Sunday, January 14, 2007

Weekend in the country

Well, not technically in the country, more like in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. But sometimes it does feel like being in the country, I mean, my parents are growing their own tomatoes now, my dad has been making wine for the last couple of years, they have their own herb section in the garden (that´s not as impressive though, because even I have a pot of herbs in my own tiny home). But the tomatoes have truly enamored me. They are so tiny and flawed. YES, flawed is good when it comes to vegetables, it means they are home-grown, pesticide-free and full of flavor, not blown up like most things we find at grocery stores.

Here they are in all their red glory...

home-grown tomatoes

home-grown tomatoes

Another impressive aspect of spending the weekend at my parents is the food. Basically I get to stuff my face with remarkable meals without having to cook. I sometimes cook, but I can eat as well, if not better, as if I was making the cooking without having to lift a finger.

My dad has always loved to cook, which was pretty unusual back in the day, and still is in Argentina, that retains much of its sexist "glory". I mean, most men take care of the "asados" (something similar to a barbecue), but that happens once a month or so. All the other meals in that month are the sole responsability of women... and many women don´t like to cook, so people tend to eat less-than-extraodinary meals.

But going back to my dad, he has always cooked a few times a week (for dinner, of course, because he comes home for lunch for an hour, so the meal has to be ready by the time he arrives so he can have a 40-minute siesta). The meals he chooses usually have to do with seafood-fish, pasta or red meat, and they are never ever on the bland side of the flavor spectrum... sometimes they are even too flavorful or spicy. For instance, he has this love affair with sage which can get pretty overwhelming or pepper, he looooooves pepper, so much so that he collects them fresh whenever he sees a pepper tree. But he usually finds the right balance and makes terrific meals (though this is a secret between us, I don´t want him to get even less modest hahaha).


Last night, he went French on us and made sirloin stuffed with parmessan and prosciuto (ok, the stuffing is more Italian than French) with a mushrooms and cream sauce (this part is very French, ha!). (A clarification on the meat cut, our meat cuts are different than those of the US and Europe, but apparently our "lomo" is your "sirloin" or "fillet steak", basically, what you need is a very tender piece of meat without any bones). A combination like that cannot go wrong, and certainly didn´t this time around. The meat melted in your mouth and every bite of mushroom-cream infused goodness was fantastic. As a side, he made grilled vegetables-zuchinni, eggplants and green peppers- which lent a fresher touch to the meal and complemented the richness of the meal perfectly.

stuffed sirloin with mushrooms and cream

stuffed sirloin with mushrooms and cream

I´ll ask him all the details later to give you the recipe.

In the meantime, I´m off to enjoy these fluffy things:


eyes wide open

This is them giving their first steps haha

And then off to my grandma´s to enjoy a 100%-authentic Italian meal... which will look something like this:

my grandma´s lasagna

I know, I know, my life is hard.


Brilynn said...

Anything fresh from the garden is infinitely better!

Accountant Barbie said...

Your dad's meal sounds delicious! I like to cook with peppers too.

The Gourmet Peasant said...

I just stumbled upon your blog through the link on David Lebovitz's blog and have bookmarked you with my favorites.I have a similar experience when I visit my mother in the country (stuffing my face that is.) Those tomatoes look amazing. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Yes, visting the parents and getting to eat delicious (and free) food is always nice. Those like wonderful tomatoes!

Anonymous said...

Yum, homegrown tomatoes. I like to pull out the George Foreman Grill and make grilled tomato and cream cheese sandwiches, with garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. I can't wait until spring to grow my own!

Marce said...

Brilynn- So true. And especially with tomatoes, sometimes you lose all the juicyness and flavor.

Accountant Barbie- Thanks on his behalf ;) I´ve been a bad girl, I still need to ask him for the recipe and type it.

Gourmet peasant- Thanks for coming by :) Yeah, visiting the parents can be hard for one´s waist, but I don´t really complain.

Natalia- Definitely, it´s bad for the waist but good for the wallet haha I brought a bunch of those tomatoes for a nice capresse salad that´s waiting to be made.

Anonymous (aka LVL)- Those sandwiches sound delish.

Kate said...

When you're back in the world of the living, come and see my site for the meme you've been tagged for.....

Kristen said...

I was all ready to comment about the gorgeous looking fresh veggies but then you showed the puppies... the sweet, sweet puppies. They are soooooo adorable!