Pascualina is a savory pie from Uruguay prepared with spinach and eggs. “Pascua” translates as Easter, thus this pie is usually eaten during the holy week or “semana santa”. As many Uruguayans have Italian ancestry, many Italian dishes were adapted to what was available in Uruguay. In Italy pascualina is normally prepared with ricotta and Parmesan cheese, however, Uruguayans like to infuse flavor with bacon and additional veggies such as bell peppers. Other dishes include milanesa, cutlets, which already tell you the origin. Another is the quince tart named pasta frola, which is very popular in Uruguay.
We were served torrijas at a Spanish wedding. I was quite surprised that this rather simple dessert aka French toast was actually served at a wedding. Just like for French toast, you will dunk old bread in milk first and then dip it in eggs before you fry it with some olive oil in a frying pan. However, wehn we were served these torrijas at the wedding, my hubby got so excited, he managed to eat two servings despite the fact that we had been served an endless amount of courses beforehand. I am sure the simple French toast was made extra special, the milk was replaced with heavy cream and homemade bread used. Spanish torrijas are normally served during lent, you try to offer something filling even if it may be plain and simple.
Pastafrola or pasta frola is a tart from Uruguay, it 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.
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.
It is time for alfajores. Alfa what you ask? Alfajores are sandwich cookies that first were popular in Spain and later on brought to the colonies in Latin America. Traditionally alfajores are filled with the caramel cream called dulce de leche. Today I brought along some with strong coffee flavor and caramel as the filling. If you want to go extra crazy, you may also use some flaky sea salt as a nice contrast. We are in the middle of my cookie week and since I am posting seven cookie recipes from my birth country Uruguay on seven consecutive days, you get coffee alfajores today.
These cookies from Uruguay are called yo-yo as they actually look exactly like the toy yo-yo. When I took them to my colleagues as my first batch of test eaters, they got raving reviews. According to a few colleagues, I should bring more often treats from Uruguay if they were as tasty as these cookies. What I like about them is the fact that you can easily mix together the batter fairly quickly. It does contain a small part of cornstarch that makes them extra soft. Obviously it does contain the caramel cream names dulce de leche and is covered in chocolate. This is my sixth recipe in my cookie week.
Ricarditos are Uruguay’s version of chocolate-coated marshmallow treats. The base is a shortbread cookie, which then receives a meringue as topping. This meringue is then dipped in chocolate. Obviously, as always the Uruguayan caramel cream called dulce de leche also has to play a role here. Otherwise it would not be Uruguayan duh. This is my fifth recipe during my Uruguayan cookie week.
Espejitos or small mirrors is the literal translation of these cookies from Uruguay. They are made as a shortbread cookie, filled with jam and the caramel cream dulce de leche and have a chocolate covering. Sounds good? I just love these cookies, jam PLUS, caramel, PLUS chocolate, who can say no to that? Unfortunately it never takes long and they disappear so quickly whenever I make them, I simply can’t say no. These are my fourth recipe of my Uruguayan cookie week, check out the other recipes here.
Guys, I believe this is going to be a long post as I need to explain quite a bit. For recipe number 3 of my cookie week, I brought along Uruguayan crackers or bizcochitos de grasa, which are sometimes simply called bizcochitos. These savory crackers are usually served for breakfast or even prior to breakfast. Just as we are used to drinking coffee, Uruguayans drink mate tea. Not the old-fashioned way with tea bags, no, you will serve the loose tea in a curved container, which is called “bombilla”. The brown container you see on the pictures is what I am talking about. Usually the loose tea is placed in the bombilla, the filled with hot water and then you drink it with a type of straw. Mate tea is so common in Uruguay, you will always be offered a cup of it, regardless at which time of the day. You will see people on the streets happily walking around with thermos flasks, hot water is served at every single kiosk. Obviously, when we went on a holiday in Uruguay a few years ago, we naturally drank a lot of it. By the way, everybody will drink from the same straw and water is going to be refilled constantly. I don’t think I have ever heard of anybody being worried about hygiene.