Thursday, July 10, 2008

RIP Aiming for Argentina - 5 July 2008

I think this may have been more Mexican than Argentinean… Great colours though and once again, presentation using the shells of ingredients worked. Yogurt pip anyone? Polenta chips could have done with a touch more queso but flavours seemed to blend well – with the required kick from the dried (a surprisingly different flavour to fresh) chilli salsa.

A personal achievement – being able to use molasses in an edible dish – the tomatoes had a rich ketchup-like flavour which tasted better than it sounds. The cannelini beans with green olives and oregano had a nice clean flavour but just didn’t quite fit with the rest of the meal – too flat and not enough colour/heat.

The empanadas didn’t turn out quite as planned – not enough elasticity with spelt flour (or maybe I just need to invest in a rolling pin rather than relying on a half-full bottle of wine) – chickpea or buckwheat flour might be better substitutes. The filling was interesting and the flavour was difficult to place but it didn’t combine into the taste I imagined. Maybe the potatoes absorbed the flavour or perhaps some chilli was required. Chimichurri was refreshing and gave the dish some colour but I need to think of a new presentation method rather than relying on the pour-over.

My favourite of the night and the one dish which returned completely empty plates (doggy-bag included). It took a while to create the yolky dulce de leche but the end result was unique – “glue”-like was one description… But the flavour worked and the roasted almond biscuit was the perfect base although slightly thinner next time. The chocolate shots tasted amazing (although 82% cocoa only tastes amazing to certain people I guess...) with the hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla – I certainly didn’t expect them to be referred to as “refreshing?!” Lemon chaser was tequilla-inspired and...amusing

A challenging cuisine and plenty to work on next time but a few keepers – still no match for the several kgs of Argentinean flesh. Thankyou Amy, Grace and Meg for being very cool guests and for the very classy and authentic Argentine wall-hanging…

Next menu on the way – China – pre-approved by the Chairman Mao and the cultural revolution. GG

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