Thursday, 21 April 2011

Porridge of the Week #28 ARGENTINA SPECIAL!

Porridge of the Week #28
Dulce de Leche and Banana

Category: Flavour

Start by soaking the oats in milk. Chop up a banana (saving three slices) and mash- you could put it in a dribble of milk and quickly heat if that helps to break it down. Stir this into the porridge and then, in a ramekin or bowl, heat 3 tablespoons of Dulce de Leche- although this can be varied to taste.
Spoon the dulce de leche into the porridge whilst heating through, leaving half aside.
Finally, serve up, Top with the banana and a drizzle of leftover Dulce de Leche.

Dulce de leche (dulce- sweet, leche- milk) is a caramelised milk dessert 'sauce' that I have become addicted to whilst in Argentina. It appears the Argentinians share this passion, as they put it in most of their confectionary and puddings. I knew instantly that it would make an incredible porridge. Combined with banana, it is one of my all time favourites. (Yeah, I know...)

The amount I use is only a guide, add it to taste. You may find you too become addicted and need a lot more! I tried this porridge on a non porridge eating Argentinian local and it got the thumbs up! If you like this recipe (I cannot recommend it enough) check back for other dulce de leche themed porridge of the week ideas that I have been concocting...


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Argentinian Curanto


If you aren't following my steady stream of excited food chatter on Twitter , then you may not realise I am currently doing some extensive food research in the land of wine, coffee, red meat, chocolate and all things toxic- I am eating in Argentina, and I thoroughly approve.

A few days ago I took a 20 hour bus from the capital of Buenos Aires to Bariloche, in the Patagonian Andes where today, I tried Caranto.

Caranto is made by cooking meat and vegetables under ground (The name Calanto comes from the type of rock on which the meat is cooked.) Pits are dug into the soil and wood is placed in them, onto which a fire is built. The fire is layered over with rocks, which are heated by the flames. It takes a few hours for the fire to heat the rocks through, after which leaves are piled onto the hot rocks to trap in the smoke and absorb the fat whilst the meat, which is placed on top, is cooked through from the heat.

My only previous experience of Caranto has been on survival documentaries, and it is something I've been keen to try, so we found ourselves a restaurant where caranto meat was being carried on trays from table to table, distributed by waitresses onto waiting plates. We arrive, and a man pulls back a heavy blanket which covers the pit of leaves, revealing a deep pit filled with whole chickens, piles of apples and lumps of blackened steaks, smoke billowing out from the piles of leaves covering the pit.

A scruffy little caranto pit.
Not a great photo! I will replace it when I get the opportunity so you can get a better idea...

Typically, you are served 5 portions of vegetables and meat- sausage, beef, chicken, lamb and my favourite (unusually) pork; with a soft, wrinkled whole baked apple. Each meat came with a variety of squash mashes and baked sweet potato, brought to the table one at a time. The meat and vegetables (and the very air of the restaurant) smells and tastes distinctly smokey, yet different -more earthy- than typical barbeque'd meat.

I'm not especially a fan of red meat or BBQ food (you may wonder what I'm doing in Argentina... Did I mention the chocolate and the wine..?) but it was nonetheless a good meal, and well worth the very traditionally South American experience.

Please check back for more Argentina posts, including recipes, experimentations with South American cuisine and illustrated gourmet guides!


Food fact of the Day- Argentina special

Argentina eats the most beef per person in the world, all though the number is in decline, and recently Uruguay has claimed to be number one.

Latest figures say 55 kilos are consumed per person each year- that's 243 8oz steaks per year...


Monday, 11 April 2011

Food News! Bompas and Parr Chocolate Waterfall


This April is the 40th Anniversary of the original film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Bompas & Parr honours Roald Dahl’s creativity by constructing a real Chocolate Waterfall that flows at a rate of 12,000 liters an hour.

The Chocolate Waterfall pulls together Bompas & Parr’s favorite beans from around the world (Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean) to create its first house blend. Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart, food technologist and flavour expert helped develop the recipe. The five tonne mixture is chocolatey with hints of plum, red wine and earth. After visiting the Chocolate Waterfall people will be given the chance to bottle and take away their own chocolate elixir – a concentrated chocolate cordial.

Visitors customize the chocolate elixir blending in flavours including lavender, jasmine or pine by hand. The temporary installation will include the world’s first cloud of breathable chocolate.


Chocolate Waterfall is open from Friday 22nd to Monday 25th April
· The venue is Whiteleys Shopping Centre, Bayswater, London, W24 YN
· Nearest tube is Bayswater
· Opening hours are from noon to 6pm
· There are no age restrictions though all children must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.
· Timed tickets must be purchas
ed in advance through