Review: The Lost Asian’s Hidden Kitchen

As I mentioned before, there seems to be a second wave of closed door restaurants popping up in Buenos Aires, and I am ecstatic. This time around, things are taking on a different vibe, more intimate and relaxed, with their own unique twist.

If you’ve been in BA for more than a hot minute and enjoy food, you’ve probably heard of Frances. She has some of the most beautiful photos out there, and I’ve loved her blog form the moment I stumbled upon it. She’s this tiny person with a huge radiant smile (yes I have a girl crush on her, ok?). When she isn’t cooking/eating/photographing food, she also works as a licensed acupuncturist, nutritionist, herbalist, yoga instructor and Chinese Doctor. Basically she’s pretty much a badass.

Anyway, Frances realized her dream of opening her kitchen to the public less than two weeks ago when she opened The Hidden Kitchen at the Reserve space in Palermo Soho. I was eager to dig in to the goods and of course booked a seat at the table for the first night she was in business. Continue reading

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!

Fall Recipe: Caponata

I’m not a vegetarian, but I find myself making lots of veg-based dishes year round – especially when the temperature drops. Nothing says autumn to me like this savory and colorful dish that is great on its own, over couscous, tossed with pasta or served alongside grilled chicken. This is an incredibly easy and crazy flavorful caponata that, paired with a nice bottle of red, will be sure to keep you warm on these chilly BA nights.

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant – cut into cubes (salt and drain it if you have time to release the water)
1 medium red pepper – cut into cubes
1 medium fennel bulb – sliced thin or cut into cubes
Mushrooms (Portobello are nice here) – cut in half
Plenty of Olive Oil
Italian seasonings – oregano, crushed red pepper, etc
Salt & fresh black pepper

Method:

Heat up a generous amount of olive oil (1/2 cup let’s say) in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s all nice and warm, add the fennel and sauteé until it starts to get fragrant and soften up a bit (let’s say 4-5 minutes or so). Add the red pepper and let them mingle and get to know each other, a few minutes longer. Toss the eggplant in, mix to coat, and add some more olive oil if necessary. This is when I like to add my Italian seasonings too. Once the eggplant starts to cook and everything is getting nice and soft, toss those mushrooms in and mix thoroughly. Depending on how many vegetables you’ve got going there and how big your pan is, cooking time will vary, but don’t be eager to get them off the stove – cook until it reduces nicely and the vegetables really start to look lovely/soft/drunk on olive oil. You don’t want the mix to be too oily, but you don’t want it to be too dry either, so don’t be shy if it needs another glug or two. Check and season to taste and let cool a bit before serving. (It’s even better the next day)

You can mix this up and add in some capers, good olives, onion … Whatever you have on hand. I love eating it as leftovers with some fresh pasta or piled on top of chicken, always with tons of crushed red pepper. It’s a breeze to make in large batches and eat throughout the week (usually what I do because I’m both lazy and a creature of habit). Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Curried Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Soup

Sometimes I pretend I’m a cook. This is one of those times. I’ve pretty much been living off of this soup ever since it’s gotten cooler outside. Since it’s such an easy meal to put together, you have no excuse here. Also you will feel healthy since it’s chock full o’ squash and lentils (this feeling will subside when you eat a bag of Skittles and a Snickers bar for dessert). You don’t need anything fancy for this soup – an immersion blender will make your life easier, though – so get cooking! Continue reading