Category Archives: Argentina

Argentina 101 part IV: Panqueques con dulce de leche

Yes, I know I´ve been gone for ages, but I´ve been quite busy and I´ve been exploring other things, like photography… yes, I finally took the plunge and started a photography course. Which is not to say I haven´t been cooking, quite the opposite, there has been plenty of action in my tiny kitchen…

Hell, I even made dulce de leche from scratch! YES, I DID! and not using condensed milk, but real milk straight from a cow. However, being a tease and not having produced decent pics from that endeavor, you are going to have to wait a couple of weeks for that particular post because I want to have perfect step-by-step photos to show you every single detail of the dulce de leche making process.

But I do have a very common Argentine dessert to show you, and I truly made it all from scratch because I used the dulce de leche I had made myself: I´m talking about “panqueques con dulce de leche”, panqueques meaning crepes.

It´s one of those simple things that are truly trascendental, especially if you make the crepes right before eating and spread the dulce de leche when the crepe is hot so it softens up and the whole thing is warm when you eat it… gimme a sec, I need to run to the fridge with my spoon to get a little reminder of what dulce de leche tastes like… ok, all done.

So, if you have dulce de leche in your pantry or know where to find it, start cracking some eggs ASAP, otherwise, wait just a little while and I promise you I´ll show you how to make some spectacular dulce de leche.

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panqueque

Panqueques con dulce de leche

Crepes (from Beth Hensperger´s The Bread Bible)

The recipe yields 16 to 18 7-inch crepes, but you can do what I did and divide it into three, either that or freeze the leftovers.

3 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

2/3 cup water (here I did milk as well since I was using 2% milk instead of whole milk)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cooking spray for greasing the pan

1. Using a blender, food processor, immersion blender, or whisk, combine the eggs, milk, water, flour, and salt, beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl once. Add the melted butter. The butter will be the consistency of cream; adjust the consistency, if necessary. Conver and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. (The batter can be prepared to this point 1 day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use. Bring the batter back to room temperature and add the butter just before baking.) If your batter is lumpy, strain it.

2. Lightly grease a seasoned crepe pan or a 9 to 10 inch nonstick frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat until hot. Stir the batter to avoid separation. Working quickly, remove the pan from the heat and pour in about 3 tablespoons of batter, tilting and rotating the pan to completely cover the bottom. If the batter does not spread quickly, it is too thick and needs to be thinned with water. If the batter stiffen when poured into the pan, the pan is too hot. If the crepes have holes, fill in with a few drops of batter. Plan on a few uneven crepes at first while regulating the heat of the pan and thickness of the batter.

3. Cook until the bottom is brown and the top dry, less than 1 minute. Turn the crepe over with a spatula and cook the second side until speckled, about 20 seconds. Slide the crepe onto paper towels or a clean dish towel. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking as the crepes are done and spraying with cooking spray only if they are sticking. (Crepes may be cooled, transferred to a heavy-duty plastic bag and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month. Let refrigerated crepes stand at room temperature 1 hour before filling. Completely defrost frozen crepes before using.)

For the filling:

dulce de leche, 1 or 2 tablespoons per crepe, but it depends on your sweetness level

Spread the dulce de leche down one side of the crepe and make a roll, or spread whichever way you want really and fold in a triangle or however you want really. Make sure the crepe is freshly done or reheat it quickly in the microwave or covered with aluminum foil in the oven making sure they don´t dry out. Some restaurants in Buenos Aires heat up the crepes when they are already filled with the dulce de leche, but I find that only leads to overly hot dulce de leche… which turns to burn people´s mouth (yes, I do speak from experience!).

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Filed under Argentina, food, sweet

Buenos Aires in bits and bites V

First of all, I´m sorry for the slow pace the blog has been having this year. It´s just that I´m spending quite a considerable amount of time daydreaming about and planning for my trip to the US in April.

Japanese garden

The backlog of recipes and pictures is getting bigger with each passing week, but I can´t seem to focus on writing about food right now. I promise I will try to sit down and describe a recipe or two soon, but in the meantime I was hoping to entertain you with some pictures I took in the Japanese garden in Buenos Aires around two months ago.

Japanese garden

Japanese garden

It´s quite the interesting place to visit because it´s just such a quiet little spot in the middle of the city. So one delightful spring afternoon my friend Jenny and I went there to relax, and chat about everything and nothing at the same time… not to mention attend a free seminar about Japanese cooking which turned into a true test to Jenny´s Spanish skills because, as you should know, if you can understand Spanish with a thick Japanese accent, you are on your road to success, so way to go, Jenny!

pato pato

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Japanese garden

Anyways, I hope the new year is being kind to you all. I´m gonna be back in a few days with recipes, and I also see a post about the trip coming up since that´s all I seem to think about lately.

so dangerous indeed!
The translation would be “do not climb the waterfalls, danger”. First of all, the waterfalls are more like an open faucet, and secondly, who does that?

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Filed under Argentina, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires in bits and bites IV

Today we are starting with the “bites” section.

Here is some delicious ice cream from Persicco (I had white chocolate and something called tarta di limone, which is basically a deconstructed lemon meringue pie.)

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Modern Palermo:

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Older, and definitely more charming, Palermo:

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Art, trying to resist the war against time and the weather:

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The hilarious sign of an eye doctor for pets:

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And a bit of cheap philosophy to mix things up a little bit:

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(The translation would be “Are you the player or the piece?”)

For the previous posts, see I here, II here, and III here.

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Filed under Argentina, Buenos Aires

Milanesas, reloaded

Some people are a very bad influence on me… like food bloggers leading me to hell in a path of gulletry, and my younger brother, who does just that but in person, which is even more dangerous.

mmmm crunchy

Case in point, his genius idea of making a pizza stuffed (yes, stuffed) with milanesas, which happen to be one of our national food obsessions, but are actually breaded slices of beef.

pizza stuffed with milanesas

It´s like a giant pizza sandwich filled with milanesas, mozarella, parmesan cheese and tomato sauce. He got this idea from something similar he had in a bar and he needed my help making his dream come true. And who am I to deny him? you know, I´m just selflessly trying to make people happy… stop snickering, I´m telling you, there was nothing in it for me… no, of course I don´t like pizza!

pizza stuffed with milanesas

Sometimes, when you make over-the-top dishes, you can feel a bit guilty, but that so wasn´t the case here. If anything, it made me happy and completely proud of our fattening concoction. In fact, I´m adding this dish to my rotation for dinners with friends or family gatherings because this one is a real crowd pleaser, and it´s not even that time consuming if you already have your milanesas ready to be cooked in the freezer.

inside

And since I think no one in their right mind would resist to a slice of this pizza (even though the night pictures don´t show it in all its glory), I´m gonna be taking this dish to Peabody´s housewarming party, since I´m sure it´s going to be full of sugar-ladden treats, and there needs to be something savory to start with. If this doesn´t make a good house-warming gift, Peabody, I don´t know what will!

(Recipe after the jump)

Continue reading

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Filed under Argentina, bread, events, food, savory

Buenos Aires in bits and bites III

I have always had a thing for design, in different expressions, but even more so when it comes to home design. I think I have watched every Changing Rooms episode there is, and, wallet allowing, I´d redecorate my house all the time (though I´d settle with finishing to decorate!). For the time being, I try to get inspiration from different sources and apply them to my budget (like my pseudo-Asian coffee table.)

Which is why I HAD to go to an event called Casa FOA, a fund-raising yearly expo in which architects renovate a small beaten-down area of Buenos Aires and create impressive spaces with innovative designs.

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Street art (pictured, Tato Bores, a true icon in political comedy)

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Mexican restaurant

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Trash as art

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Fancy rails (made out of green and purple Venetian tiles)

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Mock-ups from previous installments of Casa FOA

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The trees were cold apparently

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Lounging in style

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Buenos Aires in bits and bites II

Well, apparently it´s going to be more of a monthly event than a weekly or bi-weekly. For the first installment, click here.

This time, it´s another stroll through my beloved neighborhood, Palermo, with the lovely and very talented Jenny from True Nature.

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We went to this awesome soap shop called Savater Hnos. I´ve been meaning to visit for a while, and oh my god, does that place smell great or what? Though it does need some sort of warning because after a while your nostrils get overburdened and try to shut down.

Savater Hermanos

too cute

soapy heaven

But the store is absolutely adorable and it has hilarious bits like these:

hahaha no comments

And there are some elaborate window displays over here (I love those carpets and the huge birdcage.)

Palermo store

Palermo store

This store has baking supplies and all the things your kid would love to have in his/her bday party… and sort of screams at you when you are walking by.

pastry supplies shop

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Filed under Argentina, Buenos Aires

Good day sunshine

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Today is the first day of Spring here in Buenos Aires… which means tons of picnics all over the city, usually involving more alcohol than food, as excited teenagers celebrate both spring and what is also officially student´s day here in Argentina. So as you can imagine, there are sandwiches, mate (a typical Argentine drink I need to explain someday), tons of gossiping, checking out students from other schools, making out in the wilderness and the like, I´m sure you are getting the idea.

Of course, I´m much too old for such a high-school celebration of spring, and being an “adult” I had to work today, but since spring is my favorite season and work has kept me away from blogging for a while, I figured I´d celebrate spring with you all through pictures. Enjoy!

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Filed under Argentina, Buenos Aires, rambling