Category: Sides

Provoletera Plate: For Gooey Morsels Of Provoleta (or any other cheese) »

Cheesy Provoleta with Oregano and Aji Molido

Here is a tip. If you spot an unfamiliar object, just make assumptions about its purpose. Do not allow curiosity to get the better of you. There is no need to dig deeper by searching for a label or, say, seeking out someone more knowledgeable. When finally stumbling upon its true purpose, you can sit back and reflect on how you wished you knew about it sooner. Give it a try. It works with people too. “Wow, after all of this time I thought you were a grumpy ass but you turned out to be a really fun person to hang out with!”

For months, I assumed this little dimpled plate on a shelf in a cookware shop was for cooking or serving quail eggs. Use it to serve hard-boiled or soft-boiled eggs? Butter and fill each dimple with a whole raw egg and bake in the oven? Does it not look somewhat like a ceramic tray for holding eggs? Well, that is what I thought and, having no interest in any of that, I held onto those assumptions. Stupid of me, I know.

Mellowing The Onions »

Salted Onions
Often when we judge the traditional authenticity of a cuisine or recipe, we look at what ingredients are used and generally, how the dishes are prepared. What many of us may tend to ignore, or perhaps fail to seek out, are the personal touches or traditions that give an additional boost of authenticity to certain special recipes. Tips and tricks passed down through generations or swapped among friends at a Sunday get together. Techniques that, while usually simple to carry out, add more depth to flavors and textures. A dash of sugar to create a richer tasting meat filling for empanadas or a squirt of mustard to add a spicy tang to a mayonnaise-based salad. For some it may be guarded as a secret ingredient but for others, that is just how things are done. Sadly when these recipes are passed around, many of these steps get lost along the way–whether intentionally or not. A person who sees no difference in peeling and seeding tomatoes for grandma’s old recipes, for example, may not include that step when they themselves pass the recipe along.

Marinated Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Roasted Red Peppers Recipe »

Marinated Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Roasted Red Peppers As I have mentioned a few times before, it’s not surprising to see a few antipasto appetizers offered to those who need to calm their hunger pangs until the time comes to serve meat at an asado. Hard salami, artisanal cheese loaded with black peppercorns or ají molido, and pickled artichoke hearts are just a few. Pickled, brined, or marinated fruits and vegetables may even show up on the table to accompany the succulent meats. Their tart and salty flavors serve as a refreshing break from the constant flow of meat, offal, and sausage.

Provoleta Rellena – Stuffed Provolone Cheese »

Provoleta Rellena - Stuffed Provolone Grilled provoleta is good stuff but sometimes it just isn’t enough to satisfy my melted provolone cheese cravings. With provoleta rellena, or stuffed provolone, you take two tasty slices of provoleta, add a few things such as roasted red peppers, ham, bacon, tomatoes, etc. in between those slices and heat it all up in a dish until the cheese gets all melted and a nice crispy exterior.

A commenter dropped a note on the provoleta page a few months back about a version of provoleta rellena she had in Uruguay that had bacon along with the other usual suspects (ham, roasted red peppers, oregano, chili flakes). Being one who never had provoleta with bacon before, (I don’t know why so don’t ask) I decided to give it a shot this weekend. Bacon and cheese, can it get any better?

Ajies En Vinagre – Peppers in Vinegar or, um, Pickled Sweet Banana (Hungarian) Peppers »

Ajies En Vinagre - Pickled Banana Peppers Wondering why banana, Húngaro, or some other name isn’t getting comfy between ajies and en in “ajies en vinagre”? Well, so am I. In fact, I wonder about this every single time I walk into a grocery store. Although improving, there is still widespread use of generic naming conventions throughout the food industry in Argentina. Sometimes our sour infused friends do not receive the descriptive “en vinagre,” just ajies.