Food Porn Friday

Another week has literally flown by. Kind of nuts to think that the year is halfway over already. Wow. On the bright side, I’ll be heading to the US for some culinary insanity in less than a month! Now that makes me happy. Today I am craving something seasonal and spicy, so these pan roasted baby artichokes with garlic, parsley, and crushed red pepper sound like they’d fit the bill and then some. Happy weekend!

Photo Credit: Cooking in Sens via Food Porn Daily

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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!

 

Top 5 Cold-Weather Spots

Welp, it’s officially autumn here in Buenos Aires. Anytime the temperature dips below 68 degrees, the boots, wool coats, scarves and other winter accessories magically make their way to the streets. Now that we’ve got hibernation on the brain, where should you go when you want to cozy up on a chilly day for a delicious meal?

 

Pura Tierra

I used to live in Belgrano and loved having Pura Tierra so close to my apartment. They serve gourmet regional cuisine, so imagine lots of dark woods, exposed brick, and low lighting. You’ll fill up on braised bondiola with honey-glazed apples, grilled llama, homemade pastas and delicious Argentine cheeses. This is an experience for the senses. Perfect for when you need to stay warm and dive into some impeccable regional food.

3 de Febrero 1167 – Belgrano – 4899-2007

Vrindavan

Ok, I can’t not sneak in an Indian restaurant. But what’s better for warming up than a piping hot and spicy curry? Come on. Vrindavan isn’t new, per se, but it’s my newest favorite for its killer vindaloo and amazing discounts (40% with Club La Nación on Tuesdays). It’s located downtown, so you can sneak away from the office and dive in to rich kormas, fluffy basmati rice, and tons of other dishes that will rival what you’re used to back home. Service could be better, but you’ll be too busy drooling over your Chicken Tikka Masala that it won’t really matter.

Tucumán 874 – Downtown – 4328-9252

Olsen

When in doubt, warm up with vodka. Or something like that. Olsen is ideal for a Saturday brunch/lunch out in the garden – they’ll bring you blankets to stay warm – or snagging a seat next to the fireplace for dinner. You’ll feel right at home among the clean Scandinavian lines (oh how I miss Ikea, natch) and the illuminated bar. And the vodka. Don’t forget the vodka.

Gorriti 5870 – Palermo Hollywood – 4776-7677

Sette Bacco

Usually when the cold weather hits, I up my pasta intake by about 300% No shame here. It’s like my body flips out without a steady diet of carbs. I love Sette Bacco since it’s completely unassuming on a side street in Recoleta but insanely beautiful at the same time. A repurposed old family home, Sette Bacco serves up melt-in-your-mouth pastas, risottos, and meat dishes. Order that grilled molleja salad to start, it’s heaven on a plate. Tables are tucked into every nook, so don’t be scared to ask to see what’s available upstairs. It’s perfect for a homecooked meal when you don’t want to do any of the cooking.

Agüero 2157 – Barrio Norte/Recoleta – 4808-0021

HG – Hernán Gipponi at the Fierro Hotel

This might be a no-brainer, because all I want to do on a gray Sunday afternoon is spend three hours eating the most amazeballs gourmet brunchy bites available in Buenos Aires. What’s nice is that it’s reservation only (you’ll probably know half of the people there), and the dining room takes on this personal feel that makes it easier to brave the windchill once you leave. Get ready for inventive eggs, exotic fruits, and more taste explosions. Book a table next to the window and pretend you’re outside, when we all know you have 2 pairs of socks and three t-shirts on.

Soler 5862 – Palermo Hollywood – 3220-6800

Photo Credit: Guía Oleo, Groupon, Panoramio, Sette Bacco, yours truly

Food Porn Friday

Fall is finally here in Buenos Aires, and everyone seems to be invigorated by the crisp air. We’re no longer forced to sweat like pigs (just me? ok) before mid-day, and it’s such a relief to breathe easy. As such, I’m planning some autumnal dishes that make me want to curl up and hibernate. So let’s start with the classic of all classics. Tomato soup and grilled cheese. Better known as, my childhood.

Photo Credit: The F-Word