Comida Porteño: Parrilla– Bife de Ojo (Rib Eye) y Entraña (Skirt Steak) con Chimichurri Argentino

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Chef Chris is sharing our final course of our evening of comida porteño with the piece de resistance (wrong language): more meat.  Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

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Parrillas are Argentinian steakhouses that specialize in grilled meats. Barbeque, or Asado, typically consists of beef cooked on a grill (parrilla) with an open flame.  Common cuts of beef used in parrillas include lomo (filet), ojo de bife (rib eye) or bife de chorizo (sirloin) as well as chorizo (sausage). The steaks are huge but relatively cheap by U.S. prices, usually for half or one-third the cost. The meat is simply seasoned with salt and pepper. No marinade is used so that nothing masks the flavor of the meat. The beef is cooked fairly slowly over medium heat. Argentines prefer their chargrilled meats to be a punto (medium). Side dishes are also simple and usually consist of a simple green salad and steak fries. We also had grilled provolone cheese (provoleta – a reflection of the Italian influence in Argentine cuisine) at a parrilla in Buenos Aires.

Recipe:

Serves 8

2 lbs rib eye steak

1.5 lbs skirt steak

Season meat with salt and pepper.

Fire up your grill so that all the burners/coals give off an even medium temperature. You want all your meat to be well browned and slightly crispy, but NOT blackened.

Cook rib eye for about 5 minutes per side depending on thickness. Skirt steak is thinner and will cook faster so needs about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let rest uncovered for 5 minutes.

Serve with chimichurri (see previous recipe) and a nice red wine such as a delicious Argentine malbec.

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This post is part of the second Spicebox Supperclub, the Comida Porteño con Sabor Latino, celebrating the food and drink of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Come back next week for the final recipe from our menu from Argentina!

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Comida Porteño: Tarta Pascualina (Spinach Tart)

spinach torta

What, vegetables? Si, our traditional Argentine meal has been authentically meat-heavy.  Pero Chef Chris surprised us towards us at the end with a lovely spinach and chard torta, with a delicate filling lusciously enrobed in golden flaky pastry.  Look what a fresh and lovely contrast it is to the assertive and equally lovely steak (coming next time!), which is keeping those green vegetables at a neighborly distance on their shared plate.

This is what Chef Chris had to say:

Tarta Pascualina– Spinach Ricotta Pie

Adapted from recipe on From Argentina with Love. In her blog, Rebecca states that Pascua is the word for Easter, so Tarta Pascualina literally means ‘Eastertime Tart’. What makes this dish extra-special is that under the crust, little wells have been made in the filling, and eggs are cracked into each well. When the Pascualina is served, each slice has a cross-sectioned hard-cooked egg in it.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

We used a combination of chard and spinach, about  a 50/50 split.

2 tarta shells or pie crusts (we purchased La Saltena at Evergreen Market in the Mission District, San Francisco. Look for hojaldrades style which makes a flakier crust)

1 bunch each of fresh spinach and chard, deveined and chopped into large pieces. (you can also use 2 packets of 9 oz. frozen spinach instead)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons milk

6-8 eggs

butter, for greasing pan

Technique

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  Wash spinach/chard thoroughly. Steam in pot for a few minutes until just tender. Drain water and let cool. (or, defrost frozen spinach by heating in the microwave or in a pot on the stove top over medium heat.  Heat the spinach to defrost, but do not heat it up too hot.  Let cool before handling. Place the spinach in a linen towel, and squeeze out to drain the moisture from the spinach.  Not until it’s totally dry, leave a little moisture).

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the spinach/chard, crushed garlic, ricotta, and the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.  Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper, and mix well to combine.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the milk, and add the milk mixture to the spinach and cheese mixture and stir well until incorporated.

4.  Traditionally, Tarta Pascualina  is made using a spring-form pan.  However, a regular pie plate also works fine.  Grease the bottom of your pie pan or spring form pan with butter.  Line the bottom of your pie plate or spring-form pan with one of the tarta shells.  Put the filling into the shell.  Make 6-8 indentations in the filling (about one inch apart, and one inch from the edge of the pan) and crack an egg into each indentation.

5.  Cover the pie with the other tarta crust.  Seal the edges by pinching together the two shells with your thumb and forefinger making an indentation, as you would seal an emapanada.  Slice a few vents in the top of the pie.  Optional: brush the top of the crust with beaten egg to give it shine.

6.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust has turned a golden brown on top.  Make sure not to undercook otherwise the crust will not be flaky.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

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This post is part of the second Spicebox Supperclub, the Comida Porteño con Sabor Latino, celebrating the food and drink of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Come back next week for another delicioso recipe from Argentina!