All of us here at Food Explorer are lucky enough to live in, or very close to, New York City, where we can find a restaurant from every country that we feature. For Argentina week, we wanted to get some great meat at an authentic Argentinean butcher, so we took a trip to El Gauchito in Corona, Queens. But it’s not only a butcher shop, it’s also a full-service restaurant, so we stayed for lunch.
Ñoquis, aside from the spelling, are the same as their Italian ancestor, gnocchi, a potato-based pillow of soft pasta. They just traveled a bit and immigrated to South America, where they are a favorite on menus and sold in the frozen food section, right next to the empanada rounds.
Schnitzel is one of those dishes so good it transcends borders, nationalities, and cultures. From Argentina to Japan, from Slovenia to New Zealand, it goes by many names: carne empanizada, katsu, kotlet mielony, snitel, and of course, chicken fingers, that meal so familiar to parents of small children pretty much everywhere.
Creamy Russian potato salad, all sweet, soft starch and eggy mayo, is the perfect foil to the tang of a lemon-spritzed chicken cutlet, crisp and hot from the frying pan. And really, it’s followed schnitzel around the globe. You’ll find the two served together everywhere, hanging out on the same plate like a couple of European ex-pats, bonded, through common history, in foreign lands.
Empanadas. I love empanadas. Corn dough empanadas from Colombia. Cheese empanadas from Ecuador. Chicken empanadas from the Philippines. If there’s dough wrapped around a filling, I like it. But many people are much more particular about their empanadas, this I know. Debates about who makes “right” kind of empanada abound. And Argentina has a whole lot of the “right” kinds of empanadas.
Looking to move beyond beef, we discovered Locro. It’s considered one of the national dishes of all the Andean mountain countries including Argentina. There are as many recipes as there are cooks, so as long as the key ingredients of hominy, bacon and beans are used, everything else is subject to taste and interpretation.
Click through for our recipe and more.
While searching for a way to make a gluten-free empanada, I came across a recipe from the Misiones and Corrientes regions of Argentina that uses ground cassava and corn flour for the shell.
Welcome to Food Explorer: Argentina. We’re kicking off the week with a post about chimichurri, the condiment found on pretty much every Argentine table, and one which you’ll see quite a bit of in the coming days. With high garlic notes and a grassy, bitter hit from parsley and oregano, this tangy salsa is a great complement to the grilled meats it so often accompanies.