Saturday, July 25, 2009

Estos Tipos Lo Tienen Mas Claro...

I have officially been living for two months without a refrigerator (a situation that was supposed to last a week), something I thought would be impossible but that is being managed by reorganizing the grocery shopping (and the use of the outside and occasionally the inside of the kitchen) knowing that we are very limited in what can be bought not being for immediate use. Potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and eggs-- which are sold unrefrigerated here-- abound, as do batatas, something close to sweet potatoes but less sweet and with yellowish-purple flesh. This situation is not ideal but it is doable, and one thing that I do like is that this has translated to fish for dinner after going to the supermarket every week or two. Argentina is a very heavily meat-oriented place-- as in very very. As in your most reliable way to see your average Argentine make a face is to bring up fish for dinner. There are a good 5 or 6 carnicerias and pollerias within one square block of my apartment, but pescaderias are much harder to come across. The local supermarket does however have a small fish section, and it has a guy who will, on request, gut the fish for you, making very loud scary chopping noises with the knife, and then tell you the best way to prepare it. Last week he had one very nice-looking whole fish left, and a basic and in the end delicious method of preparing it.

We came home with the fish, bought some broccoli from the vegetable guys down the block, and grabbed some potatoes from storage under the sink. The oven got cranked up (well, the oven more or less cranked itself up-- it only has one setting-- really hot), and thanks to the less local but equally knowledgeable Orangette and Melissa Clark, the broccoli was tossed with olive oil and cumin and coriander, the potatoes with just a bit of olive oil, and the fish stuffed al nuestro tipo pescadero (our fish dude´s way). While everything roasted in the oven, chopped capers and parsley were combined with lemon and garlic to make a sauce to be poured over the potatoes hot out of the oven.

I may not have a fridge but at least I have people I can rely on for some really good, simple food.

Simple Whole Roasted Fish
     from the fish dude (don´t tell me fishmonger, I can´t picture fishmongers inside supermarkets) at the Coto

One whole river fish-- trout or other white fish, gutted by your friendly fish dude
1 lemon, cut in half
handful flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic
salt

Preheat the oven to 450°. Wash the fish in cold water and place it on a baking tray with sides or in a baking dish. Open the slit where the fish was gutted, cut it open wider towards the unopened side if there isn´t much room to stuff it, and salt the inside of the fish. Cut one of the lemon halves into thin rounds and arrange them flat inside the fish, leaving a couple out to put on top. Chop the parsley and garlic together finely and spread the mixture on top of the lemon slices. Close your fish flap as well as you can, place the remaining lemon slices on top of the fish, and sprinkle with salt. Bake in the oven until the flesh is white, I would say around 20 minutes but the truth is I didn´t time it. Cut the remaining lemon half into wedges and serve to squeeze over the fish.


Roasted Potatoes with Caper-Parsley Sauce
     closely adapted from Orangette

4 big potatoes, or the equivalent (I used something like russet potatoes-- here they´re just called papas negras and they´re your standard, state-subsidized potato-- but I would imagine this would work well with many different kinds although I probably wouldn´t use red potatoes with this because they always seem to have a sweeter flavor to me, and I don´t know, in my brain at least I wouldn´t think it would fit as well.)
6 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. capers, drained and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest
small pinch salt (remember that capers are quite salty on their own)
Pinch of red pepper flakes or dried chile pepper

Scrub the potatoes well and cut them into chunks (6 to 8 from one potato). Toss them in a bit of olive oil and roast them in a hot oven (we had the potatoes, the broccoli, and the fish all in together, a feat of balance and pure stupidity if there ever was one given the size of the oven and the fact that there is only one rack) until a fork goes in easily and they are nice and crispy on the outside.
Meanwhile combine all the subsequent ingredients, mix well, and set aside while everything else roasts in the oven.
When the potatoes done, check your sauce for salt and lemon, and then pour it over the hot potatoes.


Roasted Broccoli
     taken from Orangette, taken from this blog, taken from NYTimes' Melissa Clark

2 big heads broccoli, cut into small florets, the stalks peeled and chopped
2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. coriander seed
1/2 tsp. black pepper
small pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 450°. Combine all of the ingredients except the lemon in a large baking dish and toss well to coat the broccoli evenly. Roast in the oven for 20-30 min. until blackened in spots. Squeeze lemon juice on top and eat.



Si el horno tuyo tiene espacio se puede cocinar todo juntos al mismo tiempo.



Pescado Entero Al Horno
     del tipo que vende pescado en el Coto

Un pescado entero del rio-- una trucha o otro pescado blanco, limpiado por el tipo que te vende el pescado
1 limon, cortado por la mitad
un puñado de perejil
1 diente de ajo
sal

Precalienta el horno a 220ºC (fuego alto). Lava el pescado en agua frio y colocalo en una bandeja. Abre el pescado del corte donde haya estado limpiado, cortalo mas para abrirlo mas ancho hacia al lado cerrado si no hay espacio suficiente para rellenarlo, y echa sal al interior del pescado. Corta una de las mitades de limon en rodajas delgadas y colocalas plenas al dentro del pescado, dejando un par de rodajas poner encima del pescado. Pica el perejil y el ajo juntos muy chiquitos y unta la mezcla encima de las rodajas de limon. Cierra el pescado tan bien que pueda, pone las rodajas de limon que quedaban encima del pescado y salpicar con sal. Hornea en el horno hasta la carne este blanca, por alli 20 minutes o de pronto un poquito mas, la verdad es que no me fije el tiempo. Corta la mitad de limon que te queda en trozos y sirvalos para exprimir encima del pescado.


Papas Asadas con Salsa de Alcaparras y Perejil
     adaptada de Orangette

4 papas negras grandes o otras papas en la misma cantidad (la papa amarilla funcionaria bien tambien me imagino)
6 cucharadas de aceite de oliva
3 cucharadas alcaparras, escurridas y picadas
2 cucharadas perejil, picada chiquita
2 dientes de ajo, picada chiquita
1 cucharada jugo de limon exprimido
½ cucharita cascara de limon rallada bien chiquita
pizca muy chiquita de sal (acordate que alcaparras son muy saladas solas)
pizca de pimenton

Lava bien las papas y cortalas en pedazos (6 a 8 de una papa). Mezclalas con un poco de aceite de oliva y asalas en un horno caliente (teniamos las papas, el brocoli, el pescado alli todo juntos-- un acto de balanza y mucha estupidez la verdad, segun al tamaño del horno y que hay una sola rejilla) hasta que las entre un tenedor muy facilmente y estan crocantes por afuera.
Mientras tanto combina todo los otros ingredientes, mezclalos bien, y dejalos combinar bien mientras los demas asan en el horno.
Cuando las papas esten listas, fijate si tu salsa esta bien de sal y limon, y echala a las papas calientes.



Brocoli Asado
     tomada de Orangette, tomada de este blog, tomada de Melissa Clark del New York Times

2 cabezas grandes de brocoli, cortado en cogollito chiquitos, los tallos peleados y picados
2 cucharitas de semillas de comino (se puede encontrarlas, y las de cilantro, en las dieteticas)
2 cucharitas de semillas de cilantro
1/2 cucharita pimienta negra
pizca chiquita pimenton
3/4 cucharita sal
3-4 cucharadas aceite de oliva
1 limon

Precalienta el horno a 220ºC. Echa todos los ingredientes con la excepcion del limon en un fuente para el horno o en una bandeja y mezclalos bien para cubrir el brocoli uniformamente. Asalo en el horno por 20-30 minutos hasta este medio quemado en partes. Exprime limon encima y come.

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