Here in Meaño, Food Prepared Simply is Always Perfect

9 Jul

Since Sunday, I’ve been back in Meaño, a town in Pontevedra, Galicia.  If any of you saw the article in Food and Wine, about the Albariño vineyard here, that is where I’ve been spending the week.  The family is extremely nice, and they’ve been teaching me how to prepare various traditional Galician dishes.

On Monday, we made a tuna empanada–nothing like the empanadas sold in the U.S.  The empanadas here are huge, flat pies.  Every empanada has onions and peppers inside, but the main filling is up to the cook.  Like I said, ours was a tuna empanada, but in the future, we will prepare one with bacalao (salt cod) and raisins.  Ours turned out great–I think it was the best empanada I’ve tried so far.

empanada de atún

The next day, we prepared clams a la marinera.  The tiny clams were delicious in their sauce of olive oil, onions, garlic, Albariño, and water.

clams a la marinera

Wednesday was a day of adventures.  We drove a ways to Monteferro, where we would visit a farm and have lunch with some family friends.  For lunch, we had veal, chicken, ensaladilla (a kind of potato salad with tuna, eggs, peas, and carrots), homemade bread, and homemade queso fresco.

After lunch (not a good idea for the squeamish, I suppose), we went to a butcher, where we would watch some men break down a whole baby cow for us.  It was from the farm we visited and had been killed the day before.

live veal

dead veal

it's totally chill to bring babies to watch the butcher break down a cow

It was really awesome, because as they broke it down, the women buying the meat could specify exactly how they wanted everything cut–how thick the fillets should be, how big the roasts should be, etc.  These are not options we all have access to at our average everyday meat vendors in the U.S.

The next day, for dinner, we had a feast.  I’m really unsure of what the occasion was–it’s possible that the visiting friend was particularly special–but we ate <<un montón de cosas>>.  Cigalas (langoustines), clams prepared the same way as on tuesday; razor clams a la plancha; fresh oysters; fried potatoes; salad; and filets of the veal we got the day before, roasted over a fire.  Whaaat?

cigalas, boiled. can you say spanish crawfish boil?

Gerardo opening oysters with a handy contraption...

Gerardo con carne

good food, good wine, good conversation

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