Aceitunas (Olives)

Grocery shopping is always fun and is the only occasion when impulse purchase establishes a strong connection with me. But can you imagine what would happen when you go to a supermarket with a Spanish-speaking flatmate? It was a 110% funny experience.

My new flatmate is from Austria. She speaks perfect Spanish as she lived in Mexico City for two years and is now staying in Barcelona to do a Masters degree. One day, we went to one of the supermarkets together (that was her third day in BCN). When I was happily creating various dishes in my head while walking aisle to aisle looking for the ingredients, she asked me: “¿Sabes dónde están aceitunas?” (Do you know where olives are?)

Good question! We were right at the aisle between the one where bottles of olive oil (and all kinds of oil) are and the one where tinned tuna (and all types of tinned food) is. I showed her where the Aisle of Oil (aceite) and the Aisle of Tinned Tuna (atún) were.

What happened next was very obvious- embarrassment, giggles, and strings of English-Spanish bilingual words coming out from both of our vocal cords. Let’s focus on the reason why, shall we? :-P

Aceituna (n.) Fruit of olive tree, i.e. olives (green/black). I love green olives. (Me encantan aceitunas verdes.)

Aceite (n.) Oily liquid obtained from fruits or seeds. We usually use olive oil when we are cooking in Spain. (En España, siempre usamos aceite de oliva para cocinar.)

Atún (n.) Teleost fish, common in Spanish seas. Tinned tuna is very cheap. (El atún en conserva es muy barato.)

Definitions (translated): Real Academia Española

In short:

An equation a multilingual brain just came up with…

Ps- Tuna (n.) does exist in Spanish, however, its literal meaning is “a group of university students in traditional university dress who play traditional instruments and sing serenades” (from Wikipedia)

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Baked salmon in creamy sauce

Happy 2015 to you all! The first post of this year is dedicated to one of my favourite dishes – salmon. I am not going to talk about how nutritious it is here but to tell you one of the many ways to prepare an indulging dish. Happy cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 salmon fillet*
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • Ground black pepper
  • Ground red pepper
  • Salt (optional)
  • Parsley/Dill/Basil/Oregano

Serves: 1

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/ gas mark 6
  2. Rinse the salmon fillet with cold water and pat dry
  3. Place the salmon on top of a piece of aluminium foil (double the size of what one fillet needs)
  4. Mix ground black and red pepper with the mayonnaise in a small bowl
  5. Smear the salmon fillet (but the skin) with the sauce mixture
  6. Generously sprinkle the dried herbs on top of the sauce mixture
  7. Carefully arrange the lemon slices on top of the fillet
    IMG_8379
  8. Cover the salmon with the remaining half of the foil
  9. Pinch the upper and the bottom half of the foil together to seal it like a bag to hold the sauce
  10. Place it on the baking tray/baking dish
  11. Bake the salmon in the preheat oven for 20-25 minutes
  12. Serve it with rice, potatoes, or pasta, together with a veggie side-dish

    IMG_8382
    It was quite a big meal, wasn’t it?

*I usually halve a whole fillet of salmon. If you would like to save the remaining half for the next meal (preferably on the next day), rinse and pat dry it before sealing it with a piece of plastic wrap/in an air-tight container.

Bon appetit!