Com­fort­ing clas­sic Ar­gen­tine meals

COM­FORT FOOD IS A SHARED LAN­GUAGE ACROSS THE GLOBE, AND THESE INVIT­ING AR­GEN­TINE MEALS SPEAK VOL­UMES

Good Health (Australia) - - Content -

Stuffed pota­toes with cream cheese and green onion » SERVES 4

4 large pota­toes

1 tbsp pour­ing cream

2 gar­lic cloves, crushed

2 green onions, thinly sliced, plus ex­tra to gar­nish

50g coarsely grated pro­volone Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

1 Place the pota­toes in a large saucepan and cover with cold wa­ter. Bring to the boil over high heat and cook for 10 min­utes. Re­move the pan from the heat, cover and set aside for 20 min­utes, un­til the pota­toes are com­pletely ten­der. Drain well and rinse un­der cold wa­ter.

2 Cut about 5mm off the length of each potato, so they sit flat on a work sur­face. Cut about 1cm off the op­po­site ends, then scoop out about 1 ta­ble­spoon of the flesh. Put the scooped-out potato in a bowl and roughly mash with a fork, then add the cream, gar­lic, green onion and pro­volone, and sea­son well with salt and pep­per. Spoon the mix­ture into the pota­toes, then set aside or re­frig­er­ate un­til needed. These can be made a day in ad­vance.

3 Pre­heat a bar­be­cue hot­plate to medium. Wrap the pota­toes in foil and place, stuffed side up, on the hot­plate. Cover with the lid or a large bak­ing dish and cook for 20 min­utes, un­til heated through and the bot­toms are crisp and golden.

4 Scat­ter a lit­tle ex­tra green onion over the top and serve hot.

Gra­majo’s scram­ble » SERVES 4

125ml (½ cup) olive oil

500g waxy pota­toes, cut into 5mm thick chips

1 large onion, finely chopped 200g smoked ham, sliced

4 eggs, well beaten

Large hand­ful flat-leaf pars­ley, roughly chopped Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per 1 Heat the oil in a large fry­ing pan over high heat. Add the chips and sauté, turn­ing fre­quently, for 20 min­utes, un­til golden. Us­ing a metal slot­ted spoon, re­move the chips from the oil and set aside to drain on pa­per towel. Pour off and dis­card all but 2 ta­ble­spoons of the oil in the pan.

2 Add the onion to the pan and sauté for 2–3 min­utes, un­til soft­ened. Add the ham and cook for 2–3 min­utes, then re­turn the chips to the pan. Cook for a fur­ther 2–3 min­utes, then pour in the beaten egg and cook for about 2 min­utes, un­til the egg is just cooked but not dry. Re­move the pan from the heat, stir through the pars­ley and sea­son well with salt and pep­per.

3 Serve hot with the bread on the side.

‘Pan de campo’ or rus­tic bread, to serve

Dulce de leche » MAKES 410G (1½ CUPS) (STOVE­TOP) OR 550G (2 CUPS) (OVEN-BAKED)

Dulce de leche is eaten with al­most ev­ery­thing in Ar­gentina, but at its most ba­sic you can en­joy it with a spoon straight from the jar!

STOVE­TOP DULCE DE LECHE

1 litre (4 cups) whole milk 300g caster sugar

¼ tsp bi­car­bon­ate of soda Pinch of salt

OVEN-BAKED DULCE DE LECHE

2 x 395g tins sweet­ened con­densed milk

1 To make stove­top dulce de leche, heat the in­gre­di­ents in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Just be­fore the mix­ture comes to the boil, re­duce the heat to very low, en­sur­ing that the mix­ture main­tains a very gen­tle sim­mer (you may need to ad­just the heat ac­cord­ingly). Cook, stir­ring of­ten, for about 1 hour, in which time the mix­ture will darken and thicken. From this point, stir the mix­ture fre­quently to avoid it catch­ing and burn­ing. Con­tinue stir­ring for 20–30 min­utes, un­til the mix­ture is thick and tof­fee-coloured.

2 To test if the dulce de leche is ready, place a spoon­ful on a cold saucer or plate. Al­low it to cool and thicken, then run your fin­ger through the cen­tre of the dulce de leche. If the mix­ture doesn’t pool back, it is ready. Trans­fer to a bowl and al­low to cool com­pletely.

3 To make oven-baked dulce de leche, pre­heat the oven to 180°C. 4 Pour the con­densed milk into a 1-litre (4 cup) bak­ing dish and cover with foil. Sit the bak­ing dish in a larger dish and pour in enough boil­ing wa­ter to come half way up the sides of the dish with the con­densed milk. Cook in the oven, top­ping up with boil­ing wa­ter to main­tain the level, for 2 hours, or un­til the con­densed milk is tof­fee­coloured (the top will be darker).

5 Care­fully re­move from the oven and stir to com­bine while still warm. Set aside to cool com­pletely.

6 Trans­fer to a very clean, dry glass jar. Dulce de leche will keep in the fridge for 2–3 weeks.

Edited ex­tract from The Food of Ar­gentina: Asado, em­panadas, dulce de leche and more by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz. (Smith Street Books, $49.99)

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