IDP#26 Eating the Land of Beef: Argentina! (Ryan’s Choice)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

We were a little pushed for time this weekend, and I couldn’t find a simple nibble/entree for the kids, Empanadas were an option as was a more casual option of Picadas Simple which is basically what we call antipasto over here. In the end the sweet tooth won over and I made two desserts, mainly because it enabled me to make them ahead of time, which helped with out time crunch.

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Mains:
Milanesa (Crumbed Steak)
Chimichurri Bread
——-——————————

Let’s start at the beginning, I’d planned to make an Argentinian bread to go with our Milanesa, so we could have it between to slabs of bread with tomato, lettuce, mayo and egg, as is a common way to serve it.

Well my Chimichurri Bread recipe said it could be made in the bread maker, and since we had a birthday lunch to go to, I thought, why not, will make things easier. Haha, well… I’ve had great success so far making breads by hand for our international dinners, well that success ended this week. We ended up with a house that smelt beautifully of freshly baked bread with all the herbs and spices that the recipe called for, however physically the bread resembled a doorstop more than a loaf of bread. Ryan still wanted to try it, because it was his country, so once it had cooled I cut him a thin slice, then another, and another, and another… I tasted some, and it tasted really great, just a pity that it would’ve made me sink if I went swimming. So I will give this bread another go this weekend, but this time I’ll be making it the old fashioned way the whole way (no bread machine for me.) If it works I’ll add some photos here.

Now onto the Milanesa, quite simply this is thin beef steaks, egged and breadcrumbed, then fried, we used to have something very similar when we were young called wiener schnitzel. The only difference is that this one is often served with sauce, and egg and ham, or even (and the kids liked the sound of this) on bread (slices or rolls) with tomato, lettuce, mayo and egg or ham.

At first Ryan wasn’t too sure, but once we built his “sandwich” he thought it looked like a hamburger – which it did – and he took a big bite.

“I love this! Can I have more” (all that and he was only one bit into it)

Sam made his ingredients in the same order as a McDonalds hamburger, because “that’s the best order”.

It was tasty – the garlic breadcrumbs were the secret I think, we all had seconds, as I lamented my doorstop-bread failure.

Ryan’s Rating: Infinity out of Infinity
Sam’s Rating: 100 out of 100

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Desserts: that’s right plural desserts!
Alfajores (Cookies with a dulce de leche caramel filling)
Torta de Ricota (Ricotta Pie)
——-——————————

Ryan and I made the Alfajores the day before, because Sunday was going to be hectic. He helped mix all the ingredients, asking me what each thing was. I let him smell the brandy (wasn’t keen), he sooo wanted to crack the eggs, but because we only needed the yolks, it was going to be too tricky so I had to do it – but he could tip the yolk in and mix it.

And then we practiced his counting, addition and subtraction skills working out how many cookies we had stamped out, and how many more would fit on the oven tray, 16 per tray… but we only had enough dough for 30 (which would make 15 alfajores). Then we made the dulce de leche, which was pretty boring for him, and I think the dough had worn him out.

The next afternoon after the birthday lunch (Happy birthday Mum!) we made the dough for the ricotta pie, Ryan helped again, and even helped to roll it out, but by the time we got to the ricotta filling he was done, fair enough – it was a good effort. So I finished off and put it in the oven…

Now for the true test. After dinner I bought out the Alfajores, Ryan did try them, but he’d filled up on my heavy bread (he liked it and had quite a bit), and on the milanesa as well, so he was just too full. Bu had some the next day. Sam loved his, my wife and I had more than one. Put those on the list to make again…

As for the Torta de Ricota we served it the next night for dessert – wow! Stunning… I wasn’t sure how the boys would like it – Ryan tried a tiny piece … thought about it and said, Sam! It’s like ice-cream… so in his view it was ice-cream pie.

“Ry, it’s cheese buddy”

“Sam. it’s ice-cream cheese!”

He loved it, finished his, and then finished off his brothers as well! Sam only had a small piece as we wasn’t too keen, he’s still getting over his bug.

Alfajores
Ryan’s rating: 50 out of 50
Sam’s rating: 10 out of 10

Torta de Ricota
Ryan’s rating: Infinity out of Infinity
Sam’s rating: 6 out of 10

Everything tonight was rather simple to make and I think we’ll be making it all again at some stage, as the ingredients are all freely available here, and during the week quick preparation is good – especially with 3 hungry boys!

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2 thoughts on “IDP#26 Eating the Land of Beef: Argentina! (Ryan’s Choice)

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