It Takes Two to Tango With Argentinian Food

Ahhhh....Secret-Secret Geography Club at last. I look forward to our little dinner party pretty much all month long. This month's menu: Argentinian cuisine.

Did you know that the Argentinian palette consists mainly of beef? Apparently 50 or so years ago everyone consumed the equivalent of an 8 oz. steak a day! Nowadays, they've cut it down to about half that...but still...that's some serious meat consumption! Dan always seems to be the bearer of meat in our group, so he took care of a thick piece of top sirloin steak marinated in chimichurri. What's chimichurri you ask? Only one of the most delicious condiments ever created! The Argentinians treat it like ketchup and put it on everything...its made of garlic, lemon, onion, chili and parsley and is spicy and delicious. Not only was the meat marinated in it, but there was a big bowl of it to serve extra on top of the steak. Mmmmm good.

When searching for Argentinian recipes, the most logical one to do is Empanadas. But the Argentinians fill theirs with weird stuff like beef, hard boiled egg, raisins and olives, so I just didn't find one that sounded appetizing to me. After searching high and low I came up with this Saffron Mussel Soup. I'm not sure how authentic it is...the Argentinians do have an abundance of marine life, but they consume so much beef that shellfish consumption is pretty low. Nonetheless, I found quite a few websites that made saffron mussel soup so I ran with it.
The saffron gave it a bright yellow hue. It was kind of like a twist on classic clam chowder, and it was my first time cooking live mussels, which was interesting process in itself. To go with my soup I chose to make little Argentinian cheese breads called Chipas.
They are made with tapioca starch and because of that they had this weird powdery texture I could not get used to. Other people seemed to enjoy them since by the end of the night they were all gone.

Probably one of the most "Latin American" tasting dishes was Lindsey's Humitas.
They are like a tamale made of pureed fresh corn, chiles, tomatoes and onions and the batter is wrapped in a corn husk and baked. These little guys were delicious. Steve said it reminded him of being in Mexico.

We rounded out our meal with Lindsey's homemade Sangria (none for me of course).
I loved how pretty the Sangria looked with the little bits of floating fruit. onto dessert. I really did save the best for last. The Argentinians are crazy about a little something something called Dulce De Leche, which basically means "sweet milk". I took a can of sweetened condensed milk and boiled it gently in the can without opening it for 2 hours. When it came time for dessert, we popped the can open and scooped the thick sticky nectar onto bowls of vanilla ice cream. I AM IN HEAVEN!

It kind of tastes like a combination between caramel and butterscotch but better than both of them put together. It is so dang delicious! We brought the leftovers home and haven't stopped snacking on it all week. This is a must try!

At the end of our delicious dinner we talked about countries that would be good to do in summer...that's when the idea for Southern U.S. BBQ came up. Dan is planning on smoking/roasting meat for hours upon hours just so we can bask in the delicious glow of Southern BBQ. I can hardly wait! It seems pretty fitting too, since we have already eaten countries from Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America...why not pay a little visit to North America? Its going to be good ol' down home cookin' as Lindsey and I round out the meal with baked beans, corn bread and peach pie. I've been drooling on my keyboard just typing about it!


Anonymous said...

Yummy, your food blogs always make me drool and want to eat! I am definitely trying the ice cream topping! Tarilie

LIAM said...

MMmmm...It all looked so good. how hard was it to cook those slimy muscles?

Kindra said...

Tarilie - Thanks! Here's the recipe if you want to try it:

Audrey - Not bad. I made Steve clean them up which was the hardest them was super easy though. You just throw them in a pot with some liquid, put on the lid and then they are done when the shells are open.

Mrs. Querido said...

Dulce de Leche is soooooooooooo delicious! I am drooling as well... :)

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