Stocking up at the butcher shop for the holidays, we decided to try a pollo relleno (stuffed chicken). We had a choice: salado or dulce (salty or sweet). We chose the former, hearing that the latter had things like pineapples inside it. The guy helping us could have, but didn’t, explain what the salado stuffed shicken contained. Perhaps I should have known (ya think?).
Susan’s comment after cooking and cutting it open: How did a hard-boiled egg get in there?
Seems like I should have a clever which came first? comment, but I don’t.
We really appreciate the opportunity, every other week, to buy fresh-as-you-can-get-it organic produce at bargain prices. Here Ricardo has just harvested a variety of acelga (Swiss chard) for us. Acelga is arguably the vegetable in Uruguay — if you order ravioli or canelones con verduras in a restaurant the verduras will be acelga. You can get it year-round. It took us a year or two to realize this was our desirable spinach substitute, since spinach is only occasionally available. And needs much more washing.
So then off to our chacra nearby where the in-places knee-high grass needed cutting. A couple of wild ducks flew into our tajamar, but decided the noise of the lawn mower was offensive, and left. I had seen one on my previous trip. Other posts about the pond we created. It’s an interesting experiment in “letting nature do its thing.”
Then there was the twice-monthly (because “bimonthly” can mean either twice a month or every two month; thanks English language) Atlántida-area English-speakers’ get together. 23 people showed up. Many lively (and funny!) discussions. Nationalities included Uruguay, US, Canada, England, Holland, and Germany. On other occasions we’ve had South Africans, Argentines, and no doubt others I can’t think of right now.
Cazon (school shark)
Angelito (angel shark)
Tambera (type of corvina, I think)
Camaron (shrimp — way too much work and tiny OBTW)
Mariscos (shellfish, seafood: not sure what they mean by this)
We buy only the first two. The others tend to range from weird to nasty.
A summer day in winter
It appears we’re in the veranilla — couple days of “little summer” before it gets cold again. Walked the dog in a t-shirt. Had I gone to the beach, I might have worn shorts and walked barefoot. Recall that this is the equivalent of the end of February in the northern hemisphere. Should be this way tomorrow as well.
Then the forecast for the weekend is the Tormenta de Santa Rosa, which means wind — lots of wind. And rain. And Dutch pirates not attacking Lima. But that’s another story.
No, I do not intend to go all Instagramy, but for the benefit of my seafood-deprived friends in Uruguay. On the left, shrimp, octopus, potato thingies, squid, tuna, razor clams, and scallops. Chimichurri and a delightful picante sauce. On the right, Cesar salad with corn-battered prawns. All exquisitely prepared. A bit under USD 30.
We attended and 18th birthday party last night. We were told there would be pizza, but I couldn’t have guessed how — cooked not in an oven, but on the parrilla / traditional grill. I explained parrilla — well, sort of — long ago. The fire is one one side, and the coals are raked under the grill, which typically can be raised or lowered. Doing an asado with meat this way takes hours, but with pizza it’s hella more efficient than trying to to do them in the kitchen oven.
Pizza after pizza was delivered to family and friends at the big outside table: Hawaiian, mushroom and cheese, gorgonzola, mussels. All delicious. The combination of the nearby fire, hot pizza, and wine did a nice job of making the chill go away.
Our host, Marcelo, told me that he had tried doing pizza on the grill and it turned out a mess. So here’s the secret: put the plain crust over the embers until one side is done, then remove, turn over and add toppings, and cook over embers again.
As they prepared to leave, the cooks gave out the quintessential Uruguayan marketing tool: refrigerator magnets. Yes, this is what they do for a living!
PS — can you guess the only business that doesn’t give out magnets? See here.