Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fun to Say, Fun to Eat

Some words, particularly certain food and cooking terms, are simply fun to use.If you are channeling your inner adolescent, something that happens to me regularly, you may smile every time you toss "cut the cheese" into conversation, even if you are only talking about actually cutting a piece of cheese.

When cruising in more sophistimacated territory, you may find it pleasing whenever you can casually insert the proper French term for a cooking technique or ingredient. Let's be honest with each other, using French makes anybody sound more like a hard core foodie, oui?

But French is so last year. It is 2009, we have a new president and now we need to choose a new language to use that establishes our foodie chops.

Sorry France, we really enjoyed it while it lasted, but we just want to be good friends, OK? It is time to move on. It's not you, it's us. We'll call you after a while and get together for lunch or something. Really.

It is time we all engage in a new foodie language crush and I propose that language be Español. It is past time we recognize there are a multitude of underutilized Spanish terms that ought to become the new gold standard for the cool culinary conversation.Por ejemplo:

"Empanada" a small sweet or savory pastry type deal may be a so-so speaking experience. However, make those same empanadas teensier and call them "empanaditas" and now you're onto something sexy. [Prounounced Em-pah-nahd-dEEE-tas and yes, almost bite your tongue on that "d" sound and pretend you hail from Barcelona. Por qúe no?]Go ahead, try it! Find a private place, take a few sips of a nice Crianza and say it a few times to yourself. You know you want to.

Once you get "empanaditas" rolling off your tongue you may find yourself making the small pastries just for the excuse to liberally sprinkle the term into your conversation.

Of course, nothing stops you from talking about how you just might make them at some point in the future. Working that term into conversations is guaranteed to spiff up your foodie talk as long as you keep finding novel listeners who won't be inclined to call you on "illegal arbitrary use of a word bearing no relation to your life".

But empanaditas is only my second favorite Spanish foodie term to use. My all time, hands down favorite Spanish foodie term is......[cue flamenco heels drumming on the floor]..... "chicharrones".

While I am not a huge fan of what is commonly referred to by use of the term [fried bits of pork skin], when I spotted a post recently on Simply Recipes for Chicharrones de Pollo I knew I would have to try the dish out if only for the excuse to ruthlessly work "chicharrones" into my conversations for a couple of days.

Without even having read the recipe all the way through, I instinctively knew the promise of linguistic levity would be well worth the few extra calories.
We who are about to fry, salute you.
Imagine how much more fun I envisioned since, after reading the recipe, and doing a little shopping, I realized I could put together what at least would pass for a reasonable, if not a "healthy" version of the dish.
Chicken marinating
Allow me to elaborate.

I bought skinless boneless organic chicken thighs, used Splenda to replace the sugar called for, and served the delectable fried marinated chicken bits atop what would otherwise pass for an Asian salad, like so:Totally delicious.

In case you are one of those folks who feels they must have at least two sources for everything, here is another take on the process from Appetite for China.

Hmmm, Appetite for China you ask?  Is this a legitimate Spanish dish or a Spanish take on an Asian technique?  No se, hombre but really, who cares? Multinational Chicharrones de Pollo! Still totally fun to say.  So very 2009. Even more fun to say in between deliciously crispy and yet tender marinated chicken bites.  

Fess up -  spill your favorite foodie term in the comments section below. Is there a word or phrase that makes you grin every time you use it? Share the love...


Flapjacks said...


wv - stabb - as in, the gringa used spanish to flaunt her foodiness, and she got the stabb...

hey they make these things up!

TexasDeb said...

The stabb - don't they have shots for that now?