Favorite Dishes To Make In Buenos Aires?

GMXam

Registered
#1
This go round, I didn't bring a ton of spices back with me to BA. Furthermore, I gave a ton of spices away last year. Now, I'm looking for a little inspiration on the cooking front that doesn't require me to run around town in search of hard to find spices.

My latest endeavor led me down the path of making cachapas along with Mexican rice, beans, and avocado. Cachapas are similar to an arepa but are more like a pancake. They are sweet, moist, corn pancakes made of cornstarch, egg, sweet whole kernel corn (fresh or thawed from frozen), salt, sugar/honey, melted butter, and water (or milk, if you prefer). I also add polenta for a little more texture. You eat them similar to the way you eat a crepe, top with something savory and fold closed in half.

My first attempt at cachapas produced more of a gordita (thicker mexican corn tortilla like cake, maybe about 5mm in thickness). I used far too little water...it needed to be the consistency of pancake batter, whereas my mixture was more like a tortilla consistency. No problem for us, as they were still pretty awesome as a chalupa. I'll be making a second attempt at this delicious dish and will post the recipe once I get it fine-tuned. All ingredients are easy to acquire at any supermercado. For now, here's my Mexican rice recipe:

Mexican Rice: (serves 2)

Olive Oil (enough to cover half of the saltén...use a saltén with a lid, and that holds 2 inches more than you plan to cook)
Two handfuls of your favorite rice (fyi, brown rice takes longer to cook)

Onion (half of small onion, chopped)
Jalapeño or Locoto (roasted over gas burner, then chopped)
Tomato (small, diced)
Garlic Clove (1 large or 2 small, minced and chopped)

Tomato Puree (half of a small box)

Oregano (dried, 1 teaspoon)
Comino (powder, 1/2 - 1 teaspoon, according to your taste)
Cilantro (chopped and fresh, if you like)
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in the saltén over low flame, add two handfuls of rice and stir to evenly distribute oil over rice. Stir every couple of minutes until the rice is slightly browned. Add onion and pepper and stir every couple of minutes until onions are translucent. Add tomato and garlic and sear for a couple of minutes. Add half the box of tomato puree and move the saltén around to distribute evenly. Add water to about half an inch above the rice (if your fingers are not sensitive to heat like mine, fill with water until a finger inserted to the top of the rice has water level covering your first digit). Add spices, stir, and salt to taste. You want the salt taste to be just over the amount of salt you like. If you add too much, just squeeze a little lemon or lime juice and that should help.

Cover and let simmer until cooked. If you are using a saltén with a glass lid, it's easy to see when the water as boiled through and is no longer emitting steam out of the lid. It usually takes between 15-20 minutes for rice to cook through on a low flame. You can give it a stir to see that all the rice is fluffy and does not appear glassy. You can usually turn the burner off and keep the lid on for another 10-15 minutes to let it cook through, if you like.

What are you cooking with local ingredients here in BA?