A couple of friends came over last Wednesday night for dinner, and to start planning a pet health fair event that we’re hoping to have in February. I started the meal with a butternut squash soup called Crema Anaranjada. Squash, tomatoes and onion were cooked in broth, then pureed and a bit of cream was added at the end. I learned why you don’t use basil leaves to garnish soup – they started turning brown almost immediately upon contact with the heat, duh! The soup recipe was from The South American Table cookbook, it came from a famous hotel restaurant in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The main course was a chicken crepe casserole (and broccoli on the side). Basil crepes filled with chicken and mushrooms in a white sauce were layered in a pan, topped with cheese, almonds, and more white sauce, and baked until bubbly.
For dessert, I made a mango mousse with berry sauce, and served it with almond butter cookies. One of my guests brought Argentinian white and red wines to go with the meal too.
These recipes seem very “normal” to the North American palate, but they are all dishes from Uruguay and Argentina. It is an interesting part of this journey to find out some of the commonalities and some of the differences between the North American and South American “melting pots”. As in North America, there were particular ingredients used by the native Americans such as corn, chocolate, pumpkins/squash, certain spices and peppers, etc. that have been incorporated with European ingredients. The final dishes may look and taste a little different in South America, but generally the ingredients are much more familiar than those we’ll find on any other continent.