Saturday, September 26, 2009

Guiso de Arroz!

Hey again!

A lot of people who have been to my parent's house over the years have more than likely had my moms, guiso de arroz - and loved it! So I have been asked to post the recipe for this dish. Now, before I go on I want you all to know that I tried to make it, but it really didn't turn out very good. BUT, I think I know why, so I will warn you guys about what I suspect went wrong as I go along. I hope you guys don't mind going through these recipes even when I made some mistakes myself while cooking them, it's all about trying things several times with cooking to get it right. Either way, I want this to be informative and hope you will still try it out even though I may not have succeeded! Because believe me, there will be more flubs to come!!! haha But I will try and keep it to a minimum!!

On to the ingredients: (NOTE - as with the crepes, this is somewhat of a loose recipe and not every amount of a specific ingredient is exact, but more something you can model to your tastes!)

1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1/2 red pepper
2-3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
cubed stewing beef or any beef of your choice
1 can tomato paste
2 cups rice
bay leaves

Okay, to start off, place your chopped onions, carrot, pepper, potatoes and a bit of oil into a medium sized pot and cook on medium heat until onions are browned.

Add beef and brown lightly. Once sealed, add in your rice and tomato paste and stir everything together while still under medium heat.

Once rice is completely coated, add 2 1/2 cups of water, a little salt, 2 bay leaves and stir.

Wait until mixture boils. Once it boils, put fire on low and keep covered until rice is cooked. Stir frequently and make sure your rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. You may also need to add more water as the rice cooks, but you will be able to tell.

Make sure that you cut your potatoes and carrots into small cubes so that they cook fast enough. Once you have checked everything is thoroughly cooked you are done!

Now remember I mentioned that mine did not taste very good? Well, I think it was because, I accidentally used Japanese/sticky rice instead of long grain rice. BAD MOVE! Your dish will come out somewhat mushy and will not turn out right, which is what happened to mine. If you guys try this recipe out, send me pictures or let me know how it turns out!! There are a couple of variations to my mom's recipe depending on the day but I will be trying this out again and post the (hopefully) better results!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Hey guys!
This post is a little late since we made this almost 2 weeks ago but still! I thought I would still put it up. Back when we were in Slovenia, Sebastian's grandmother made us crepes and damn were they ever good! At the time we had Nutella to put inside and really what more do you need? However, for our little 'crepe party' we pulled out all the stops and got as much fruit as we could, ice cream as well as the usual Nutella. There is no real exact recipe for crepes more of a 'guideline'. Like adding a little of this and a little of that until it makes the right consistency. Which is why I won't be giving you a true recipe break down as I usually do. Sorry!!

Basically, the ingredients are these:
2 eggs (usually, depending on how big the batch)
Very little sugar, perhaps a tablespoon or two depending on your taste
and maybe a little Vanilla as well

Using a beater or a whisk you can stir everything together until you get a fairly thick batter. Not too thick however. You will get to know what is too thick and what is too thin once you start to make them. If its too thick, add more milk, too thin - add more flour. It's really quite simple.

If you have a crepe pan they are quite easy to make uniform. Usually, I spray some 'Pam' onto the pan after every 2-3 crepes so they won't stick. Again, it all depends on your pan. When I put them in my crepe pan, I use about 1 ladle of mix and spread it around the pan to make it even.

To get an idea of the process, here are some pics that may help! Enjoy your crepe making and don't forget at the very least to have some Nutella on hand ha ha!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crema De Leche!


This is part two of my long weekend cooking extravaganza! I decided to keep on the Uruguayan kick and make this sweet dessert that my grandmother used to make for us regularly when we were kids. Maybe a little too much, as I remember not liking it so much. BUT, don't let that stop you from trying it, because I love this stuff again now!! Crema de leche is basically cream of milk. Although it is also referred to as Crema de Maizena or cream of corn starch (mmmM!!!). It is very similar to flan with a couple of differences, those being mainly that there are no eggs.

1/2 litre of milk
70 grams corn starch

150 grams sugar
(you may want to add less sugar depending on your taste)
200 grams butter (you may want to use much less than this as it is a bit excessive)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
You will also need a bundt cake pan

Take your half litre of milk and remove 1/2 cup from it and place the rest in a pot. Heat on medium. Place the 1/2 cup you saved and dissolve the cornstarch inside. Once the milk in the sauce pan has gotten hot, add the sugar. Once it has all dissolved slowly add the cornstarch and milk mixture.

Cook for 15 more minutes, stirring constantly. You should see that it will get thicker as time passes.

Now remove the pot from the flame and start to add the butter and later vanilla extract while stirring constantly. The more you stir, the whiter it should get. Make sure all the butter has dissolved, set aside.

Now take your bundt pan and add 1 part sugar and 2 parts water. Basically enough to use as a syrup to cover your 'pudding'.

Put it onto the flame on medium and wait for it to start boiling. You want to caramelize the sugar but not burn it. Once it begins to turn yellow your almost there. It should be a light brown before you take it off the flame. Take a brush and make sure to coat the pan with your caramel.

Next add your 'pudding'.

Once your done just stick it in the fridge for several hours until it's settled. We left it in the fridge overnight to make sure. Once it is ready, you can place a plate onto the bundt pan and flip it over. You should have a nice molded Crema de Leche!!

I hope you enjoy this one! As always, let me know if you try it and if you have any tips on how to make it better!!


Hey y'all!

This long weekend I decided to make a couple of things from my book on Latin American Cuisine! I decided I would try 'Matambre' (mata (kill) + ambre (hunger)) When I was looking at the recipe however, they kept referring to the meat used as, 'plate'. Yes, 'plate'. For the life of me I had no idea what the heck that was and couldn't seem to find anything on the internet about it, assuming it was some hard to find Uruguayan meat, but after searching high and low I figured out it was in fact beef brisket or beef flank. DUH! Oh well, the next problem was finding the brisket. I went to Safeway with no luck, apparently they sold out that day and there were several people looking for it. Maybe I wasn't the only one looking to make Matambre? Anyway, I went on down to the local Thrifty Foods instead and found a couple of cuts. They weren't exactly what I needed because of their shape, but I took them anyway.
This would probably be a good time to tell you what Matambre is. Basically, it's a thinly cut, long piece of brisket with onions, parsley, veggies of your choice and a hard boiled egg in the middle, rolled up into a little cylinder and then cut into very thin pieces. It can be eaten as a snack or alongside mashed potatoes. We would have this a lot when we would go to Uruguayan events or at birthday parties, etc.
Now, before we get on to the recipe itself, I just want to warn you guys that this recipe isn't as straight forward as it might seem and to be honest I wasn't prepared for that. This is definitely one I am gonna have to try and make again, with hopefully a better result. On to the goods!

1-3Lb piece of plate (ie, beef brisket, beef shank)
1 onion
1 red pepper
3 cloves of garlic
3 carrots
3 hard boiled eggs
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
4 cups milk
salt and pepper
cooking twine
And a lot of time!
*Note: you can also add any other veggies you like, apparently olives and spinach are used sometimes

Mix the chopped garlic with the parsley and the vinegar. Add salt and pepper and set aside. (This is the only time you will be adding salt and pepper so make it count)
*NOTE: Before I could do the following step, I had to cut the beef in half through the middle because it was too thick and not long enough to roll. You will see what I mean from the picture below. It would have been even better if I could cut it thinner, but next time I will try that.
Place the plate on cutting board with the fatty part up, cover it with the garlic, parsley and vinegar mixture and place in the fridge for marinating for 3 hours.

Remove plate from fridge. Finely chop the onion and the pepper, and spread them evenly over the plate. Do the same with the peeled and grated carrots.

Place the whole hard boiled eggs length-wise on top. Now comes a bit of a hard part. Roll the beef with all the toppings into a cylinder without everything spilling out! This is can be tricky, especially with those slippery hard boiled eggs. Now (and you may need some help with this) roll twine around the beef to keep the cylinder very tight. This is where it became complicated for me, because I HAD NO TWINE! And I didn't realize that I needed it until I had already started cooking. Instead I used some tooth picks, which worked for the most part but didn't keep things as tight as I would have liked.
Once you have everything tightly together, place your cylinder in a deep cooking pan. Pour milk over top of it and cook for one hour at 350F. Add more milk if necessary to cover it.
*NOTE: Now this recipe asks you to bake this in the oven but you could also do this in a deep pan on the burner. I may do this next time because I did not have a pan deep enough to have the milk cover the matambre. It didn't make a HUGE difference but I think it would have helped. The choice is yours really.

Now once you've cooked that up, you can remove it and place it onto something for draining. YES, draining. You will need to get creative here and find something (in my case, 2 cutting boards) you can use as a press to get all the excess liquid out of the matambre. I took one cutting board and put it under the matambre and another that I put on top. I then took a really heavy container of flour and placed it on top. You can use whatever you've got to do this. It needs to press for 2 hours.

Once it has done pressing, you can remove all the twine and start cutting it. Now if yours turned out anything like mine did, it will start to fall apart a bit. I believe this is because I didn't have twine to tie it tight enough. You want to cut it to about a half inch slices. But you can do it as thin as you'd like.

Here's how mine turned out:

Well that's it! I hope you guys enjoy this one! Please let me know of any hints or tricks to make this one better and let me know how yours turn out!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Hello Folks!

Well this is the first post of my FANNCYYY NEEWWWW BLOOOGG!!!
I am not sure how often I will be posting recipes and other tidbits but I will try to as often as I can!

On to the food...
Today I decided to try making Goulash, Slovenian style. Or 'Golaž' as they call it. I am currently using a cookbook I bought in Slovenia last year called:

"Zmeraj sestra Vendelina, osnove dobre domače kuhinje"

Which basically translates to something like 'Sister Vendelina's basic's of home cooking'. Any native speakers out there can correct me if I'm wrong however! Sister Vendelina's cookbooks are apparently best sellers over there so I couldn't pass up getting some. The only problem was all her books are totally in Slovene, which can be slightly difficult when I can't figure out the meaning of something and Sebastian isn't here or if good old google translate gives me a gem.

Either way, here's my best translation of the recipe for you folks!


1.5 pounds or 3 cups beef shank or neck (low fat)
6 tablespoons oil
1 ⅓ cup or 1 large onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 - 2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon chopped tomato or vinegar
2 - 3 cups beef stock or boiling water



Cut meat into bite size peices.
Place butter, onions, salt and oil and 100 ml of water into sauce pan. Here are some pics along the way. (btw, I just realized now as I post this that I forgot to add the water, which would have helped):

Fry slowly to evaporate liquid and brown onions - SOMETHING like this:

Add salted and cubed meat onto one side of the pan to sear slightly before mixing everything together. Make another space and add flour and 1 tablespoon of butter and fry until brown:

Mix all that together and pull the pan from the flame. Add in paprika, mixed bell peppers (optional), 1 tablespoon of vinegar or chopped tomatoes. I added about a half a red bell pepper, but you can definitely add more or less depending on your taste. Stir quickly, place back on flame and pour in stock or boiling water. You'll notice in the pictures below that I also added potatoes, it doesn't mention anything about it in the recipe - BUT you can always just use a good bread instead.

Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
You will hopefully get something that looks like this (or better!!) at the end.

There you go! Not the fanciest of pictures for the grand finale but I will try harder next time! It's a pretty easy little recipe but if anyone has any little hints or idea's on how to make this recipe better, let me know!

I Cook!