Argentinian Food RecipesWine and Dine
Every so often, restaurant dining transcends delicious into divine and a meal turns into what dreams are made of. Ordering another few bottles of wine can prolong the experience, but not permanently. Thanks to the work of Chef Pablo del Rio, our evening at Siete Cocinas was pure poetry. We’ve been craving his sleek take on Argentina’s seven gastronomic regions ever since, so this week our menu is an ode to his restaurant. We’ve put our own spin on a dish from each region, attempting to bring the best of Mendoza home.
This is a quick and elegant appetizer best served ice-cold. The thinner you slice the scallop, the better it will be.
Yield: 4 servings
Add huckleberries to a sauté pan with sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until huckleberries are soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add to a blender with mustard and vinegar. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. With blender running, slowly add in oil. Transfer vinaigrette to an airtight container, and refrigerate for several hours.
Slice scallops into thin pieces crosswise, and divide equally among 4 serving plates. Brush scallops with remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Sprinkle shallots and jalapeño over scallops, and lightly season with salt. Drizzle vinaigrette over scallops, and garnish with watercress.
Need a bite to serve with all the amazing wine brought back from Argentina? Try this comforting nosh, made a bit more fancy with a bright red marmalade.
Yield: 4–6 servings
Place each pepper directly onto a gas burner at full heat. Roast until entire pepper is charred black, turning occasionally. Add peppers to a small bowl, and cover tightly. Set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover peppers, and allow to cool. Using a paper towel, peel away charred layer and discard. Remove stem and seeds and discard.
Add peppers, chili flakes, lemon zest, vinegar, and honey to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Puree until peppers are smooth but still have texture. Transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for several hours.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and place slices of ciabatta in an even layer. Toast bread until crispy, about 5 minutes per side.
Preheat broiler. Remove rind from brie, and discard. Slice brie, and place on ciabatta. Broil until cheese is melted, and serve immediately with pepper marmalade.
Rabbit is a lean meat served well by a long, slow braise. If you have time, cook the rabbit a day in advanceso the flavors can deepen.
Yield: 4–6 servings
Pat rabbit dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add oil. When oil is shimmering, add rabbit. Sear each side until light golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan, and reserve.
Reduce heat to medium, and add onions, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape brown bits up from bottom, and return rabbit to pan. Add bay leaves, thyme, parsley, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook until rabbit is extremely tender, about 90 minutes.
Allow rabbit to cool in braising liquid. Remove rabbit, pull meat into shreds, discard bones, and set aside. Strain liquid, and reserve sauce.
Melt butter in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add leeks, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cream, and cook 3 more minutes. Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta sheets, 1 or 2 at a time, until soft and pliable. Place rabbit mixture at edge pasta sheet, allowing 1/2-inch. Top with creamy leeks. Roll into cannelloni, and repeat with remaining filling.
Preheat broiler. Brush a glass baking dish lightly with oil. Place cannelloni in dish, seam side down. Pour 1–2 cups of reserved rabbit broth and remaining 2 tablespoons cream over cannelloni. Broil until cream and sauce is bubbling, about 4 minutes.
Briny capers are a nice accompaniment to halibut’s meaty texture. A frisee salad with warm pancetta vinaigrette or roasted baby potatoes would pair nicely with the dish.
Yield: 2 servings
Pat halibut dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add oil, and when it is shimmering, add fish. Cook until halibut is just opaque, about 3 minutes per side.
Remove halibut from pan, and add wine, lemon juice, and capers. Reduce liquid by half, and add parsley and butter. Stir well. Pour sauce over fish, and serve immediately.
This hearty stew – tender, in part, thanks to a healthy dose of wine – is another dish best made a day in advance.
Yield: 4 servings
Pat lamb dry, and season with salt and pepper. Dip lamb in bowl with flour, and shake off excess. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons oil. Add half of lamb, being careful not to crowd the pan. Sear until light golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan, and reserve. Repeat process with remaining lamb.
Lower heat to medium, and add onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
Add wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape brown bits up from bottom, and return lamb to pan. Add rosemary, bay leaves, and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook until tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaves, and allow lamb to cool in braising liquid.
Flan is surprisingly easy to whip up, and since it has to be refrigerated overnight, it’s a good option for a dinner party.
Yield: 6 servings
Add 1 cup sugar and lemon juice to a pan on medium-high heat. Cook sugar, shaking pan occasionally, until a golden caramel color develops, about 7 minutes. Carefully pour just enough caramel into 6 (4 oz) ramekins to coat bottom. Add Grand Marnier and orange juice to pan, and cook on medium-low heat until caramel has melted into liquid. Remove from heat, and reserve.
Scrape inside of vanilla bean, and add it to a saucepan with milk and cream. Bring it to a strong simmer, and remove from heat. Let cool.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Whisk eggs and 1/2 cup sugar. Add milk to eggs, and whisk well. Pour mixture into ramekins. Put ramekins into a roasting pan. Add very hot tap water to roasting pan until it reaches halfway up ramekin. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until custard is just set but still moves. Allow flan to cool at room temperature. Wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
To unmold, use a knife or offset spatula around inside edge of ramekin, and flip flan onto a plate. To serve, drizzle a little sauce around the flan.