Tag Archives: Argentinian recipes

Salmon wrapped in a crispy potato crust

8 Feb Salmon trout potato recipe
Salmon trout potato recipe

Salmon in a crispy potato case – Salmon en corteza crocante de papas

Taken from Mallmann’s Siete Fuegos, Mi Cocina Argentina, this recipe is great for entertaining because it’s fairly quick, original, and very impressive to look at (plus, I mustn’t foget, it is truly delicious!). When making this I substituded the recommended trout with salmon as this is easier to come by in BsAs but I think both work fairly well. The following ingredients are enough to serve four people.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 large oven potatoes

2 trout or salmon fillets with their skin on (deboned)

1 handful of rocket leaves

Salt

Pepper

Method:

(Please note that this has been altered from the original recipe as I found it easier to follow a different order to the one recommended by Mallmann)

1.  Grate the two potatoes and place the gratings of one potato in one bowl of water and the remaining gratings in a separate bowl of water. Make sure these  are covered to prevent the potatoes from turning brown.

2. First we make the potato cakes. For this, drain the water from one of the bowl of potatoes. Fry half of the butter in the pan and then add the grated potato to the pan. Spread this out to cover the pan, the mixture should be about 2,5cm thick.

3. Cook this for 1o minutes (no need to move or turn these), until it looks golden and the bottom starts to form a crust. Then remove and slide onto a plate.

4. Now take the remaining grated potato and drain the water. Fry the remaining butter and add the grated potato to the pan to create the second potato cake.

5. Cook the potato for a few minutes before placing the salmon or trout fillets on top of the potato cake. Add the rocket leaves on top of the fish. Then slide the potato cake you set aside earlier on top of the fish, soft side down so that the crispy side is on top, sealing the fish in the middle.

6. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until cooked. Take out from the pan, season and then cut into portions before serving.

Corinne’s serving suggestions and notes:

This is good to be served on its own. My only recommendation would be perhaps to add more seasoning along the way as it did seem a little bland. Of course, this dish could work just as well with meat in the middle instead of fish.

Flan (creme caramel)

29 Oct Creme Caramel recipe
Creme Caramel recipe

Narda Lepes’s delicious flan (creme caramel) recipe

Flan is certainly a favourite dessert amongst Argentines. Often served alongside a dollop of squirty cream and another of dulce de leche (boiled condensed milk for those who have not stepped foot in Argentina), there is not yet a single menu that I’ve come across here in BsAs that doesn’t contain this classic sweet dish.

Also known as crème caramel in English speaking countries, flan is delicious and really not so difficult to make (plus it makes a great light dessert following a heavier meal, such as a casserole for example). Whilst most Argentine chefs cover this recipe in their cookbooks, I’ve chosen to take Narda Lepes’ rendition. I’ve actually halved all the ingredients in this recipe and used a bread loaf mold to make this (this makes enough for about 4 generous portions) but if you’re serving this to a lot of people then you are best to go with the full list of ingredients and a round 26cm mold. For simplicity and clarity, below I have referred to the ingredients and recipe exactly as they appear in Narda’s book ‘Comer y pasarla bien, Narda Lepes’.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sugar (for the caramel)

1 litre milk

1 vanilla pod (or a few drops of vanilla extract)

5 eggs

5 egg yolks

200g sugar (for the custard)

Method:

1. To make the caramel, pour 1 1/2 cups of sugar into a pan and place on a medium heat. Wait for the sugar to turn to a caramel colour. Narda warns that caramel can burn very quickly so be careful and keep a close eye on this. (I found that the process takes 3-5 minutes – this will vary depending on the size of the pan, first the sugar changes colour and then the ganuals dissolve and the mixture starts look smooth, and of a caramel liquid consistency.) Once you have a caramel liquid pour this into the bottom of the mold you’re using and set aside until it has cooled down and solidified.

2.  Score a vanilla pod down the middle and scape out the seeds. Put these (or a few drops of vanilla extract if using this instead) into a pan with a litre of milk and gently warm over the hob. Leave this for a few minutes so that the milk takes on the vanilla flavour and starts to change colour.

3. In a separate bowl gently whisk the 5 eggs, 5 egg yolks and 200g sugar (when I halved the ingredients I actually used 3 full eggs and 2 egg yolks).

4. Add the milk to the egg mixture, a little at a time, and keep stirring until all the milk has been incorporated (I used an electric whisk for this but a hand whisk will also do the job). Then pour this custard liquid into the mold.

5. Heat the oven to 160C.

6. Place the flan mold into a deep baking tray and pour water into the tray, until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the dishes (this is called a bain-marie) and place into a preheated oven for 50-55 minutes. Narda suggests placing the mold into the tray, placing this in the oven and then using a measuring jug to pour the water into the tray as this makes it a little easier to manouver and I agree!

7. Once the flan is cooked (test by placing a knife through the middle, this should come out clean) take the mold out of the oven and the water and let it cool. (Mine actually took a little longer to cook as the temperature of the oven went lower than 160C on a couple of occasions. In the end it took about 65-70 minutes)

8. Once the mixture is completely cool run a knife round the edge of the mold and then turn the mold upside down and push out the flan onto a serving plate. If the caramel is stuck at the bottom, try placing the mold over the cooker for a few seconds to melt. (If you’re using a rubber mold, as I did, then try placing the bottom of the mold over some hot water).

9. Cut into slices and serve.

Corinne’s tips and serving suggestions:

I used a rubber mold and I would probably recommend sticking to something metal because when turning the mold upside down to release the flan the rubber mold is not firm enough so it’s easy for the flan to brake and crack (as mine did). Try serving this with a dollop of dulce de leche if you fancy something sweet (or want to stick to what is truly authentic in Argentina), with some raspberries or simply on its own.

This recipe has been taken from Narda Lepes’ book ‘Comer y pasarla bien, Narda Lepes’

Pan de Chapa (Hotplate Bread)

22 Oct
Hotplate bread

Try out this non-bake Argentine bread – it cooks in 10 minutes on a hotplate or in a pan and is great for making sandwiches

Pan de Chapa, literally meaning ‘bread from the hotplate’, is a great Argentine non-bake bread. Similar to a flat breads that you might find back home, this bread is cut into square pieces and is traditionally cooked outdoors on an open fire in the countryside. In my rendition however, it is cooked in a pan over a hot gas stove in the centre of Buenos Aires.   Whilst this may not generate the same smokey flavour as an open fire, it is nonetheless, very tasty. It only takes 10 minutes to cook and is a great alternative to traditional breads that need to be baked in the oven for an hour or so. And, as it’s so quick to cook, it’s a good alternative to sandwich breads. Of course, when summer time comes you can really impress your friends by cooking this on the BBQ and serving it with burgers or alongside a range of meats.

Pan de Chapa (non-bake hotplate bread)

Ingredients

500g (1lb) white flour (use 0000 if in Argentina)

15g fresh yeast or 5g dried yeast

310ml tepid water (38-43C)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp sea salt

Method

1. Place the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl, add the olive oil and then the tepid water, a little at a time, until the mixture starts to form a dough.

2. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic. Form the dough into the shape of a ball, place in a floured bowl, cover with a damp towl and leave to prove in a warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour (or until the dough has doubled in size).

3.  Roll out the dough to form a rectangular shape so that it is approxamately 15 x 30cm and 6mm thick. Then, using a sharp knife, cut into squares, about 7 or 8cm large.

4. Place these in a floured oven proof baking tray, cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove in a warm place until they’ve doubled in size (about 30 minutes). If you’re cooking these outdoors on an open fire, place the bread squares to prove next to the fire.

5. Warm up a hotplate or a pan on a moderate heat. If using a pan, place the bread pieces in the pan (only a 2 or 3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan) and cook on one side until they start to grow in size and brown at the bottom, about 5 minutes. Then turn to the other side and continue to cook over a moderate heat for another 4-5 minutes, until done. If you’re using an open fire or BBQ, lower the heat once the bread squares are added to the heat to ensure they don’t burn.

6. To serve these, cut them in half and fill with the sandwich filling of your choice.

Corinne’s serving suggestions

Don’t forget that these could be great alternatives to burger babs or pittas too.

This recipe has been taken from Francis Mallmann’s cookery book Siete Fuegos – Mi Cocina Argentina. The additional comments and translation is my own.

Rustic Country Bread

19 Oct
Pan de Campo recipe

Enjoy Mallmann’s Argentine crispy rustic bread with homemade jams, chutneys and tapenades

The first recipe book I bought here in Argentina was Francis Mallmann’s Siete Fuegos, Mi cocina Argentina. After about an hour’s deliberation in the book shop here in Buenos Aires, I finally decided to part with what was the best part of £40 and get reading. Well, I haven’t looked back. The book is an absolute delight to read, and the recipes are a treat to the senses. Mallmann likes to cook on open fire and his recipes are very much rustic and homely. The added benefit of this Rustic Country Bread (or Pan de Campo as it is known here in Argentina) recipe below is that it’s also incredibly simple to make.  Although it has a quite a long proving time, it is really very tasty and worth the time it takes. Plus, whilst it’s proving, you could be making some delicious breakfast jams or afternoon dips to accompany the bread, or simply resting on the couch sipping on a velvety hot chocolate Aregtine drink called submarino (click here for this 2 minute hot chocolate drink).

Mallman’s Rustic Country Bread

Ingredients for one large loaf

500g (1 lb) strong white flour (plus a little extra for working with the bread)

15g fresh yeast or 5g dried yeast

250ml tepid water (38-43C)

125ml extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp sugar

Method

1. Dissolve the yeast in half of the tepid water (125ml) and set aside.

2.  Place the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl, add the dissolved yeast mixture, the olive oil and remaining water and mix until you form a dough. Add extra a little extra flour if necessary (I found that I didn’t need to).

3. Move the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes, until the dough is of an elastic consistency.

4. Transfer the dough to a floured bowl, cover with a damp towl and leave it prove in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

5. Flour a work surface. Using your fists, knock the dough to ‘knock out’ the air and form a rectangular shape, about 20cm wide by 38cm long and 2cm thick.

6. Wet the surface of the dough slightly (I just threw a little water on top) and roll the dough to form a cylinder shape, evening the edges with the palm of your hands. (I have to say that I found this quite a hard concept to understand at first but in simple terms, you roll the dough so that it looks like a long thin Swiss roll. This is how professional bread makers get their bread to look so good!)

7. Place this in a floured oven proof dish, cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove in a warm place for another hour, until it’s nearly doubled in size.

8. Heat the oven to 180C (350F). (Mallman makes a point of highlighting that a shelf be placed in the bottom third of the oven to ensure there is more heat. This is important if you’re using an oven such as mine, where heat is generated from the bottom and the temperature isn’t even throughout. In a fan oven, or something more modern, there will be no need to worry about this).

9. Make 4 or 5 deep diagonal slashes across the top of the bread (each about 1cm deep). Then sprikle a little water on top to dampen and then a little flour.

10. Cook the bread in the oven for 45 minutes. When the bread looks like it has a crispy crust and the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it the bread is ready.

11. Leave the bread to cool on a wire rack.

Corinne’s serving suggestions:

Why not try this bread out with a home-made peach jam for breakfast?

How about serving it with an Argentine olive tapenade at a dinner party or ripping it into pieces and serving it with a warm winter stew such as Dona Petrona’s Lamb stew with beer (Cordero Guisado a la cerveza)?

Recipe source: Francis Mallmann’s Siete Fuegos, Mi Cocina Argentina

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