Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Costilla Ahumada Kassler at Restaurant Dackel in Montevideo, Uruguay

Gaze upon the greatest pork chop ever cooked. One wouldn't expect Uruguay to have a good German restaurant, but Dackel is real good.


The specialty at Dackel is the Costilla Ahumada Kassler. This pork chop is almost 3 inches thick and slow cooked in a smoker. They then finish it off with more dry rub (mostly pepper) on the grill. The sides are Papas a la Suiza which is a hash brown by US standards, and apple sauce.


Dackel has a good selection of traditional German cuisine that you seldom find in Buenos Aires. While the photo doesn't show it, they have lots of more traditional German breads...which I ate before the photog

. As Dackel is 2 clocks from the beach in Carrasco, there's also some seafood selections. The neighborhood is a good 30-40 minute cab ride from Ciudad Vieja, where most tourists are in Montevideo. But it's well worth the trip. Besides, you can just head to the beach and walk off all that pork fat.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bear Sirloin of Panda & Chinese Broccoli

For those looking for more exotic game meats, here's something for you: grilled sirloin of panda, served with Chinese broccoli from Xing Wang in Buenos Aires. The meat is similar to what you get from typical bear meat in that it has a greasy texture to it. But with the animals diet being bamboo, you can taste the differences compared to say, black north american bear meat. Much like tasting the difference between grass and corn fed beef. The meat is cut up and tossed in a sauce and served upon chinese broccoli. It's very expensive since the Chinese government only allows a few pandas to be shipped worldwide for consumption.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BBQ Wild Boar Ribs (Ribs de Jabali)



I love wild boar. I love BBQ ribs. So let's have them both.

Rather than having to hunt down Jabali meat, luckily BBQ Wild Boar Ribs are an option at Oro & Cándido  in Palermo. In general with boar, the quality all depends on where it comes from. Feral Swine can be very good when hunted naturally and can be equal when farm raised. And of course, there is poorer quality when the jabali feeds on less natural foods in human population rich places.

With the Ribs de Jabali option at Oro & Cándido, you do run into a familiar problem with the menus in Buenos Aires. The actual menu listing is "ribs de jabali". But the use of the English word "ribs" can at times be a problem. "Ribs" on any English menu in North America would likely mean exactly what you are used to: either standard, long ribs or baby back ribs. But at times in Buenos Aires, you'll see the word "rib" used, but the cut is actually not what you'd expect. At Oro & Cándido, the "Ribs de Jabali" aren't a rack of ribs. They are instead costillas de jabali, more like a rack of lamb in the cut of meat.

So the primary letdown is that when ordering "Ribs de Jabali", you aren't actually getting ribs that you're expect.

Once you get past that, you can try to appreciate it. The meat however, is less than great. In smothering with BBQ sauce, you can dress up this pig a bit.

I've had better jabali at a number of places. Not great, not bad at Oro & Cándido. But I'm not sure I would recommend at this particular restaurant.  

Friday, March 11, 2011

Empanadas de Yacaré, Ñandú y Jabali (Caimen Crocodile, Ostrich, Wild Boar)


Here's a dish for a partially-ambitious carnivore. It's an empanada sampler from Oro & Cándido  in Palermo with (3) empanadas: Crocodile, Ostrich and Wild Boar. So you get to sample some game meats, while enjoying a more familiar style.

All three are similar in preperation: the meat is ground for all three, with some onion and seasoning, and made into an empanada, each with a unique casing.

The Jabali is a more tender white meat, full of juices in the blue corn casing. The flavor is good and it went well with a small side of BBQ sauce I had requested.

As someone that has eaten ample Ostrich in his lifetime, I'm used to the distinct taste of the meat. But they do a good job with the flavor and it tastes similar to a traditional carne empanada.

The Yacaré Crocodile is in the darker whole wheat casing. It's actually the first time I've eaten Yacaré and it did taste quite different that all the alligator I've eaten while living in the United States. I has not a fan as I found the flavor to be similar to what a person smells like after 3 days at Cochella.

But if you're in BA and looking to try something different, give it a whirl. It's only $21AR and is an appetizer, so even if it doesn't satisfy your palate, you'll always have the entrée to follow.

Monday, February 21, 2011

BBQ Gnocchi & Pulled Pork

This recipe will likely be what I'm ultimately remembered for. Any other accomplishment will likely be shadowed by the pairing of American BBQ with the tasty gnocchi ;). Give it a try and let me know if you like it!



BBQ Gnocchi with Pulled Pork


BBQ Gnocchi as a side dish with maque choux and BBQ chicken


Two months ago, I wrote about a dish I enjoy, BBQ Spaghetti. Many in the south know about it, mostly in the Memphis and northern Mississippi region. But it hasn't really picked up as much in the rest of the country. In fact, I can't recall seeing it on a regular menu at a BBQ joint outside that region, only as a special on occasion.

Whether I'm cooking BBQ on my own, or visiting a BBQ joint, I always prefer some sort of potato side dish. At home, that always means roasted garlic red mashed potatoes, along with a vegetable as the second side (grilled zucchini). At times, it might be a bean dish of some sort as the second side.

But my interest in BBQ Spaghetti got me to think of perhaps an even better pairing...



By swapping spaghetti for gnocchi, I could have my cake and eat it too: a potato pasta!




So here are two different ways to enjoy this tasty dish:


Pulled Pork & BBQ Gnocchi:

BBQ Gnocchi with Pulled Pork
Here's I used sweet and tender rib meat, but traditional pork shoulder used for pulled pork will work just as well.

1) Prepare the pork as you see fit, either rib meat or pork shoulder. If you have the many hours to smoke the meat correctly, go for it.
Shortcut: If you're using left-over pork, that will work fine too.



2) Make the gnocchi.

Gnocchi is an easy pasta to make on your own.
- Just take 1 pound of potatoes and boil until soft.
- in a separate pot, boil enough water to eventually cook the gnocchi
- Once the potatoes are complete, peel and set aside.
- Mash the potatoes
- in a mixing bowl or on a pasta board, combine the potatoes with 1/2 cup of flour.
- Add a pinch of salt, pinch of onion powder, pinch of garlic powder, small pinch of cayenne
- add about half an egg to the mix/pasta well
- knead until you have a dough ball
- cut pieces and form into the desired shapes, roughly 1/2 inch to an inch in size
- set aside

Shortcut: if you don't feel like making the gnocchi from scratch, you can always just buy pre-made gnocchi.

Alternative: sweet potato gnocchi is a perfect alternative...perhaps even the preferred choice.


3) Make your gnocchi sauce:
This will be a combination of ingredients to make along with your BBQ sauce choice. I'll pass on providing a BBQ sauce recipe and just assume most people trying this at home will be using a bottled sauce. No judgement will be passed if you opt to do that ;).

- Dice 1 cup of onion, 1 cup of red bell pepper, 1 cup of green pepper
- mince 4-5 garlic cloves to give you about a tablespoon of garlic. You can also opt to roast the 5 cloves of garlic and add them later in the process.
- in a sauce pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the garlic and onion.
- add the peppers to the sauce pan
- add a teaspoon of salt, and ground black pepper to taste
- reduce the heat and cover so that the onions start to caramelize and the peppers soften.


4) Finishing the Sauce:
Whether you've prepared your own BBQ sauce or using a bottled sauce, follow the same steps.
- remove the diced and sautéed mixture from heat
- add about a cup of BBQ sauce for starters
- mix all ingredients in the pan, cover, and let sit.


5) Cooking the Gnocchi:
At this time, you'll want to add the gnocchi to the boiling water. Cook for about a minute and place in an ice bath.


6) Putting it all together:
- In the empty pot you used to boil the gnochi, you can now add the completed sauce from the sauce pan.
- Now add the meat and the gnocchi and gently mix as to not damage the gnocchi, but to be sure to complete cover each one with sauce.
- If the gnocchi and BBQ pork mixture is too lightly covered in BBQ sauce, you can always add more BBQ sauce from your own recipe or bottle you're using.



Plate, eat, and enjoy.



BBQ Chicken with BBQ Gnocchi and Marque Choux

In addition to the recipe above where the primary meal is the BBQ Gnocchi, you can also enjoy it as a side dish. Just follow the same steps above to prepare the gnocchi and the sauce. Then just add it as a side dish to whatever BBQ meal you have in mind. Below is an example with a BBQ chicken breast along with maque choux as a side dish.

The 3 item combination might have been even better with collard greens, green beans or grilled zuchinni to add a little green to the dish.

And prepared on it's own, it's a vegetarian BBQ option too.



BBQ gnocchi as a side dish with BBQ chicken and marque choux

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