Moving to Europe was an entirely new adventure for me, and one of my dreams would be to visit Spain, whatever region, whenever. It came true when one of my best friends went for her annual European business trips during autumn season in Portugal, and we decided to hit the streets of Spain this time. The last time we met, we were in Paris. This time, it was the chance for España. It was in 2019 BC (before Covid19).
We chose Barcelona because it was the easiest place among the options that matched our schedules and budget. We were both busy at work so we also did not have the time to plan an itinerary for a week of adventure.
When the lockdown started in France last mid-March, I was thinking of so many ways to do inside my apartment. It was the period of uncertainty. I had enough books, Netflix, a box of 1000-piece puzzle, drawing pads and watercolors. And in my kitchen, I was able to stock up on 2kg of flour and eggs, just the right amount that did not equate to hoarding, okay? 🙂
It was on Day 27th of this lockdown period in France that I decided to bake my banana bread recipe since my bananas might spoil already. It is not easy nowadays to buy flour at the grocery. If the other countries are running out of toilet paper, in my French town, the stores are trying to control the number of certain products that you may buy – particularly pasta, flour, eggs, rice, among others. Advisories are all over the store to remind everyone on how much we can only buy these certain grocery items.
I ran out of food on the 25th day of the lockdown (I tried to maximize whatever I had in the pantry because I really don’t want to go out. I want to be an honest person who applauds the frontliners every night at 8PM here in France) so I went to the grocery with a strategic list on hand. It wasn’t a lot but I believe that it will probably last for the next 3 weeks if we are still in this situation. So with that in mind, and with the bananas that I accidentally left inside my fridge and have gone super ripe, I decided to do something out of it (and also, to try to make my store-bought bread lasts longer than a week). In this banana bread recipe, I want my bread a bit moist and with nuts for that extra crunch.
To start with, Chicken Afritada is a Filipino chicken stew cooked in tomato sauce, with carrots, potatoes and bell pepper.
In my version, I cooked it as a “slightly” adobo first. Meaning, after sauteing garlic, onions and chicken (I prefer the thighs and wings because it adds more flavor), I put in a bit of soy sauce and vinegar, and simmer for a while to cook. This is to tenderize the chicken, add more flavor and extend the life span of my afritada because of the vinegar. When the food is tomato-based, it has the tendency to get spoiled in a span of a week. Also, in my version, I added some chili powder that was always supplied to me by my Thai friends from Bangkok to add some kick. Hi-yah! Since I love vegetables and I still have some of it in my fridge, I added string beans in it, too.