Argentina// Mini-Asado

Please forgive the picture quality-- they were taken at night with an iPhone, and are definitely not up to standards.  But I promise to make up for it in the next post.   When I think of Argentina, two things come to mind-- Andrew Lloyd Webber and penguins.  Weird, right?  The first is because Don't Cry for Me Argentina is on my most played, belt-it-out-Broadway playlist. The second is because I really, really want to see penguins in their natural habitat, but I'm thinking that the South Pole is the one continent I will probably never set foot on.  An entire land mass of ice and snow?  I would freeze in about 30 seconds flat, even if I were bundled up like the Michelin man. So my Plan B is to visit Argentina, pop down to the coast for a few days of bird watching, then head back up to Buenos Aires to eat my face off for the rest of the trip.  Win, win, right?

Because after what I've learned about Argentinian food, there is definitely some eating to be done. Their cuisine is heavily influenced by Italian food, with the expected twist of South American for fun.  Argentina is also the world's highest consumer of red meats, and the traditional feast is the asado, slabs of steak, sausages, and maybe even some organ meats on the grill, served with fresh salads on the side.  And the chimichurri, a parsley based sauce that lends a pop of flavor that's subtle and bright all at the same time.  So on tonight's menu, we have:

  • Steak and Chorizo Asado
  • Ensalada de Tomate y Cebolla
  • Chimichurri

I kept the asado simple, and instead of the usual raw onions in the tomato salad, I gave them a little saute to take the bite off.  And then we drowned it all in chimichurri, because that stuff is good enough to make angels sing.  For real.

Asado I opted to skip the organ meats and went with a good quality steak and chorizo sausages, seasoned simply with a good olive oil rub, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Ensalade de Tomate y Cebolla 1 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cut into into about 1 inch chunks 1 medium onion, cut into thick slices 2 tsp. olive oil A splash of olive oil and white wine vinegar Fresh parsley, chopped Salt and Pepper, to taste

Saute the onion in the 2 tsp. of olive oil just until soft and let cool.  In a small salad bowl, mix cooked onions and tomatoes, then season to taste with olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley to taste let sit for 30 minutes to let flavors combine.

Chimichurri

  • 1 cup of loosely packed parsley leaves
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, centers removed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped white onion
  • 3 Tbp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients besides the olive oil in a blender and pulse until smooth.  Slowly drizzle olive oil in and blend until the desired consistency is reached.  Use less oil for a dipping sauce, and more for a pouring sauce.