Saturday, June 18, 2011

Culinary Treasures

I can't really pin down where I developed my insatiable appetite for all things cuisine, but food has developed into a hobby of mine over the past few years. I threw my first fancy dinner party freshman year of college, which felt like a part of the right of passage into adulthood. Then, senior year, the craigslist search to fill the empty room in our apartment turned out a roommate that could teach me a thing or two in the kitchen (Melissa has her own food blog and dreams to own a bakery one day!). Or maybe it was in Spain, when my travel entourage got into the habit of checking out markets rather than souvenir stands in foreign countries. We always grocery shopped and Parc Guell...on the steps of Versailles...before a Spanish botellon. So, in addition to all of my tourist-y ventures around the city, I've also been frequenting a few markets and cafes in search for whatever culinary treasure there is to find in Argentina. Here's the loot so far:
After a few days of living in the hostel and surviving off BA's abundance of meat and potato type dishes, I went in search of something fresh for breakfast. I ordered a fruit plate and ended up with this spread of fresh-squeezed oj, yogurt, and fruit salad with a cherry (and of course the standard flag) on top.

This is actually the typical breakfast in Buenos Aires- coffee with two medialunas or sweet croissants (along with some dulce de leche, if you're feeling decadent)

 However, in order to maintain somewhat of a healthy balance, I usually eat cereal with yogurt and fresh fruit from the fruteria (but I'm not skimping on the dulce de leche)
Most days, I make my lunch and take it to the office with me. Occasionally when I'm out and about, though, I'll splurge on some of the great mediterranean food this city has to offer. Like cannelloni ...

...Or tarta de jamon, queso, y tomate (ham, cheese, and tomato quiche)

And when I'm hungry for a snack, Flat PorteƱa usually accompanies me for an afternoon coffee and alfajor (dulce de leche sandwich- an Argentine staple) to get some work done.

 Yes, friends, that is indeed a logic model in the background! And that giant hershey kiss looking dessert is a cookie topped with dulce de leche and covered in dark chocolate. I can't get enough!

I've also been trying my own hand at Argentine cooking. It's a lot of pizza, pasta, and empanadas, so I started out with the easy stuff first.
Milanesa (thin, breaded beef filet) sandwich and baked steak fries! Another typical dish. Thanks to the ladies at work for telling me how make it right (mine still aren't as good as theirs are. Whenever we eat lunch together, we pass around and taste each other's meal. I don't know if they were just trying to be welcoming to me in the beginning, or if it's a common courtesy, but either way I like it!)

Aaaaaand....I even tried my hand at empandas!

These are the typical- ground beef with onions, olives, and golden raisins (with a few other veggies thrown in for color).

A peek at the filling...mmmmmm!
The final product accompanied by the strawberry-banana-kiwi fruit salad from my childhood. I like to throw some American stuff in there occasionally too...

Like homemade brownies! With - whadya know!- dulce de leche on top:)

And with this, I'm just getting started, folks. After sampling some of the more exotic pastas (like gnocchi and red pepper angel hair), I'm going to move on to some of the more complicated and antiquated dishes like humita (a tamale-like dish with origins in the northern Salta province). Until next time, friends, Buen proveche!!


Ashley said...

Jessi, your pizza looks amazing!

jasmine said...

you are such a gourmet!! can't wait to have argentine food when we return...hinthint :)

Melissa said...

Oh Jessi! I feel honored to be a part of your food inspiration :)
I absolutely love how everything is covered in dulce de leche. The food looks wonderful!

Pam said...

You are learning foods from all over the world that we stay with you forever. I love everything you showed. They are all wonderful foods. Pizza, milenasa and oh yes, my fav...berro (watercress salad). Can't wait to get there in Sept. Of course, I'll gain 10 lbs. and you will come home the same!!!

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