Food Porn Friday

It’s that time again, everyone. Friday morning and the weekend is upon us. Now that the sunshine has returned to our lives, I can tell that spring is just around the corner and I’m getting excited for lingering weekend brunches on sunny rooftops. Naturally I’m hungry for a nice hearty plate of Eggs Benedict. Preferably with a big Bloody Mary on the side. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Happy weekend!

Photo Credit: Food Porn Daily

Review: MASGourmet Fresh Pastas

As much as I love to eat and to cook, I’m not nearly as kitchen savvy as I would like to be. I gaze longingly at the Williams-Sonoma website, aching for the day that I will need canning supplies, a wheatgrass juicer, or an ice cream maker. Hell, I don’t even make my own pasta! (Don’t judge)

Anyway, why would I need to make my own pasta when MASGourmet exists in this world? Let’s be honest, nothing tastes quite like those heavenly ribbons of fresh fettuccine or those hand-rolled gnocchi. But sometimes the whole process seems to be a bit too time-consuming, or we just don’t feel like hanging fresh noodles all over the kitchen before we throw them in to cook.

MASGourmet is the solution to this. Fresh frozen gourmet pastas and sauces, delivered right to your door, for whenever you feel like eating homemade without actually having to do anything! You can literally order anything your heart desires – from tagliatelle to gnocchis to sorrentinos to ravioli (all in a crazy variety of flavors and styles). Sauces are more classic with offerings like fileto, bolognese, Parisien, green onion and mushroom, and (wildcard) a curry walnut sauce. Everything is made by Chef Agustina, who is basically the human incarnation of a ray of sunshine. You can tell that she loves to cook and make people happy with her food.

Ordering online is easy – Just check off anything and everything that you would like (minimum order AR$100 – enough to stock your freezer with noodle love) and get ready to receive it all within the next two days. There are a variety of promos too, so get creative! Pastas are portioned into single servings, so you can mix it up and order a bunch of different kinds, or make one big massive order if you need to feed a crowd.

I tried the Lamb (braised in Malbec) Raviolis and the Caprese Sorrentinos. The best part is that once your water is boiling, all you have to do is just plop those buddies in there and let ’em cook for literally 5 minutes and they’re done! No need to defrost or stare at the clock wondering how long until al dente.

Since I basically have Adult ADD I let the sorrentinos cook for 1 minute too long and one of them exploded – but it was OK, because the mozzarella started oozing out and it was a cheesetastic explosion on my plate. Totally cool with that.

I served both with a little bit of olive oil, fresh grated Parmesan, fresh black pepper and some red pepper flakes. Delicious! Easy as pie to make and super satisfying. The flavor is great too; it’s also nice to know they were made with love by a real person and not in some strange factory.

If you’re having friends or otherwise important guests over to eat and want to make a good impression, you could pull a Mrs. Doubtfire and act like you made these bad boys yourself. They taste deliciously homemade but with a gourmet touch (Hello, the lamb was incredible!) that will earn you brownie points (until they find out that you’re a liar).

I cannot recommend MASGourmet enough! It’s a nice way to break the routine and have tasty carby treats brought right to your door. If you think you’ll be craving dessert as well, you can order a range of sweet treats from the website as well. Check them out on Facebook to stay up to date on promos and new pasta varieties. Your first order comes with an amazeballs 50% discount! So get on it, and enjoy!

Cooking with Dog

Thanks to the magical world of Twitter, I stumbled upon this hilarious YouTube channel of a Japanese chef and her miniature Poodle, Francis. Francis acts as host of the online cooking shows, and I am now obsessed with everything related to it, most notably the ever-expanding wardrobe of Francis.

Watch the video below and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Now I’m craving that miso stir-fry.

Recipe: Oven-roasted New Potatoes

This almost shouldn’t even qualify as a recipe, it’s so easy. But since it involves slicing, seasoning, and cooking, I guess we can let it slide.

When I’m hard up for a side dish or am too lazy to eat a real meal for dinner, I find that roasting these tiny taters in my toaster oven (yep, my real oven is so dangerous to light I’m convinced it’s really a death trap) is all I need. For some reason there are always tons of these new potatoes (or papas andinas -which often come in cool colors and bumpy shapes –  basically any small little round potato of love) spilling off the shelves at my local market.

It’s quite easy really – wash the potatoes, slice them in half or into thirds, depending on their size, toss with good olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, some red pepper flakes and Italian seasonings and you’re good to go. Into a hot oven for around 15-20 minutes or until nice and crispy (I like bordering on burnt). Voila!

Ingredients:

New potatoes – let’s say 500g or however big the package at the store is
Several glugs of good olive oil
Sea Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
Italian seasoning – a mix of oregano and garlic with a hint of spice
Variations: Rosemary; paprika and fresh curry powder; cumin and a pinch of cinnamon

Method:

Preheat oven to high (220C). Scrub potatoes and pat dry. Slice them into halves or thirds, depending on their size and set aside. In a bowl, mix olive oil, spices and seasoning; add potatoes and toss to coat. The mix should be neither dry nor drowning in oil. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and browned on the edges. This can vary depending on your oven and how many ‘taters you’ve got in there, of course, so keep an eye out. Once they’re cooked to your liking, serve them alongside some roast chicken and a goblet of red wine. Bon apetit!

Review: Jueves a la Mesa

When I was in 5th grade, we were asked to write goals we hoped to achieve during the course of the school year. For some reason I wrote that I wanted to be a vegetarian. Given my nonexistent willpower, this experiment probably lasted all of three days. While I love to eat anything and everything, I still find that a nice big meal that doesn’t feature meat as the centerpiece is almost more satisfying to me than anything else.

OK, the big draw of Buenos Aires is the beef: juicy steaks everywhere, making your mouth water and stomach growl. That’s all well and good, but sometimes your body wants something else. Fresher. Lighter. Slightly healthier – but without sacrificing the tasty part. Basically, your body needs plants.

Thankfully Meghan from Jueves a la Mesa knows what’s up. Intimate weekly dinners, hosted at her house (now a new, shared space in San Telmo known as Fondo Club) with good company and even better food. The propuesta – the entire meal is vegetarian with an effort to minimize use of refined sugars or flour. (Carnivores are probably rolling their eyes now, but you’ll be sorely mistaken to realize that this isn’t some GOOP-inspired dinner of blanched lettuce leaves.) Continue reading

Food Porn Friday

Hello again, my doves. After one day of bizarre springlike weather, I think we’re all feeling a little out of wack today. Luckily I had an incredible dinner last night at Jueves a la Mesa (photos and details to follow!) and am revved up on tasty veg noms. However, as much as I love eating vegetarian, sometimes you want to sink your teeth into a nice juicy burger. I feel like this fancy feat would do the trick, don’t you? Have a great weekend!

 

Photo Credit: Jason & Shawnda

Review: Zafran Snacks Naturales

Who doesn’t love a good snack? It’s the perfect way to tide yourself over before lunch or while you’re trying to make it through a long afternoon at work. The problem is, most of the snacks available at your local kiosko seem to have the sole objective of causing multiple cavities and/or diabetes. Sure, that Oreo Alfajor (mmmm) tastes good now, but sometimes you want something with a bit more substance and that won’t get in the way of your goal to be la mejor cola de Argentina, amirite?

Enter Zafran – a company started by two buddies who want to remind Argies that yummy and healthy don’t have to be mutually exclusive. That indeed you can be mindful of tidbits like nutrients and protein while enjoying something sweet with your cup of tea. Their mission is simple: to bring you a little box of numnums – to either your home or office – as often as you prefer, ensuring that you’ll always have something to nibble on.

Once you sign up, you can choose from a variety of 20 snacks that will be packaged in boxes of five, and then you decide how often you want them to be delivered. Pretty straightforward, and the website is well-designed and easy to use. From dried fruit to to berries mixed with nuts, to seeds and granola … there is definitely something for everyone.

The Zafran dudes work with nutritionists to create balanced bites that offer a variety of benefits, whether it be a dose of Omega-3 or providing an extra serving of fiber. You have the option to give them feedback on your personal preferences, too – from “Fanático” to “No Quiero” – so you can better control what snacks you’ll receive in your next delivery.

It’s a great way to always have something on hand – no more last-minute trips of desperation where you always seem to end up buying the $25 bar of Cadbury chocolate (just me? OK). The packaging is made of recycled material and will be sure to brighten your day. I liked having a little bag of almonds at my desk as I had my morning mate.

You can also find Zafran at the Pick Market in Recoleta, so stock up next time you’re there buying Bud heavy and copious amounts of Pringles (honestly, it’s like imports heaven over there!).

Happy eating! Check Zafran out online and on Facebook.