Monthly Archives: October 2013

Uruguay’s Sumptuous Staple: The Chivito

Uruguay’s Sumptuous Staple: The Chivito

The chivito is the national sandwich of Uruguay and it not only has a memorable taste, but also a memorable story behind it. The story goes that a little argentine lady walked into a cafe in Punta del Este, Uruguay and asked the great chef, Antonio Carbonada to make her a sandwich. But not just any sandwich–she specifically asked for a sandwich made with chivito, or grilled baby goat, because she was missing home.  Carbonada was in a bind because he didn’t have any chivito on hand, so he had to compromise and voilà! The chivito was born.

This little sandwich is now the face of Uruguayan cuisine and is considered comparable to Philadelphia’s Philly cheesesteak or the Reuban.  It’s served almost on every street corner in Uruguay and has even spread to Argentina, where it’s known as lomito. The Canadian Chivito is a variation of the sandwich, with the addition of canadian bacon. 

The star ingredient is a slice of churrasco, which is topped with slices of ham, bacon, lettuce,  tomato, melted mozzarella cheese. Some other particular ingredients are boiled egg, and salsa golf–a mixture of ketchup and mayo that is common in Argentina and Uruguay. Other ingredients might be added into the sandwich such as red beets, peas, grilled or red peppers, and slices of cucumber. Oftentimes, the chivito is enjoyed with a side of french fries. 


1 soft white sandwich bun (ciabatta, kaiser, or Portuguese bun)

Salsa golf (a mixture of tomato sauce and mayonnaise)lettuce

3 strips pancetta

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

Thinly sliced onions1 thinly sliced filet steak

4 slices smoked ham

2 slices bacon

2 Tomato slices

1 hard-boiled egg, halved

mozzarella cheese


Step 1

 lightly pound the filet steak to a 1/4-inch thickness and season with coarse salt and set aside.


Step 2

Roast and skin the bell pepper lightly toast the two halves of bread and then on the lower half spread a  dollop of the salsa golf, top with lettuce and strips of bell pepper. 


Step 3

In a wide cast-iron pan or ridged grill pan over medium high heat, cook pancetta until crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Wipe away excess fat and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly charred and softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.


Step 4

In the same pan, toss on your steak and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes – depending on your cut and personal preference.

images (1)

Step 5

When cooked to your liking, layer the ham, bacon and onion mix, tomatoes, sliced boiled egg and cheese on top of the meat. Cover with a lid for the remaining cooking time (roughly another minute) to allow the cheese to melt.


Step 6

Carefully remove from the griddle pan and assemble your sandwich. Press down lightly. 

*Another option is to cook the steak alone and then build up the layers on the bread. Place the completed sandwich – without the top – under the broiler until the cheese melts to your satisfaction.


listening to os mutantes, A Minha Menina while cooking tonight! 




Heating up the Kitchen with Bolivian Picante de Pollo


In the heart of South America, Bolivia has a wide variety of customs, traditions, and food. In fact, each region of Bolivia varies from one another. Therefore, there really isn’t typical Bolivian dishes that are considered traditional for the whole country.  Bolivian food was mainly influenced by the Spanish and Incan cultures, but was also greatly impacted by the cuisines of Germany, Italy, Russia, as well as some middle eastern countries. The recipe we will be delving into today is Picante de Pollo, or chicken with spicy sauce.

Ingredients for Picante de Pollo:

8 chicken legs with thighs

12 dry yellow peppers

2 cups of water

3 large red onions diced really small

4 cups of chicken broth

1 garlic clove

1 tsp cumin

¼ cup Oil


– Remove the stems from the dry yellow peppers.

– bring water to a rolling boil and place the peppers in the boiling water.  let them boil until you see the skins of the peppers getting loose (approximately 30 minutes.)

*tip: we remove the skin of the peppers because they are hard to grind and cook otherwise


-remove the peppers from the hot water and submerge them in cold water. Remove the skin and seeds from the peppers.

*tip: use gloves so that the acidity of the peppers doesn’t bother your skin

– blend the peppers with 2 cups of water until very smooth (for about 2 min)  and set aside.


– mince the onion and put  in a large pot to cook for about 5 min. Add 2 tbsp of salt and cook until the salt is full absorbed. Add the oil and let simmer until the oil is absorbed.

*tip: the onion is what makes the sauce thick, so the more you mince the onion, the better


– add 4 cups of chicken broth or water to the pan. Let  cook for about 10 minutes and add the yellow pepper sauce.

-grind the garlic with the cumin in a morter until it is very smooth. If you don’t have a morter, mince the garlic as small as you can and add cumin to it.


– combine the mixture with the onion and yellow pepper sauce. Let it cook for about 15 min  until the onion is well cooked and soft.

*tip: When the onion starts sticking  to the bottom of the pan, it is ready.

– Add the chicken, and reduce the heat to low. Let it cook for around 20 min  until the chicken is tender, stirring from time to time to inhibit the chicken from burning on the bottom.

add chicken

check out this video of the instructions in spanish:

Ingredients for Rice:

1 1/2 cups rice

1 garlic clove

2 tbs of oil

3 cups of water.

1 tbs salt

Instructions for Rice:

– Heat a frying pan and add the rice, minced garlic, and the oil.

– Pan fry until the rice turns dark white. Move rice constantly.

– Boil water and cook the rice in a normal fashion.

In a deep dish, serve the rice with the chicken on top. Oftentimes, picante de pollo is enjoyed with chuño and salsa. ¡Disfrutenlo!



listening to Trio Mocóto, Os Orixás  while cooking tonight!