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Posts from the ‘Argentina’ Category

That Time

It had been a awhile since I’d posted a recipe for ñoquis del 29. A monthly tradition that promises prosperity in Argentina and Uruguay, I wanted to start the year off right.  Looking for a new recipe, I remembered my first attempt at Meyer lemon gnocchis a couple of years ago.  I wasn’t sure how to go about it then so I thought it would be a good time to make a fresh batch. Read more

Catching Up in January

I took advantage of a rainy Sunday to catch up on some reading though, instead of newspaper stacks, I had  bookmarked pages and Google alerts filling up my inbox.  For the New York Times, Jonathan Miles visited Roneria Caracas, a new Brooklyn bar specializing in rum drinks, in The Choices? Rum or Rum and doesn’t miss the whisky while Paola Singer went to western Spain to sample the Dom Pérignon of Iberian ham for In Spain, A Delicacy Rooted in Earth and Tradition. Meanwhile, Read more

Pan de Yuca

Though I’d love to have homemade rolls every day, I stay away from bread recipes for first thing.  They never seem to rise and bulk up in the time promised.  I wake up early and spend the morning nervously peeking at the dough I lovingly covered in its blanky and placed in a draft free place to no avail.  One hour becomes two and there’s no breakfast in sight.  By the time it’s done, I’m too cranky to really enjoy it.  I didn’t get to sleep in yet the dough enjoyed a leisurely rise.  When I came across pan de yuca or yuca bread in a Miami, I was curious.  A combination of yuca flour (also known as tapioca starch) and cheese, it can be mixed and rolled as quickly as arepas then baked off.   Read more

Figure Eights

There’s always a point when I finish a post and choose a country category that feels a little dishonest.  Well not so much dishonest but not the whole elephant either.  When I decided to write about Latin food, I knew that it would be a fuzzy focus and difficult to define.  Buñuelos, fritters popular throughout Spain and Latin America, are a good example.  Originally from the Iberian penninsula, they’re either Arabic or Sephardic, or maybe both.  Typically made from a wheat-based dough that’s flavored with anise, they’re rolled into balls or discs and deep fried then topped with a syrup or honey. Read more

Ñoquis del 29

A few weeks ago, I read about Argentina’s ñoquis del 29, the day of the month to prepare and eat gnocchi and wanted to try it.  Unfortunately, I would invariably remember this on the 30th of each month.  I was determined not to forget this time and with all the fall vegetables weighing down the markets, I was looking for something in a pumpkin-squash-sweet potato to start a new monthly tradition.  I found a recipe for sweet potato gnocchi in October’s Gourmet (still can’t believe it’s gone) issue that was exactly what I wanted.  I’d only made gnocchi once before and while they were okay, I had that nagging feeling when you first try a recipe that you just didn’t do it right.  To avoid this, I read the recipe a few times, cross referenced similar ones for tips and techniques, gathered up the few necessary ingredients and got ready to make a mess. Read more

Disappearing Gauchos

I have to admit that like most people, I’ve always had a romantic view of the gaucho’s life in the Argentinian plains.  Naturally, I was very interested in this article by Juan Forero, “Day of the Gaucho Waning in Argentina”, for the Washington Post, about how traditional grass fed beef was giving way to U.S.-style feedlots.  I was surprised at how pragmatic the people interviewed were about the changes: Read more

Autumn Stewing

Buried in a cookbook from the 1960s, I first read about the Argentinian carbonada earlier this summer.  Made to celebrate Argentinian Independence Day on July 9, during their winter season, stew weather seemed a long way off then.  A mixture of beef, corn, peaches and pears, it seemed perfect for early fall, when the heartier fruits and vegetables come in just as the sweeter fruits of summer are fading out.  Wishing I’d taken pictures of the market’s golds, purples, and reds, I felt like bit of a witch at her cauldron when they reappeared in the pot.  Traditionally, the carbonada is served in a large pumpkin-like gourd called a zapallo.  Hollowed out, baked, then filled with the stew, each serving includes a spoonful of pumpkin.  With no fairy godmother to turn my northeastern squash into an Andean zapallo, I turned the small acorn and colorful delicata squashes into soup bowls instead. Read more

An Argentine Affair

When I found about An Argentine Affair to be presented by Trapiche and Michel Torino Wines on August 19th at Water Taxi Beach, I had mixed feelings.  With the summer winding down, I’ve become skeptical of open air events that either become a bittersweet reason to fall in love with New York all over again or sand and paper plate push and shove events.  With the promise of wine and Argentinian grilling, tangos, and soccer, this one seems worth the risk, especially with a portion of ticket proceeds benefit to Action Against Hunger,

Last Minute

I was in the final stretch of making Sunday lunch for my uncle and favorite cooking aunt, debating where I should buy a jar of dulce de leche to add to the polovorones or shortbread cookies I’d made earlier.  The gourmet shops nearby carry the good but expensive La Salamandra while the Colombian stores have a wider selection but seemed too far away in Queens.  I decided to make my own instead.  Though I knew it was easily done at home, I’d always avoided it in the past.  Worried about exploding cans, we’d take them off heat too early and end up with milky mustard instead of a deep caramel (though it was still happily eaten).  I found these recipes on From Argentina With Love for making dulce de leche at home that skipped the treacherous can boiling.  Unwilling to face yet another grocery store run to buy whole milk, I tried the second version where a can of condensed milk is cooked in the top of a double boiler over a pan half filled with water.  Though it takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours, it only needs to be checked and stirred about every 45 minutes freeing me up to work on other things.  Because I’d rolled the polvorones thinner than usual, I watched the cookies closely and shortened the baking time to 10 minutes.  I let the dulce de leche cook the entire time for a thicker consistency.  Too rich to spread, it was the right consistency for holding together the crumbly cookies.  A painless last minute (+two hour) solution. Read more

Argentinian Spotlight

It seems I’m not the only one pre-occupied with Argentina these days…by far.  After posting about my weekend stab at  matambra, I saw this New York Times article, “Buenos Aires Spotlights Its Cafes” in yesterday’s travel section.  A brief sampling, it highlights interesting cafes throughout the city from the famous ones like Las Violetas to a small bistro operating out of a building where they’d made coffins named Café Nostalgia.  Here’s a clip of Carlos Gardel to test the saying that he “every day sings a little better”: