Barbecue and grilling season has started and for that reason I brought along the Uruguayan national dish: chivito. Chivito literally translates as “little goat”, even though it has nothing to do with a goat. Legend has it that an Argentinian tourist ordered something with goat from Antonio Carbonaro, the owner of the famous restaurant El Mejillón in Punta del Este. Since Antonio didn’t have any goat at hand, he came up with this burger/sandwich, which Anthony Burdain called the Everest of steak sandwiches: chivito.
Today I am going to introduce you to dulce de leche. Never heard of it? This is Spanish and literally translates as “sweetness of milk”. In English it is often translated as milk caramel. Its taste is similar to traditional caramel, but since it is prepared with milk, it has a slightly different taste. Dulce de leche is widely used in Latin America and served with desserts, pastries, but also along cheese or as sweetener for coffee.
Friends, it is time for a recipe from my birth country again: Alfajores from Uruguay! Alfajores are a very popular cookie in Uruguay and Argentina, consisting of a shortbread-type of sandwich cookie, creamy and delicious dulce de leche as filling, which in the end is covered in coconut flakes. If you want a slightly different cookie and feel like impressing your friends and family, look no further, alfajores are for you!
What are the features of this cookie? Well, the base is a shortbread cookie, or let’s say, the Latin American version of shortbread. Because it contains a lot of cornstarch. You know, because corn and Latin America? One of the main ingredient found on this continent? In comparison to a regular shortbread cookie, the cornstarch makes the cookie softer, it has this melt-in-your-mouth kind of characteristic. I flavored it with some real vanilla.
Have you every experienced this? You want to bake something you ate during your holiday, but then you can’t find the right ingredients. This is what happened to me when I tried to make achiras, this is a gluten free cheese snack from Colombia. My first problem was the cheese being used, it is called queso campesino and simply is not sold in Germany. Feta is probably the closest you will ever find, but it is firmer and much saltier. So I thought I couldn’t make achiras.
On top of that, Colombians use a special starch for achiras. It is extracted from the Sago palm. I was very certain that regular grocery stores in Germany wouldn’t offer Sago starch. At least this is what I thought.
Uruguayan cutlet or milanesa is in my opinion the best! For that reason I had to introduce it here. Yes, you may be surprised, but I occassionally post savory dishes, you know, I eat more than only cakes and cookies. Usually my husband is kind enough to prepare our dinners, but I was eager to introduce milanesa on the blog. Finally. I mean, they are special to me as I ate cutlets a lot as a child in Uruguay. Obviously I had to prepare the milanesa you see below and yes, I was also the one who ate it, my husband didn’t do a thing.
I am so excited to finally be sharing this recipe for Colombian buñuelos! Colombian buñuelos are, at least in my opinion, so much better than Mexican buñuelos, they are gluten free as they are prepared with cornstarch and tapioca flour and they do contain cheese, lots of cheese. Do I need to say anything more?
Postre de natas is a Colombian milk pudding, which is prepared with layers of milk skin. It requires time, just to warn you. The pudding consists of three ingredients: milk, egg yolk, and sugar. It is very easy to prepare, yet you will need patience. For that reason I hadn’t dared to make it yet, even though my husband begged for it for years. It is one of his favorite Colombian desserts.
Sometimes there are recipes that are particularly dear to me. These milhojas from Colombia are one of those. Reason for posting this recipe is the fact that we managed to eat milhojas when we were in Spain. Among the many delicious things I am still dreaming about are these milhojas. Milhojas consist of puff pastry, which is filled with vanilla custard, whipping cream and dulce de leche. Below you will see a picture of the milhojas we ate in the bakery Panetteria de Tirso in Madrid, Spain:
It’s time for a peach layer cake, one from my country of origin Uruguay. This cake was actually invented in my home town Paysandú. Postre chajá is a peach layer cake that is named after a bird called chajá (in English it is called southern screamer, the Spanish tries to imitate the loud screams it produces). Below you see a picture of this bird. Why the cake got this name and why it is extremely delicious, I will explain in this blog entry.
Chances are that you have not heard of Milo, let alone Milo cookies. Milo is a malt and chocolate powder, usually disolved in milk. It is famous in Australia, New Zealand, some parts of Asia and Colombia. I got to learn about its existence when I first visited Colombia and have come to love this refreshing drink. You can either serve it hot as in a hot chocolate or you can serve it cold. I especially like the cold version. I figured the powder would also taste good in cookies, so I decided to try Milo cookies. If you don’t have it at hand, relax, you can also use a mix of malt powder and chocolate powder. You may also try Ovaltine, the Swiss version, which is slightly different in taste as the malt percentage is much higher, but also tastes great in cookies. Continue Reading…