I am going to introduce torta rogel from Uruguay today. Why do you find many recipes from Uruguay on this blog? Because I was born in this beautiful country in Latin America. Even though I have a German passport, I lived in Uruguay for several years as a child. We happened to live in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Back in the 80s you would occasionally find some horse carriages between the cars and we lived on one of the main streets. My sister and me often paid a visit to the nearby kiosk, we would either get “chicle”, which is chewing gum, or we got breakfast: bread and dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is the peanut butter of Latin America, the caramel made from sweetened milk is used as much in Latin American cuisine as is peanut butter in the U.S. I will never forget how my dad instructed my sister and me to get breakfast: “Go and get bread and dulce de leche from the vaca cow (vaca= Spanish for cow).” We may have spoken German among each other, but a Spanish word would slip in here and there. Sometimes funky creations such as saying the same word in two language would come out of it. But anyway, I love dulce de leche, so I wanted to show you this delicious cake, which contains a lot of it. In this reel you can see how I make it and how it looks.
Chocotorta is a cake from Argentina that is typically served on birthdays. Usually it does not require for you to turn on the oven as it basically contains store-bought cookies (called “chocolinas” in Argentina), the caramel cream dulce de leche, and cream cheese. If you have these ingredients at hand, you can already prepare a simple chocotorta. I included a chocolate ganache on top of this, but that is optional. However, my recipe below also includes making the cookies from scratch and for that reason we are going to turn on the oven after all.
Pastafrola or pasta frola is a tart from Uruguay, which is similar to Linzer Torte. It is based on a pie crust, which is then filled with quince paste. A simple tart on the one hand, yet also unusual as it uses quinces for the filling. I often wonder why there are so few recipes out there with quince? At least here in Germany it is really hard to find. Quince is a very common fruit in Uruguay. Dulce de membrillo or quince paste is basically dense jam, which comes in squares and can be cut in pieces. However, in Germany you may find quince jam, but even that is super hard to find. So for that reason you will either need to buy quince paste on Amazon or you will need to make quince paste yourself. Funnily enough, quinces are sold in grocery stores in Germany, so you may have a chance.
Did you watch the Latin American Streetfood Show on Netflix? If you did, you most likely remember choripán, the Argentinian or Uruguayan version of a hot dog. When I watched the show, I remembered eating this hot dog in Buenos Aires lastly in 2016 and I was determined to make a version that also works in Germany. So I first had to find the chorizo sausage. I thought that was going to difficult, but then, surprisingly I found a small version in our regular grocery store. These were the Spanish ones, but I have to say, they taste very similar to the ones I remember from Buenos Aires. So yay to that. Next I wanted to make my own hot dog buns. I knew that they would be so much better. So I set out and tried different recipes. I was surprised when I realized that hot dog buns are much easier to prepare than I originally thought. You basically throw all ingredients together and then have to wait until you form the buns. Really not that hard. So here you go, you got homemade hot dog buns filled with a chorizo sausage (or in my case two as they were so small), the herb sauce called chimichurri (also homemade), and if you want, some red onion slices. Voilá, you have your Latin American version of a hot dog: choripán!
Today I am going to introduce my nine favorite recipes from Uruguay. I was born in that little country in South America and was fortunate enough to live there for a few years when I was small. In 2016 I had the opportunity to go there on vacation again after I had lived in Germany for many years. It was so crazy how many memories came back. Obviously I had to try some of the most popular dishes again. The recipes I introduce below have all been tested with German ingredients in Germany since I live in Germany. I would be very excited to see if you also give it a try yourself. If you have any other request or encounter any problem, please let me know in the comments.
Are you looking for the perfect soulfood for a cold winter day and which is prepared in a jiffy? How about torta de fiambre from Uruguay, which is sort of a pizza with lots of cheese and ham in between? I can assure you that it is going to disappear as quickly as you make it. I already introduced torta de fiambre on this blog. However, the previous version was the gourmet type and much more work than this classic version.
While you are reading these lines, I will be busy packing my suitcase for Christmas. We are going to visit my parents in law in Spain and I will probably be debating which baking utensils to take along for the trip. I am really looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my Colombian family. Colombian Christmas is very different from German Christmas. There is going to be a lot of dancing, a lot of joy, sparkle and food, so much food. I can’t tell you for how long my mother-in-law has been talking about what she is going to make as a special treat for us and what her ideas are for the Christmas menu. In Colombian culture food is extremely important. I am going to suggest to her that we make Uruguayan flan as the Christmas dessert. Why? Because flan needs to be prepared the night before as it has to be chilled. Perfect in my opinion, one thing less to worry about on Christmas. Flan only requires only a few basic ingredients and is prepared in a jiffy, if this is not enough reason, I don’t know what is.
You asked for it, so finally you get traditional Uruguayan empanadas! Yay! Empanadas are flaky pasties in the shape of a half-moon filled with juicy and seasoned beef and boiled eggs. Usually they are served with the herb dip called chimichurri. Just thinking about these delicious treats make me want to grab one. When I made a story on Instagram about empanadas, I was surprised how many of you asked for the recipe and how many were excited about them. You guys encourage me to continue posting Uruguayan recipes, even if they may not be as popular as others. So here goes.
OK, yes, I am watching the world championship of soccer. That’s because my birth country Uruguay made it to the quarter finals, beating the former winner of the European cup Portugal, yay! For that reason I felt like making alfajores, these are the best cookies from Uruguay. Originally alfajores are from Spain. Don’t ask me how they are made in Spain. All I know is that the Uruguayan version is always a sandwich cookie, similar to sugar cookies. These cookies, however, are a little bit drier and crumblier. That’s because they are filled with dulce de leche, caramel made from sweetened milk. The dry cookie balances out the sweet dulce de leche nicely. Since I am a chocoholic, I had to go with the chocolate version, which means that the sandwich cookies are dunked in chocolate. How can this not be good? Officially these are called alfajores marplatenses, mar de plata is in the very East of Argentina.Alfajores can be found everywhere in Uruguay and Argentina. You will find them in school lunchboxes as well as a sought-after souvenir in airports. What I like about my version is that you can easily keep them for weeks as the chocolate serves as a protective layer. However, I do hope that your cookies will not last as long. At least mine were gone within minutes when I made them.
Pizza! Deep-dish pizza from Uruguay! I bet you have never tried this or even heard of it before. Let me introduce you to the gourmet-style version of the torta de fiambre (ham and cheese pie), which is famous in Uruguay and usually consists of ham and cheese layered between an empanada-style of dough. Think of lots of melted cheese, usually at least two different types, good-quality ham and some flaky empanada dough. That’s the basic recipe. But I am going to add some more ingredients and make it gourmet-style, I will go crazy and add eggs, tomatos, and a seasoning called chimichurri.
I am really excited I get to introduce you to a Uruguayan dish, I bet none of my readers have tried anything from the country I was born in. Uruguayan cuisine is very much influenced by the Spanish and Italian cuisine. On top of that I hope you know that beef, beef, and beef again is what Uruguay exports the most. Did you know that Uruguay has four times more cows in the country than actually people? If you are a vegetarian or even vegan, you will have a hard time in Uruguay. Meat can be found in abundance.