Berenjena en Escabeche (Marinated Eggplant) – Serves 6
A tasty side dish that can be used as a delicious appetizer on its own or as a sandwich filling, Berenjena en Escabeche is a classic dish from Argentina that combines eggplant, crushed red pepper flakes and olive oil making a plate that goes well with meats, cheeses and Argentine wine.
- 2 medium eggplants, peeled
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup Olive Oil
- Slice peeled eggplants into thick slices of approximately 1/2 inch.
- Put one layer of eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkle with kosher salt. Layer and repeat until all the salt and eggplant has been used. The eggplant will drain, so put it in the sink or over a plate. Wait 30 minutes, press down on the eggplant to drain off some more liquid, then shake off salt.
- Quickly rinse (but do not soak) the eggplant in running water to remove more of the salt, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Bring the water and vinegar to a boil in a sauce pan, along with the bay leaves.
- Place the eggplant in the sauce pan, and cook at a slow boil over medium heat until it is fork-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the eggplant.
- Whisk the remaining ingredients together: garlic, oil, oregano and hot pepper.
- Pour a tablespoon of dressing at the bottom of a ceramic or glass dish, or clean glass jar. Place a layer of eggplant on top of the dressing, spoon more dressing over the top. Repeat layers of dressing and eggplant. Pour additional oil on top if necessary.
- Let marinate for at least two days in the refrigerator for best results. Serve with toasted bread or crackers.
Salmon Ceviche – Serves 6
- 1 ¼ lb very fresh salmon, boned and skinned
- 1 pink grapefruit
- 2 limes
- 1 tsp. superfine sugar
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- Dash Tabasco sauce
- 1 ripe avocado
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Put the salmon on a tray or large plate and lightly sprinkle with salt. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, working over a bowl to catch the juices, peel the grapefruit and cut between the membranes to cut out the segments, dropping them into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl.
- Add to the bowl the juice of 1 ½ limes, the sugar, jalapeno, and Tabasco to taste. Mix well.
- Halve the avocado, peel and chop the flesh, then puree in a food processor with the juice from the remaining half lime.
- Remove the salmon from the refrigerator, rinse and dry. Freeze for 5 to 10 minutes, then slice very thinly and arrange on a plate.
- Arrange the grapefruit segments over the fish and spoon some of the dressing on top (serve the rest separately). Finish the dish with drops of avocado puree and cilantro leaves.
- If preparing in advance, refrigerate, but allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Grilled Gaucho Steak with Chimichurri
For the Chili Water:
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 cup warm water
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
- 1 bundle fresh flat leaf parsley
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds skirt steak or flank steak, trimmed
For the Chili Water: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.
For the Chimichurri Sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until coarsely chopped. Set aside.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill. Place the steaks on the grill and baste a couple of times with Chili Water. Cook about 4 to 6 minutes on each side then transfer to a platter to let rest for 15 minutes. Slice the meat lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices and toss with chimichurri sauce.
Easy Cilantro Chimichurri
- 2 cups finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Empanadas de Carne de Res (Argentinian Beef Turnovers) – Serves 8
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ¼ cup chopped onions
- ½ pound ground beef
- ¼ cup chopped pimento stuffed olives
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 17.3 ounce package Puff Pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 raw egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- Heat the vegetable oil in a 10-inch skillet.
- Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes, until the onion turns translucent.
- Add the ground beef, and brown for about 4 minutes, until the beef is completely cooked.
- Add the olives, raisins, egg, garlic and season with salt.
- Stir to combine well, then remove from the heat and cool slightly.
- Heat your oven to 350°F.
- On a floured surface, unfold one of the sheets of the Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry, and roll out with a rolling pin so that the folds are no longer visible. Sprinkle a bit of extra flour on the top surface of the pastry for easier rolling.
- Use a 5”to 6” round cutter or template to cut out circles from the dough. (We used the lid of a large round plastic yogurt container with excellent results.) If the dough seems too small to yield 4 circles per sheet of puff pastry, simply roll the pastry a bit thinner and wider.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the raw egg and water. Set aside.
- Fill each pastry circle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Pinch the edges of the circle together well to seal and form a half moon shape.
- Place the empanada on a parchment lined baking sheet, and seal the empanadas again by pressing down the pinched edges with the tines of a fork.
- Once all the empanadas are well sealed, brush the top and edges with the egg mixture.
- Bake the empanadas in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.
Carbonada criolla (Beef and Pumpkin Stew) – Serves 4
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 onions, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 ¼ lb. lean braising steak, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 tsp. ground paprika
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried chili flakes
- 1 Tbsp. soft brown sugar
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 ¼ lb. pumpkin, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 whole corn cobs (or equivalent frozen corn kernals)
- 3 fresh peaches, peeled and cut into wedges or 8 dried apricots, halved
- 1 cup raisins
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Heat half of the oil in a large pan and cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring. Add the pepper and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pan and cook the beef until well-browned. Return the onion mixture to the pan with the paprika, oregano, chili flakes and sugar. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes and stock. Season, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the carrots, potatoes and pumpkin, re-cover the pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use a sharp knife to cut away the kernels from the corn and add them to the pan with the peaches or apricots and raisins. Simmer for a further 5 minutes. Leave to stand for a few minutes before serving.
Alfajores (Caramel filled cookies) – Makes 12
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup semolina
- Dulce de leche, for filling (Store bought or see recipe below!)
- Dry unsweetened coconut, to roll in (optional)
- Beat the butter, sugar and lemon rind in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one by one, and the vanilla extract.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda over the mixture, add the semolina and mix together to make a smooth dough, taking care not to over-handle it. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line two large baking sheets with parchment.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until ¼ inch thick. Cut into circles with a 1 ½ inch cookie cutter and carefully transfer to the baking sheets, spacing slightly apart.
- Bake for about 8 minutes or until set, but not browned. Remove from the oven, leave on the sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Spread the underside of a cooled cookie with a heaped teaspoon of dulce de leche, then sandwich together with another cookie, pressing gently together until the dulce de leche just oozes a little out of the sides.
- Place the coconut on a plate and roll the edges of the cookie sandwich over the coconut, so that it sticks to the dulce de leche. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Dulce de Leche (Toffee sauce ) – Makes 2 cups
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 ¾ cups superfine sugar
- 5 oz. liquid glucose (or corn syrup)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- Put the milk and sugar into a heavy pan on a very low heat. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Continue cooking for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
- Blend the baking soda with 1 Tbls. cold water and stir into the mixture. Turn up the heat a little and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until it reaches 225 on a candy thermometer, stirring constantly towards the end of cooking to prevent it sticking.
- When ready, the mixture should be thick and a rich tan color. To test, lift your spoon and drizzle some of the sauce over the surface, if it forms a ribbon that does not disappear after 10 seconds, it is ready. Immediately plunge the base of the pan into a sink containing some cold water.
- Leave the mixture to cool completely, stirring occasionally, then transfer to a bowl, or a large jar with a lid, cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.