Feb. 11, 2010

11 Feb

9:30 am

1 bowl of Chocolate Cheerios

12:30 pm

bocadillo de tortilla (sandwich with omelet)

side salad

1 can Diet Pepsi

Leftovers can be a pretty depressing affair. It’s like marriage, where you sometimes feel stuck in a routine with the same thing (or person) that was initially thrilling. So happy early Valentine’s Day everyone! Anyway, the key to a successful marriage, and not throwing away leftovers out of boredom, is to mix things up a bit and add some variety to your life. That’s what I did with yesterday’s leftover tortilla de patatas. I stuck it between halved slices of a toasted baguette and made a bocadillo, a type of Spanish sandwich, out of it. Yes, it’s only a slight change. But sometimes, that’s all it takes. Whether it’s two slices of bread or doing the laundry and not trying to barter it for sex after, small meaningful gestures can count.

A bocadillo is to Spain what the ham and butter sandwich is to France, a sandwich that was created by working people to be cheap and non-perishable. It’s literally bread, filling and sometimes cheese. There are no vegetables or condiments because that might spoil, though olive oil and tomato water might be used sometimes. I’ve seen some fancy bocadillos with jamon iberico or $99 black-hoof hams that are revelations onto itself, and the sandwich’s austerity works. Bocadillo de tortillas, or omelet sandwiches, are pretty common street food and is satisfying enough, though it’s easy to get sick of them if you’re traveling through Spain and trying to eat on a budget.

Bocadillo de tortilla recipe

I made a slightly fancier version of a bocadillo. You really don’t have to do any of these steps, but toasting the bread and rubbing it with garlic does wonders.

– Slice a Spanish roll or baguette in half lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil. Toast in a 500 degrees oven for 8-10 minutes.

– Afterward, take a clove of garlic that’s been sliced in half and rub the cut-side on the bread. Drizzle with more olive oil, salt and pepper.

– Slice tortillas in strips that’ll fit the bread.

I also added tomatoes and manchego cheese, but I wouldn’t go too fancy. I have to say, even though this was a very simple sandwich, this turned out really, really good. Might be the best thing I’ve made all year. In fact, I ate the exact same thing for dinner, except I replaced my salad with beets. OK, variety is good sometimes, but so is the comfort of familiarity. And that’s what the wife is good for too.

2:30 pm

Pazzo Gelato

1 scoop of blood orange sorbet

1 scoop of European yogurt gelato

I felt a bit guilty, enjoying gelato on a balmy Los Angeles afternoon while my friends on the East Coast spent hours shoveling snow. In a show of solidarity, I shoved gelato into my mouth with those tiny spoons that gelato places uses. Sometimes, I’m tempted to bring my own spoon so I can eat more of it in one bite.

6:30 pm

bocadillo (again)

beet salad with goat cheese

1 glass of water

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