastry Pizza with Garden Tomatoes


Hola from Barcelona! I am nervous,  very nervous. My wedding is right around he corner. (I’ll post some pictures on Instagram). Yay! I can´t wait, but at the same time I have tons of butterflies in my stomach everyday. I guess it’s natural.

Everyone tells me not to worry, that everything will be fine. Yes, yes…. but when it’s your own wedding, you worry about everything, or at least I do. I had to plan everything from overseas. Thank goodness I have a super mom that helped me a lot with everything. For those that are married, did you have the same feeling on the days before your wedding? I guess so.

Anyway, lets focus on the food. Those summer tomatoes are starting to roll in, more every day. For today, I made a simple and quick Puff Pastry Pizza with Garden Tomatoes. The puff pastry can be either homemade or from the store. I needed something quick today , so store-bought it was! This is a quick recipe that can help you if you have guests at the last minute or you just want to make a simple and quick dinner, appetizer or snack.


  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard (gives it a nice tang)
  • 3 oz grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 big tomato
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oregano  (fresh is the best!)


Preheat the oven to 390 F.

Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a baking sheet. Using a fork, pinch the dough (see picture) and pre-bake it for about 3  to 5 minutes.


Remove from the oven and spread the Dijon mustard (you just want a thin coat) top it with the cheese and finally the fresh tomato slices.  Season with salt, pepper and oregano.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.


Serve warm and Bon Profit!


Watermelon & Feta Salad

Hi there!
It has been a while since my last post, but my wedding is right aroung the corner and I’ve been super busy with everything. I hope you can understand. I am leaving next week for Spain!
Summer is here, I can’t believe it how time flies. I love this season, and all my favorites fruit and vegetables that come with it. I have four blueberry bushes at my house and I will be picking berries very soon. (If the birds don’t get to them first…) I have been sourcing them in the mean time from a local farm.
Something that I really like to eat in the summer is watermelon. (I’m growing those too!) So refreshing and so healthy. I love it. For today I made an easy salad of watermelon, feta and basil. My basil and mint are growing like crazy. I am pretty much eating tomato with basil everyday.
Anyways, back to the subject… regarding the watermelon… I made this easy and quick salad. It will take you less than 2 minutes to make it and trust me, it might sound a little weird, but it’s delicious.
3 cups diced watermelon
1/2 cup diced feta cheese
3 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh basil
pinch of salt
Mix the watermelon, feta and basil. Pour the balsamic vinegar on top and add a pinch of salt. That’s it! Always fresh, delicious, and nutritious!
Try to use a watermelon that is very cold. It will taste better and be more refreshing, especially on of of those hot and beautiful summer days. Happy summer!
Bon profit!
I am happy to share this recipe with Fiesta Friday #125!

Artichoke Heart with Cod Brandade and White Sauce


I love this recipe. Its’ my grandma’s, of course. I haven’t met a person that doesn’t like it. Its simple to make but it does take a while to peel the leaves off, since you are just using the heart of the artichoke. But trust me, it’s worth it. Artichoke heart with Cod Brandade and White Sauce.

I made this yesterday while my grandma was on the phone with me all the way from Spain. We were talking on Skype and talking about food when we decided that I should cook something with her. It was like we were there together. My grandma is a super sweet person. She is coming to the states this summer, I can’t wait, yay! I suppose I will have to cook something with her. Maybe paella!

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 2 lbs artichokes (3 small artichokes per person)

For the Cod Brandade:

  • 1/2 lb cod fillet
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 whipping cream (you can use half and half or whole milk)
  • salt and pepper

For the White Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Let’s clean the artichokes: 

Cut off and discard the stem end of the artichoke. Peel the leaves off until you see the heart of the artichoke. Dig in and scrape off the fuzzy choke and cut it in half. (It’s inedible and hairy, not very pleasant to eat.)

Boil the hearts of the artichokes for a few minutes, until tender. Set it aside.


For the Cod Brandade: 

Slice the cod into pieces and add it to a boiling pot for about 4 minutes. Remove and add the cod to a food processor. Add a little bit of milk and a little bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.

For the White Sauce: 

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a medium pan and place on low heat.  The bottom of the pan should be entirely coated with butter. Once it’s melted, add 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour.  Stir constantly until the flour is brown. Add 3/4 cup of milk and stir until everything has been incorporated. If it looks too thick, stir in a little bit of milk.

Preheat the oven to 390F.

Pour the white sauce into a baking dish. Add the cod brandade on top of the artichoke hearts. Place these on top of the white sauce.

Cook for 10 minutes in the oven.

artick 5

Bon profit!