Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dr. Atkins Came Knocking at Our Door

For any of you that followed the Atkins diet fad some 6 years ago, diner #10 was your night!
There was meat in every plate, from appetizer though to dessert. Well, for this special night we had a two Argentine couples join us, so what better moment to try to recreate their national food. The night was one full of delicious food and even better companionship.

The meats came from the amazing butcher store in Chelsea Market, Dickson's Farmhouse. We purchased 5 different types of meat:
  • Palmillo
  • Picanha
  • Short Ribs
  • Pork fillet
  • House smoked bacon
The menu was the following:
Chipotle pulled pork and palomillo sopes

Main Plate
Three meats (palomillo, picanha, short ribs)
Three sauces (chimuchurri, bearnaise, balsamic reduction)

Chocolate covered bacon with whipped cream

The Recipes:

Chipotle pork and steak sopes
1 1/2 cups of masa harina
2 cups of vegetable oil
1 cup of water
1 pork filet
1 steak (palomillo or skirt)
1 chipotle pepper with adobe sauce
1/2 cup of refried beans
1/2 cup of chopped lettuce
1/2 cup of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup of grated cheese (in this instance we used an aged ricotta and a provolone)

Marinate the pork in the chipotle pepper and sauce before beginning. Let sit for at least an hour.
For the torillas, mix the masa harina and the water until you have a nice batter. With your hands roll small balls about 2 inches in diameter and begin cooking in pan for about 1 minute on each side. Remove from pan and flatten with your hand. Begin pinching the sides so you make a small container (see pictures. and here is an example using characters \___/). Fry in preheated veggie oil for about 2 minutes until crispy and golden.
Grill the meats with sea salt. Once cooked, pull meats apart.
When serving, take on tortilla shell, place a layer of refried beans, then meat, lettuce, tomatoes and grated cheese.

Three Grilled Meats & Three Sauces
1 Palomillo steak
1 Picanha (Brazilian cut)
6 Short ribs

Very much in traditional Argentine manor, I believe that the best part of the meat is the taste... the all natural juicy and sometimes fatty taste. You can marinate it to add a little bit of contrast in the taste, it might add to the flavor... but my opinion, the best addition to any meat is sea salt and only sea salt.
Start with the palomillo, very similar to the skirt steak, a long thin steak. Very tasty especially due to the thin layer of fat on the bottom. I prefer to grill this steak, about 7 minutes on each side on medium high heat. There are various ways to know when the meat is ready, the tell tell sign is when the top starts to bleed, its exactly medium.
The Picanha is a bit different. It is a very thick cut, known for having a round layer of fat on one side. I seared it on all sides with about 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 mintue on each side. With the oven preheated at 400°, place the pan directly in the over for abou 10 mintues.
The short ribs are very easy. since they are so thin, just place them on your grill and leave them for a nice long time. The ribs are very easy to cook and DELICIOUS!

The three sauces... when I use recipes from other sources, I must give them credit when due:
Balsami Vinegar suace: Reduce any balsamic vinegar sauce to about 1/2 of the quantity, will turn the vinegar into a sweet thick sauce.

Chocolate Covered Bacon Candy
12 strips of bacon
2 tb spoons of honey
4 tb spoons of sugar
4 tb spoons of bittersweet chocolate
1 cup of heavy cream
2 tb spoons of confectioners

Cook the bacon strips in a pan until crispy.
Clean the pan of any grease and add the honey, sugar and chocolate until a nice syrup has been created. Place the bacon in the syrup and mix until completely covered.

To create the whip cream, mix the sugar and the heavy cream in a mixing bowl and whisk until cream has reached the correct consistency.

Serve the strips of bacon with a little bit of cream on top.

No comments:

Post a Comment