The chicken or the egg? This dish is named, Chicken Galatina, and I made it for this Thanksgiving. Between me and my hubs, our bantam weight-sized family decided we should begin to conform to this Holiday and relate to the rest of the world every year this day, with Fowl-food. Not being that fond of Turkey, we decided to make Chicken Galatina, as our main course.

The biggest challenge with this dish is de-boning the chicken without cutting the skin in a half. With the assistance of 5 You Tube instruction videos and 1 Cornish hen, I was able to de-bone the entire trunk of the chicken so I could stuff the inside with a Meat Loaf-type mixture called Embutido.

This dish comes in Brazilian, Portuguese and Spanish versions I believe, but the Filipino version of this dish is made more interesting and whimsical because of the boiled egg situated inside the Chicken Galantine. This is my first attempt at it and I think I will get the hang of preparing this for our own Holiday traditions in our home – moving forward

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Jaleo brags about being the first ever critically-acclaimed Tapas – Bar in D.C. ; and bragging rights they have. It has been months now since I ventured into the doors of a place that I envisioned some joint in Spain would be and my! the taste of the concentrated flavors of the tapas I had for a brunch there still stimulates my taste buds and palate when the thought occurs to me.

That early afternoon, I had the Manzanas con Hinojo y queso Manchego, made of sliced green apples, fennel salad with Manchego cheese, chives and sherry dressing to start. As the name suggests – this salad had Green apple, sourness, sweetness, roasted-garlic-soaked thin strips of fennel, Spanish olive oil with sherry, chives and a cheese named “Manchego,” which comes from sheep’s milk in La Mancha, Spain. I’ve had Gambas al Ajillo (sauteed garlic shrimp) as well but, to this day, I long for Manchego cheese with the impatience of a child longing for dessert while the parent force-feeds the vegetables.  In every Spanish, Latin-American joint I have ventured in since that day, I have been searching for that melange in my mouth, like how I tasted it then, perhaps like how a flower needs the rain, but the pursuits have come up short.

I have been to 2 other supposedly acclaimed Tapas spots now in cities other than D.C. but still remain on the quest for it. Will I find it again other than in Jaleo? or like Alonso Quixano de La Mancha will it just be a dream… the impossible dream?

Yael Naim

11/06/10

I do not know a whole lot about Yael Naim except that she sings the lyrics of this catchy piano acoustic song “New Soul;” not just sing, but she also plays the piano piece. Gadget people have for sure heard the intro of the ditty in the Macbook Air commercials when it first came out and was first introduced to her in this manner.

I, on the other hand first heard her in Pandora Radio and was hooked to the pure, innocent and whimsical brand of her sound and the touch of poignancy with the ballads. Yael’s main collaborator David Donatien, a multi-instrumentalist, worked with Yael after her previous 2-3 albums fell short of the acceptance that was due her and I believe the rest is… critical acclaim.

With the advent of “Yael Naim,” her second solo studio album, the indie-pop music world hasn’t been the same. The songs in this album are in French, Hebrew and English; this is “renaissance” in and of itself. The songs I particularly love in the album are: “New Soul,” for it’s catchy tune and lyrics; Far, Far, because it is  heartrending, and Paris – which is sang in Hebrew with some lines in French, for its poetry. I hope Yael and David will always make their music with this freshness of an approach so that I will  have something to look forward to in my MP3 player when I need to.

Whose voice echoes in my Ipod these days? it’s of a woman whose pronunciations of English words while singing are in French and Hebrew accent, named Yael Naim.