argentina

My Trip To Buenos Aires, Argentina

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On December 19th 2017, after eighteen years of absence, I finally returned to Argentina to spend a month with my “adopted family” and friends in Buenos Aires, where I lived and worked for nearly five years during the nineties.
I visited Buenos Aires for the first time in the seventies and had an immediate affection for the city, the country, the people and the great food.
Great food in Argentina means mostly meat, pasta, empanadas and salad, although modern public relations, foodies hype, young wannabe food stars and wannabe food critics will try to have you think otherwise. Granted, there is a small (very small) movement to make modern? Argentinian cuisine play a role in the world of modern food, but in reality, it is just a tiny movement, confined to very few, mostly insignificant restaurants in the big cities.
On the other hand, traditional food is as good or even better as it ever was 😊
Argentinian meat, especially beef, is legendary around the world, and pork, lamb, and poultry are not far behind.
Pasta is second only to what you find in the best kitchens in Italy, Argentine empanadas are second to none, and yes, even the salads are in a class of their own, thanks to the fact that most produce you’ll find in either small groceries or big markets, in small villages or big cities, usually travels only a few miles from down the road, having been harvested that very morning from some local farmers vegetable patch. Same with all fresh food ingredients, eggs, cheese, fruit, etc, and of course most meat that’s available to you either in a shop or restaurant; most of it is local, never frozen, and as fresh as can be.
After one month, I have a books-worth of impressions of Buenos Aires and Argentina. However, I have decided that I will not say anything negative about this country I love so much. Argentina and its people have a lot of bad crap to deal with, but most of this information is readily available elsewhere to the folks who are interested in it, so there is no need for me to wallow in it on my blog.
On the positive side, I am happy to report that the majority of all people of Argentina are extremely friendly, generous, loving, big-hearted and the most gracious host’s one could wish for. They make the most of what they have, and friends and family is their greatest treasure. After the month I spent this time, it was hard for me to leave my friends and Family behind and I hope we will all reunite soon again 😊
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Click here to read  “All About Argentina”

 

Here are some random pictures of the beauty of this country.
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Click here for many more  Beautiful Vistas Of     “Argentina”

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Click here for more  Beautiful Vistas Of    “Buenos Aires”
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First Day Welcome Dinner .
Dinner with my “Family”: Carlos, Gladis, Dana, Lara, and Jorge, at a great Parrilla restaurant in Ezeiza, just outside of Buenos Aires

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Of course, on Christmas and on New Year’s Eve, which we celebrated with just a few close members of the family at the house, the featured main attraction was, what else, Asado (parrilla).
There were also many other “goodies”, such as hors d’oeuvres, salads, pasta, empanadas, artisanal cheese, cakes, pudding, bread, etc, all in great varieties and all very delicious.
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Another dinner, another Asado (parrilla), this time in the Argentinian countryside. This was on January 3rd. Of course, right after the Holidays, not many folks spend money in restaurants, also it was pretty early, about 8.30 PM, which is too early to have dinner for most Argentinians, so we had the place to ourselves.
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Dana, Carlos’ and Gladis’ younger daughter loves to prepare gnocchi and on this day she came to the house early to prepare lunch for us (early lunch – ca 3.30 PM) ………..
! Best ! gnocchi I ever had 😊

Auntie, Gladis, me, Dana

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My farewell dinner was combined with the birthday party of a family member. There were family and friends, monstrous platters of food (we all ordered a la carte) many bottles of red wine and a great party. (Below is a link to the FB site of this restaurant).
Do yourself a favor when you visit Buenos Aires – visit this place for at least one dinner, it will be well worth your time 😊
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Yes, this is one portion ! All Mine. 🙂 Each of the platters of food below contains one single portion !

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Click here for a link to the restaurants FB Page
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Before I started my trip, I made it clear to Carlos and the family that I was not keen to travel around at all. Because I lived in Buenos Aires for so long, there was not really much I hadn’t seen while I was there, so there was no great lure for me to spend my days traveling. The traffic is usually horrendous in and around Buenos Aires and it was also way too hot to spend hours on the road. Outside of Buenos Aires, many roads are not paved, so when it has not rained for a while, the dust in the air is brutal.
I just wanted to visit Recoleta, where Maria and I rented a wonderful Apartment while we lived in BA. This is by far the nicest and most beautiful part of the city, and the cost of living is accordingly. (Twenty years ago, our apartments rent was about US $ 3500.00 a month, which should give you an idea about the exclusivity of Recoletta.
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   A short video of our street…..
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Click here for more impressions of Recoleta
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So, during my month there, we stayed mostly at home, had great conversations, played with the animals, enjoyed too much great food and too much great wine and other great spirits. Lots of milanesas, pasta, beef, fiambres, empanadas, salads and what not.
Never a dull moment, lots of happiness and love in the air.
Aaahhhhh, the good life 😊
(And yes, I gained twenty pounds ! Dammmn ! )
– I am in the progress of shedding those extra pounds now, but it’s not as fun and easy as putting them on. I also still carry a few extra pounds from September/October, when I enjoyed the same excesses in Germany and Spain) ☹
Life can be soooo tough !
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Even the housing for the dead is exclusive in Recoleta……….(Eva Peron resides here…..
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The other side……………
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The Family…
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More Family…..
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The House (La Casa)
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The Guest House (La Casita)
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And there you have it – four weeks Argentina.
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On my way back to Miami……….
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Life is Good !
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Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce



This  particular fish, Corvina Sea Bass, is,  according to the seller, legally caught fish, in contrast to Chilean Sea Bass (Patagonian Tooth Fish).
I have enjoyed Chilean Sea Bass many times while I was living in Argentina in the 90’s, when the fish was still abundant and cheap. Unfortunately, due to overfishing, the fish is now rare and endangered and should only be bought from sources which can proof that their fish was legally harvested .
When properly cooked, sea bass is wonderfully moist and flaky, which lends itself to a variety of cooking methods and recipes.
Following  is one of my all time favorites 🙂


Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !


Click here for Chinese Steamed Rice (Fan)   recipe

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce



Preparation :

cut sea bass into large cubes, marinade with five spice powder, kosher salt and cayenne pepper, dust with rice flour, mix well

cut sea bass into large cubes, marinade with five spice powder, kosher salt and cayenne pepper, dust with rice flour, mix well

saute whole chilies for a second or two, remove, reserve

saute whole chilies for a second or two in sesame oil to flavor, remove chilies, reserve

saute onions until translucent, add peppers and scallions, saute for two minutes, add garlic paste and grated ginger, saute until fragrant, remove, reserve

saute onions until translucent

add peppers and scallions, saute for two minutes, add garlic paste and grated ginger, saute until fragrant, remove, reserve

add peppers and scallions, saute for two minutes, add garlic paste and grated ginger, saute until fragrant, remove, reserve

reserved sauted onions, peppers, scallions and chilies

reserved sauted onions, peppers, scallions and chilies

saute sea bass in peanut oil until golden, remove from wok, reserve

saute sea bass in peanut oil until golden, remove from wok, reserve

add soy sauce, black bean sauce, chili sauce and rice wine to wok, simmer for one minute

add soy sauce, black bean sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil and rice wine to wok, simmer for one minute

return fish to wok, simmer until fish is almost cooked through, about one minute

return fish to wok, simmer until fish is almost cooked through, about one minute

remove from heat, return vegetables to sauce, mix well, check/adjust seasoning seasoning

remove from heat, return vegetables to sauce, mix well, check/adjust seasoning

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce With Fan

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce With Fan

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce

Stir Fried Sea Bass In Black Bean Sauce

Fan & Black Sesame Seeds

Fan & Black Sesame Seeds



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Let’s Face It – Once In A While, This Is All We Want And Need :-)



Every  chef  knows this feeling, even if it only hit’s once a year – you get home after a crappy day at work and you don’t want to hear or see about cooking for the rest of the day but still want something fine for dinner. Exactly what happened to me today. So, here is what went down at my house today:

Bubbly aperitif by the lake at sunset, then a dinner of strawberry ice cream (store-bought), fresh pineapple and ice-cold milk in front of the TV. Success !  Already feeling a whole lot better.
( I wonder if that’s the ice cream or the bubbly?) 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Don’t let it get to you !


Thank you Dana and Lara for the nice wine and champagne.

Sunset Apéritif  & TV Dinner

Sunset Apéritif & TV Dinner

Sunset Apéritif  & TV Dinner

Sunset Apéritif & TV Dinner

Sunset Apéritif  & TV Dinner

Sunset Apéritif & TV Dinner

Sunset Apéritif  & TV Dinner

Sunset Apéritif & TV Dinner






Tira De Asado – Argentinian Style Grilled Beef Ribs



Unfortunately,  most folks around the world will never enjoy this wonderful dish. Why? Because most people are convinced that beef ribs are only worth eating when they’ve been braised. While it is true that beef ribs are much tougher than most other parts of the  animal  (especially when cut thick the Argentinian way ) if properly cooked they are just great to eat, texture, taste and all 🙂
They will have a slight chewiness to them, but I find that texture just perfect. The secret lies in the way the meat is cooked on a parilla in Argentina. Since beef is traditionally eaten fresh (green), without aging, the meat is much tougher to start with than in, let’s say, the USA.
In order to compensate for the tougher meat, in Argentina, meat, especially the cheaper (tougher) cuts, are grilled VERY slowly.
This will ensure that the meat does not get too hot and therefore the protein does not get tough. However, there is a BIG difference of cooking on an open grill and in a grill pan. If you cook in a grill pan, as I did here, you want the starting heat to be very high, This will prevent the juices to collect in the pan and steam your steak. It will create the maillard reaction, which will turn the outside of your steak into that beautiful, brown, crispy texture we so love on a well-cooked steak. Then you must turn down the heat in order to cook everything beyond that beautiful crust very slowly, without generating too much heat which would turn the juices into steam that will escape the steak and leave a dry, tough chunk of protein in your pan.
I cooked these babies very slowly for nearly two hours, after which they were still medium to medium well, and very juicy.
I served the ribs with spicy chimichurri and Asian style pickled cucumbers. ( Recipe for the cucumbers will be posted soon ).

Bon Appetit !     Disfrutar de su Carne !

Grilled Beef Rib's, Spicy Chimichurri, Asian Style Pickled Cucumbers

Grilled Beef Rib’s, Spicy Chimichurri, Asian Style Pickled Cucumbers

 

season rib's liberally with kosher salt, grill on all four sides, approximately, 30 minutes or until done to your liking

season rib’s liberal with kosher salt, grill on all four sides SLOWLY until done to your liking

 

 

grill each side SLOWLY for approximately 20 minutes

grill each side SLOWLY for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the ribs and the temperature of the pan

 

almost.....

almost…..

Tira De Asado

Tira De Asado

Grilled Beef Ribs

Grilled Beef Ribs

Grilled Beef Rib's, Spicy Chimichurri, Asian Style Pickled Cucumbers

Grilled Beef Rib’s, Spicy Chimichurri, Asian Style Pickled Cucumbers

YEP  :-)

YEP 🙂



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“Choripán Mariposa”

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South America’s culinary addition to the world of sandwiches, the Choripánis without a doubt one of the oldest (ever since there was bread and sausage) and definitely one of the best.
No fuzz, just hearty, tasty, rustic goodyness.
Here is my version of this simple, great dish. Instead of a roll I used baguette with garlic butter. I also added tomatoes, horseradish and pickled banana peppers to the chorizo and chimichurri.
(All’s fair in my kitchen) 🙂

Buen Provecho !   Life is Good !
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Choripan

Choripan

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Toast or saute french bread in garlic butter

Grill or saute baguette with garlic butter

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Add grilled/butterflied chorizo, tomato, banana peppers, horseradish and chimichurri

Add grilled/butterflied chorizo, tomato, banana peppers, horseradish and chimichurri

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Choripan

Choripan

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Some Of The Places I Worked At Over The Years

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Just some of the places I worked at over the year’s.
Many places don’t exist anymore and don’t have
any pictures on the net. I can’t even find a picture
of my own restaurant  ” Gildenkeller ” I had for
a while in East Germany  😦
If anybody out there who worked with me at any point
can help me with pictures of places which are missing here,
I would highly appreciate it if you would contact me. Thank’s  🙂

Life is Good !
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(Hover or click a pic to see the name and location of the place)
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