Saturday, April 16, 2016

Eating Around the World - Argentina

Argentina. It's a huge country, with breathtaking scenery and varied landscapes. From frigid Patagonia to tall mountains ranges, to the grasslands of the pampas. I think Argentina was one of the countries we studied this year that I knew least about, and one that has now moved a lot higher on my list of places I'd love to visit. But, one thing I knew before this week was that Argentina was famous for its beef, and that we'd have to have asado for our meal.

Beef is expensive, and we almost had pork instead. In fact, we hardly ever eat beef at home, although we like it a lot. But just in time, chuck roast went on sale at the grocery. That's far from the choicest cut, but we rolled with it, serving it alongside a large array of grilled vegetables. We had grilled eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms with our beef, and it was delicious.

Of course, we doused every bite of meat or vegetables in chimichurri sauce. Or, to be more accurate, Collin and I did. The girls each tried a little dollop, and begged not to have to finish it. Chimichurri sauce is a bit spicy, and a lot green, so I didn't really expect the girls to enjoy it. But I loved it! It really was a perfect grilling condiment.

It was a beautiful evening, so we ate our asado as a picnic in the back yard.

Eliza loved the picnic, because she could crawl around and steal food off everyone's plates. The girls certainly didn't protest when she took their peppers or zucchini away.

Dessert was the best! We had alfajores, which are tender buttery sandwich cookies, filled with dulce de leche, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It would not be an exaggeration to say this was one of my top favorite new recipes from our whole geographical culinary adventures this year. Each element is familiar, but together they're just about perfect. 

Honorable mention does have to go to this dessert, however. I saw these chocolate and dulce de leche cups mentioned in a roundup of Argentine food, and they looked amazing. On closer inspection, however, I didn't see anything to say that these were actually an Argentine recipe. But it was too delicious to ignore, so I tried it out on another night. And it was marvelous. A lot like the inside of a truffle, actually. And so easy to make, especially if you simplify the instructions and simply melt dark chocolate chips right into the cream and milk in the microwave. Argentine or not, you should definitely try this one.

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