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  • Alejandro 12:32 pm on June 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: asado, BBQ, chicken, chorizo, garlic bread, morcilla, potato, vacio   

    A Meal For Your Father

    So it turns out that cooking decent food isn’t always an affordable hobby, which means I’ve been eating buckets of pasta lately.  However, this past weekend I went to the parents’ home for Father’s Day and had a true Argentinean meal of mostly meat and maybe a tomato.

    Garlic BreadHere is a brutal picture of what is a homemade garlic bread (right) crafted by my grandmother.  It was composed of garlic butter, cheese and (i think?) mushrooms.  I’m a bit foggy about that.  Maybe Nat can correct me on this one.  The left is what was left of my chorizo sandwich when I had the idea to take pictures of all this food.  The Chorizo Sandwich was Chorizo, some lettuce and bread.

    MorcillaI followed that up with some Morcilla.  Morcilla is also called Blood Sausage.  Many people (girls in my family) think this is gross, but it’s actually one of the more fascinating things I’ve eaten with my family.  I don’t know how they’re made, but I’m sure it’s not an appetizing processes.  We barbecued these on a low heat for about 30 minutes.  When it’s served, you cut open the skin (it looks like a black sausage) and just eat the insides.  It’s an interesting combo of savory and sweet.

    Potatoes and Spinach ThingNext I had some potatoes and sweet potatoes that were baked in the oven.  Oil, salt and pepper, good timing.  You’d have to ask my mom.  Beside those is a spinach thing made with… i don’t know.  Eggs and/or potatoes?  Again, made by my grandma, and I’m fairly in the dark about it.  Might be called a Fritata…  Nat?

    VacioHere is a slice of Vacio and a piece of bbq’d chicken.  The Vacio is a hunk of meat about the size of your head.  You grill on a bbq for a long time at a low heat, flipping rarely.  When we first flipped it (20-30 minutes in?) my dad brushed some chimichurri onto to the cooked side.  When the other side cooked, he brushed more chimichurri onto it.  The chicken is standard stuff.  Cook chicken with the skin on at a low heat for a long time.  The key to both these things is to not let fire touch them.  Sometimes when the grease jumps out of these meats and hits the grill, small flames lick the meats.  Keep an eye out and don’t let this happen.

    AsadoHere is some asado, which today was basically some ribs.  These cook relatively quickly, at a medium heat I’d say.  Quickly in my family means 15-20 minutes.  It’s a fatty meat that shrinks as the fat sizzles off.  Of course, that’s one of very reasons that this stuff is more delicious than any steak you’ll eat on this continent.

    FruitsIt would be a family event if my mom didn’t try and match the amount of food we eat with fruit.  Which is totally fine by me.  My occasionally sane grandpa sits in the background.

    And there you have it.  Father’s day with my family.

    • Nat 4:56 pm on June 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Before it’s Father’s Day, again, let me just say that any combination of the words blood and sausage definitely equal gross. And that’s eggplant on the delish garlic bread. Oh, grandpa.

  • Alejandro 3:40 pm on June 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: carrots, sesame seeds, thyme   


    Carrot-Pear Soup

    It’s no secret that I love soup.  When I was little, my mom used to trick me into eating my vegetables by pureeing them all into this bright orange soup.  It worked, and kept me healthy until I started living on my own and got fat.

    This is a recipe for a different soup that I picked up via the power of the internet.  Here is my slightly modified version.

    Servings: 1-2.  (feel free to multiply ingredients for more.)


    • 2 large carrots, peeled.
    • 1 anjou pear (those are the yellow/greenish ones)
    • Olive oil
    • a few shakes of dried thyme (or fresh thyme if you’re fancy)
    • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
    • 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds (just put them in a pan into a toaster oven for a few minutes.  Try not to let them burn the way I often do…)
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1/2 cup of broth (veggie or chicken works)
    • Salt and Pepper


    1. Heat a dash of olive oil in a deep pan, or small pot.
    2. Chop up your carrots and grill them with the oil for 5 minutes.
    3. Cut the pear into chunks, and throw those in with carrots.  Also add the thyme here.  Cook that for about 3 more minutes
    4. Add the water and the broth.  Feel free to modify the measurements as much as you’d like, but I don’t recommend going all broth.  It makes this too rich.
    5. Let the soup simmer for 10 or 15 minutes, or until it’s reduced a bunch.
    6. Remove this pot from the heat, and let it cool down for a few minutes (or don’t if you’re tough like Jackie Chan) and then pour it into a blender or food processor.
    7. Puree the shit out of your soup until it’s nice and smooth.
    8. Serve into bowls or cups, and sprinkle both types of sesame seeds on top.

    This soup is always delicious.  The sesame seeds dance in your mouth, while the thyme really sings with the carrots.  It’s easy to make as a quick side dish to go with your dinner, or make a bunch and eat it whenever you want.


    • chris! 11:37 pm on June 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Looks great! What’s going on behind the bowl there? I guessing a little tuna melt action? Also curious as to what kind of sauce you’ve got on that broccoli…

      • A-town 12:36 pm on June 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        You are correct! It’s a tuna melt (with some capers). And some ranch is drizzled over the broccoli. Nothing fancy.

  • canbui 5:21 pm on June 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bacon, , toast   



    I believe the morning meal has an alluring process because it is bound with limitations, at least moreso than any other meal in the day. Of course, you could have steak and potatoes, or seared sole and asparagus for breakfast, but you are much likelier to have eggs and toast. Even cereal or oatmeal. In turn, eggs can occupy a number of different dishes for dinner, and with such inventions like Corn Flake Chicken, cereal can occupy the dining table.

    That being said, I enjoy breakfast because it forces you to put twists on classic dishes. I recently came upon a few recipes for baked eggs in toast, tortillas or in a quiche. This was my attempt at taking the best I read and synthesizing something delicious.

    • 3 bacon strips
    • 2-3 slices of bread
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
    • butter


    Start by cooking the bacon, either in a pan or baking sheet. While the strips are cooking there are three tasks at hand: first, smear butter on the ramekin or muffin tray, this will prevent the toast from sticking and ruining the removal process; second, butter the bread; and three, flatten and stuff the bread into the ramekin or tray – basically moulding it into a cup form (the bread tends to tear, which is why you will need that 3rd slice to patch those holes). Put them into the oven at 375F for 2-3 minutes, until lightly toasted.

    When the bacon is finished place onto a paper towel, and tapthem to remove excess grease. Crumble some bacon into the bottom of the toast cups, keeping some for later. Crack an egg into each cup, respectively, and insert a strip of bacon standing up. Spread some of the grated cheese on top and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Throw them back into the oven; for runny eggs leave them in for about 12 minutes, for solid eggs (but I don’t recommend this very unfun method) leave them in for 15 or so.

    Remove and let them cool a bit. With a spoon and by tilting the tray, you should be able to delicately remove them. Eat with an Americano in hand, and enjoy!

    • canbui 5:23 pm on June 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Caveat: the crust of the bread gets extra crunchy since you are essentially toasting it twice. Therefore, remove the edges if you aren’t too keen.

    • A-town 5:33 pm on June 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      These looks like muffins filled with eggs and bacon instead of jelly and not bacon. Sad I missed this meal!

      • Tristan 9:09 pm on June 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        i can’t wait till I have time to make this

  • Alejandro 2:48 pm on June 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply



    After reading many blogs with many different variations of Gazpacho, I decided to try my own.  It’s fascinating how many different ways there are to make this dish, some including tomato juice, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, hot sauce, water, etc.  Some recipes tell you to peel you tomatoes.  Some tell you to cook your tomatoes.

    The recipe I followed most closely was this one, but here I will show you the slight variations I made.

    Servings: 8-10


    • 8 medium ish tomatoes (about 1.5 pounds)
    • 1/2 a large cucumber
    • 1/2 a red pepper.
    • 2 cloves of garlic.
    • 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar (but I’m sure any vinegar would do the trick)
    • 1/2 cup of olive oil
    • salt and pepper
    • about a handful of the doughy part of bread (no crust)
    • 1 cup of water
    • a food processor or blender or something


    1. Trim and quarter your tomatoes.  peel the cucumber and cut into chunks.  cut pepper into chunks.
    2. Soak the bread in the water for a minute or three.
    3. Put the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, garlic, bread and vinegar into the food processor (or blender…)
    4. Blend.
    5. Add some salt a pepper.  Eyeball it.
    6. Blend again.  While the blender is running, pour in the olive oil.  Let it all continue to blend.
    7. When the gazpacho is at a somewhat liquid consistency (but still a bit chunky) you’re done blending.
    8. Pour into a container and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.  Chilling it makes the flavours combine and flourish (or something.)
    9. Serve by itself, or with some chunks of cucumber, red pepper, or whatever.  Also, try adding some Tabasco or other hot sauce for a spicy kick!

    I had a cup of this chilled soup every day for about a week and a half.  It’s delicious and easy to make and definitely worth trying out.


  • canbui 9:15 pm on June 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: basil, ,   



    There are many ways to cook, many ways to prepare a dish, construct your flavours, and present your food. For myself, I like those dishes that feel elemental; plates of food that feel honest – no tricks – where you can see what you’re eating and guess how they’re made. They are simple, sometimes dubbed ‘rustic’ but most often just delicious in a basic way.

    Steak is an example of this: a cut of beef, grilled or seared to eat. Salads for the most part follow this rule too, and the classic Italian Caprese is as basic as you can get (with only three ingredients).

    Some tips: to get a great peppercorn taste to the steak, buy whole black peppers and place then in a pan. Crush the peppercorns with another pan, albeit smaller to fit, or a small pot. The metal provides a hard surface to crush and to crush against.

    • 2 balls of bocconcini
    • a bunch of basil
    • tomatoes, mixed sizes and colour
    • cut of steak, 1″ thick
    • 1/2 cup whole peppercorns, crushed
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • pinch of sugar
    • salt and pepper
    • extra virgin olive oil
    • dollop of balsamic vinegar

    Preheat oven to 275F. Into a large mixing bowl, cut the tomatoes into bite-sized wedges or in halves if they’re smaller. Toss with garlic, sugar, balsamic vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Place them onto a baking sheet, cut side up, and throw them in the oven for about 2 hrs. You will see them shrivel up and caramelize into sweet goodness. Remove and cover them. Turn up the oven to 500F and set an element to high.

    Always leave your steak out to attain room temperature – this ensures even cooking.While this is happening place your OVEN-SAFE pan into the oven to get super hot too. Brush oil olive onto steak, season with salt and place steak into the pan with crushed peppercorns. Flip. The steak should look covered in peppercorns. Take the pan out of the oven with a towel for the handle and set it on the element; place your steaks down firmly. It should begin to sear right away. Resist, as much as you can, lifting the edges of the steak to see if its ready to flip. It will be 4 minutes. Flip. After another 4 minutes, using the towel, throw everything back in the oven.

    Depending on the size of your steak, how well you like it, etc., the steak should be done in around 5 minutes. Take the steak out, place it on a plate and cover for 5 minutes. This is essential time where the juices will distribute throughout and the meat will finish cooking. While covering the meat, cut the cheese into 1/2″ slices and toss with the basil leaves and tomatoes.

    Plate the steak and pour the standing juices on top. Place the salad. Turn everything off and enjoy.

    • A-town 9:18 pm on June 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Looks delicious! How did it turn out taste-wise?

      • canbui 10:38 am on June 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        The peppercorns made it hella hot, but delicious nonetheless. And roasting the tomatoes at a low heat for 2 hours made them so sweet and tart, a good compliment to the bocconcini.

    • A-town 11:18 am on June 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Also. Make sure you dont touch the blazing hot handle of the oven safe pan without gloves or a dishtowel. Seriously. Don’t forget.

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