I’m a lot like Argentina. We are both the product of Spanish and Italian immigrants and we both have a decidedly Latin vibe coursing through our beings. It’s no wonder I’m planning my third visit to Buenos Aires in October. There’s a natural affinity.
Buenos Aires is a large, beautiful and complex city. I could never do it justice here with a few lines or paragraphs so I decided to do something different for this stop on the tour.
I’m “inviting” all of you to dinner. Just come along with me as I present a family dinner I imagine would be served in a fashionable and exclusive apartment in the Recoleta area. The family would be descendants of Italian immigrants. Perhaps the occasion would be a birthday celebration – as it was in my home this weekend when my family gathered for this meal. Tuck your napkin under your chin and follow me…
Baked Chicken Empanada made with shredded chicken which had been cooked in a slow cooker with sour orange juice, Corona beer, mojo marinade, Sazón, olives, raisins and red onion (made and brought to the party by Jim.)
Pasta Sauce. Squeezed San Marzano tomatoes, onions and garlic fried in olive oil, fresh basil, house seasoning. Some people add a little sugar to their sauce but I prefer to cook it with a whole carrot for natural sweetness.
Matambre (a contraction of mata hambre; def. kill the hunger). This is generally a flank steak stuffed with a variety of ingredients, most popularly hard-boiled eggs and vegetables. Cooking for 19 people, I took some liberties. Instead of flank steak which would have been too unwieldy, I purchased 2 eye round roasts and made a pocket in each for the stuffing. Our stuffing was porchetta (the leftover butt from Christmas), prunes, fresh mint, pimentoes and Spanish olives. It was certain to “mata el hambre”!
Chimichurri Sauce. I usually just ‘wing it’, but this time I decided to follow a recipe from Asado Argentina.
Burnt Carrots with warm goat cheese on an arugula + parsley salad. This is renowned Argentine chef Francis Mallman’s recipe. I chose not to include the garlic chips, switched red wine vinegar to balsamic and baked both the carrots and cheese in the oven.
Eggplant Rollatini with baby bellas and porcini mushrooms which had been soaked in sweet vermouth and sauteed with olive oil and garlic before blending with a little tomato sauce. Eggplant slices stuffed and rolled with a blend of Italian cheeses (predominantly ricotta), beaten egg, and seasonings. Topped with a little shredded mozzarella, parmesan and the mushroom sauce. Bake till bubbly. [Recipe Update: I sliced the eggplants lengthwise and microwaved them on a tray instead of grilling or frying them. No oil used. Then did the usual filling, rolling and baking.]
Dessert. At this point, we go off-theme with 2 pies (key lime and cherry) so we’ll go off-camera as well.
I hope you enjoyed our dinner in Buenos Aires. We sure did!
Round-Up: February 3.
Next Stop: Brazil, February 8