Winter of 2020, mid pandemic, was a tough period for me. I was under immense pressure during the last trimester of the MBA, and the winter and greys skies of Switzerland didn't help. The only little light of hope I had was reuniting with the ultimate little miracle in my life, my little brother, Daniel. As my family couldn't leave Colombia, and Christmas is the holiday to be in family, we planned on him coming to see me in Europe.
Things got a little bit nasty and complicated, something I might end up sharing at some point, but it felt like the end of my world. I thought I was going to spend Christmas completely alone, and far away from home. Now I look back at things, and I truly think it all happened for a reason. If it hadn't been for all obstacles, my brother and I had to overcome, we wouldn't have found a family in Madrid. My little miracles in Madrid are Lau, Mari, and Juanca. Three Colombians who I have known since my years in San Francisco, but that have drastically changed my life for the better. We say cheers to that!
When things started to brighten up, the five of us spent those 3 weeks in Madrid eating, drinking, dancing, laughing, and even crying. We had a novena, a Colombian (excuse) to celebrate 9 days before Christmas, where people gather and pray, sing, and feast. We definitely feasted. We made arepas, patacones, reina pepiada, hogao, and the mandatory berry gin & tonics.
On Christmas, we had a fusion of Italian antipasti, my staple Roasted Tomato & Burrata Salad, with Chicken Tika Masala and Basmati Rice.
For New Years, we made the most epic and complete cheese fondue.
And then, when we thought we had been lucky with a warmer European winter, until " "the most intense storm in the last 50 years" hit the streets of Madrid. Madrid was not ready, and so were we. I even had to go winter jacket shopping because I would have frozen to death.
✨ Nevertheless, we took advantage of our winter quarantine to cook the perfect food for cold weather, cozy and rich. We went full on Master Chef with a Sesame Miso & Alba Clamshell Mushroom Ramen topped with a soy marinated egg, crispy nori, green onion, and a homemade butter & corn bomb inspired by Ramen Tatsu Ya.
✨ Sancocho Valluno, traditional dish originated from the Colombian Valle del Cauca, a chicken soup cooked with plantain, yuca, potato. and corn on the cob. Garnished with with cilantro and sliced bananas for that sweet kick!
✨ The iconic Pad Thai with diced chicken, white and brown button mushrooms, baby corn, carrots, scrambled eggs, soy sprouts, and cilantro I love adding chopped peanuts, cilantro, fresh soy sprouts, and a lime wedge
Where you in Madrid when this one in a million storm happened? Let me know in the comments below.