Taste of South America, Part 1: Buenos Aires

 

Jet lag is partly to blame.  During my first few hours walking around the Recoleta barrio (neighborhood) of Buenos Aires, I kept thinking I was in Europe.  Along Avenida Alvear, I may as well have been.  The Recoleta is at the heart of the French Heritage district where much of the architecture was modeled after European design.  My travel companions and I were happy to call this barrio our home for the next few days.

 

The Recoleta.

We traveled to Buenos Aires in mid-February, summertime in the Southern Hemisphere.  While we were warned that daytime temperatures would be a sweltering 90°F+, Fair Winds (meaning of Buenos Aires) prevailed, allowing us to see the city at a comfortable 80+ degrees.  No humidity.  The elegant streets were quieter than usual, many Porteños (Buenos Aires citizens) having escaped to cooler oceanside retreats in Uruguay or Mar de la Plata.

With 48 barrios in Buenos Aires the few days my travel companions and I dedicated to getting to know the city would have made quality sightseeing near impossible.  Instead, we engaged the services of a tour guide for a couple of days and managed to see, experience and taste the best that Buenos Aires had to offer from the eyes of a true Porteño.

Sylvie arrived at our hotel with a driver and a van to accommodate six eager tourists.  She is a lifelong Buenos Aires resident, ultra-sophisticated, well-traveled and most importantly, has encyclopedic knowledge of her city.  Sylvie tailored our two-day tour with our interests in mind and I have regretted not recording her during our tour for Buenos Aires truly came alive in her descriptions, stories and accounts of the city’s history.  All I can do is show you some pictures to give you a taste of the beauty we encountered during our few days in Buenos Aires (and might I add…there’s no need to compare it to Europe.  This beautiful city can hold its own).

The Presidential Palace or “Casa Rosada”

 

The Recoleta Cemetery, prime real estate where the Who’s Who of the nation are buried, including Evita Peron (lower right)

La Boca neighborhood

There was no shortage of excellent dining options either.  Often dubious of restaurant recommendations by hotel staff or some locals, I was very pleased to discover that Sylvie was spot on with all of hers.  She appreciates food the way I do and directed us to her favorite dining spots.

We visited Cabaña Las Lillas on our first night.  Beef was the order of the day though other offerings were abundant. Various breads and small plates quickly filled our table and that was before we even opened our menus.  Eyes hungrier than our stomachs prompted orders for sausages, empanadas, even more bread, other appetizers and wine, with steaks still to follow.

By the time my steak was placed in front of me, I was almost at my limit.  However, being the true food-lover that I am (or do I mean to say glutton?) I found more room to enjoy my giant steak, perfectly seared outside and gloriously pink inside.  Porteños prefer very little accompaniment to their meats, allowing the latter to shine, according to Sylvie.  I see her point.  However, I can’t deny that the elegantly-served chimichurri sauce made my piece of meat just that much better.  It inspired me to recreate it once I returned home (and also to find a similar copper serving piece to use).  I took some liberties with my chimichurri recipe by adding mint but you can leave it out.  I had also practically given up on finding my little copper pieces but as luck would have it, I found French serving ware in a charming shop towards the end of our trip in Santiago, Chile.  Perfect!

** I have been considering another series for some time.  I think that after Taste of South America, I will occasionally highlight some of my favorite places in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Local Spotlight.  **


5.0 from 7 reviews
Grilled Lamb Chops with Chimichurri Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lamb Chops are quickly seared on the grill, leaving the inside perfectly pink, and dressed with a simple chimichurri sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 6 lamb chops
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 - 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. To prepare the chimichurri sauce, combine the parsley, oregano, mint and garlic and process in a food processor until just roughly chopped. You don't want to purée this.
  2. Stir in the crushed red peppers and add the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir in the olive oil and set aside to let the flavors meld.
  4. To prepare the lamb, season with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary. Preheat your grill to 400 degrees. Since my lamb chops were small, I seared each side for only 1 - 1½ minutes to leave the inside rare to medium-rare. Serve with chimichurri sauce.

 

 

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Comments

  1. beautiful shots – I can definitely see how it looks like Europe in some places… thank you for sharing!

  2. Jean – LOVE, LOVE your post! Felt as though I was transported to South America. Your photos are amazing and I especially love your first photo – amazing! You are certainly putting the “wow” factor in your photos. One of my favorite things on earth is a really great chimichurri sauce and yours looks amazing. I bet hubby was happy with this dish. Looking forward to the rest of your series. :-)

  3. Such beautiful picture and that dipping sauce is going in my wish list. It looks refreshing ! The first photo is classic Jean.. beautifully captured!

  4. Jean, what a great travel post! And you even gave us a bonus recipe with it! Thanks for sharing this trip with us. I feel like getting on a plane to BA right now! Looking forward to the rest of your travels. Cheers!

  5. I’m so hungry and those chops are not helping! I’m coming back when I can fully appreciate your gorgeous photos :) I triple love your travel posts, Jean!

  6. Beautiful story, amazing photos. I’ll be dreaming tonight about my imaginary trip to Argentina

  7. Buenos Aires has been on my list of places to go for quite a while now. Your descriptions and photos are really helping it working its way up into the top five!

    Like you wrote, one can really see Europe in some of the sights. They look strangely familiar. But when you take a closer look, it’s distinctively South American (like that means anything when I say things like that because my knowledge is rather on the vague side haha).

    Anyways, hope to read more posts like these as I’m certainly getting itchy feet. ;)

    Cheers,
    Tobias

  8. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh… GREG

  9. What a fun post! I love your travel shots – they make me feel like I took a mini vacation :). As for the lamb, yum! I’ll be making this for Easter!

  10. What a wonderful travel experience you had in Buenos Aires, your photos and recipe complete your adventure perfectly! I look forward to seeing what you are planning to share in our area, lots of great things to choose from, good thing you have a good appetite;-) I’m planning on serving lamb soon!

  11. So glad you enjoyed the visit to my city!
    (btw: my apartment is 100m from your second picture top left)
    Great chimichurri!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Cristina, one trip wasn’t enough! Would love to return again soon. Thanks so much for your help, too! :)

  12. Jean, you are so good at writing about travel + recipe post. You travel a lot, cook well, take great pictures, and lastly write well. The blog post is so much better when you can actually write good story. I’m selfishly looking forward to your local spotlights. :-) More of travel posts coming soon I hope! And the lamb chops look so good. I don’t even eat lamb (well I do but I normally don’t pick) but my husband loves it. He’ll really appreciate a dish like this. Gorgeous photos!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Nami, you’re too generous, thank you! I’m so glad you liked the post but that is how I feel about visiting your blog…I always learn so much. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my local favorites with everyone! :)

  13. As a regular reader of your blog, I wish I’d known you were visiting my adopted city, I would have been delighted to show you guys around from a fellow cook’s perspective!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Dan, that would have been so nice, thank you! There was so much great food to be had–one post wasn’t enough and certainly one trip wasn’t nearly enough for me. Would love to return sometime. Thanks for dropping by! :)

  14. Thanks for sharing your trip with us – what beautiful photos, I feel like I visited Buenos Aires for a bit.

  15. Hi Jean,

    I love you new series. Traveling is a passion of mine and B.A. has always been on my lists. It really looks does look like Europe. Thanks for sharing the photos and the tour. Your Lamb chops look phenomenal. Will be looking forward to your local series too. Have a great weekend :)

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Nancy, truth be told, I hesitated to share the image because I didn’t want people to think the chops were burned. They were so perfect inside but a cut up lamb just wasn’t in my plans. I’m so glad you and others think the picture is okay. Thank you! :)

  16. I am an expat living here in BA! Your photos are amazing! Did you by chance try salsa criolla while here? It is a sauce also served with asado, it is a wonderful sauce/salad type with fresh tomato, red pepper, garlic, onion and parsley with red wine vinegar and olive oil, of course S &P and a touch of water. In the summer it is fantastic.. Everything is very finely minced. It goes well with fish, chicken and beef. I sometimes add jalapeno as well.

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Kelly, I think that was served also at Las Lillas! Now I’ll have to find a recipe for it. Do you have one you can share? I’d love to try it. Thanks for stopping by! :)

      • Sorry it took so long to reply.. I pretty much eyeball the salsa criolla, I start with the tomatoes, seed them and dice finely, add the same amount of finely diced red pepper and onion, use the microplane for the garlic, as much or as little as you like, chop a equal amount of parsley, add the red wine vinegar to almost cover the mix add sea salt mix, a few tablespoons of water and as well as olive oil, some do equal parts vinegar and oil, I prefer more vinegar and a bit of olive oil.. Some like to eat the sauce shortly after making, I like to let it sit and meld the flavors. For a more exact recipe google it and there is a cooking blog that I totally forget the name of, something along the lines of For the love of Argentina, she has a good recipe. Hope this helps.

  17. Wow….those are beautiful photos, and food is truly like from the Magazine cover! Awesome post sweetie!

  18. I love Buenos Aires and was delighted to be transported for a few brief moments by your photos.

  19. What a fabulous feature on Argentinian cuisine. All of the dishes look absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing. Also, I’m having a great giveaway today with four potential prize winners, so you should enter!

  20. I am positively green with envy! Buenos Aires is on my list of dream vacations, and after seeing your beautiful photos, I’m more determined than ever to get my butt down there sooner rather than later.
    In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to comfort myself with lamb chops and chimichurri. Now that grilling weather is here, this sounds like a perfect dish to make!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Isabelle, we couldn’t have asked for a better trip to BA. The weather was perfect and the people so nice. The food, well, it was all wonderful. :)

  21. you have such beautiful photos, and this lamb recipe sounds fantastic! definitely bookmarking this!

  22. What an amazing trip, I can’t wait to read about the rest of it! I love chimichurri sauce, something about it just make meat better!

  23. I am now thinking about planning my next trip (destination: Buenos Aires!). It is absolutely stunning…and when you add fantastic food into the mix, it really is a must-see!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Faith, I’m not kidding when I say that all the food I tasted in Buenos Aires was excellent! I encourage you to see BA. :)

  24. What a wonderful trip, the pictures are fabulous and the lamb steaks look superb. You really have a talent with the camera and food styling, can’t wait to read more about your tip.

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Suzanne, I’m so flattered, thank you! I’m excited to share more of South America with everyone. :)

  25. Jean, it’s been years since I visited Buenos Aires, but the chimichurri has never left my heart. You have captured it (and the city) so elegantly. Just gorgeous!

  26. love, love, love BsAs!!!! I’m crying for Argentina now…boohoohoo…

  27. Buenos Aires is high on my list of places I would love to visit, but my time has not come yet. I’m SO glad you are writing about your trip! I love travel/food posts and this one made my day. Beautiful photos!

  28. What a stunning post, all around! I think it is so fantastic that you ended up with a tour guide that was an avid food lover :) The scenery is just beautiful…way at the top of my “must visit” list, and you captured it so beautifully.
    As for your lamb chops and photo…WOW! The chimichurri sauce as well, is perfection, and I love the addition of mint, incredible!

  29. Gorgeous pics and the lamb chops along with the chimichurri sauce look AMAZING! My mouth is watering! Thank you for sharing!

  30. If you weren’t such a sweetie I’d be so jealous of your fab trip and those amazing photos. I feel like you took me along, I wouldn’t have imagined the architecture to be so amazing. I’m so glad you found that copper piece, it’s perfect. I have to go read part two now.
    –Gina-

  31. Wow, I just googled chimichurri and lamb chops (believe it or not!) and came across your blog/post. Your photos are so gorgeous. I am trying to prepare the “ultimate pairing” for my wine (Bordeaux-style blend leading with Cabernet Franc). In my mind’s tastebuds, lambchops and chimichurri sauce is it. I will try your recipe! If I love it, can I use it on my blog/website? Can’t wait to get cooking… Thanks!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Emily, thanks so much for dropping by. I have just paid a visit to your site and I would be honored to have my recipe on it. If you do try my recipe, I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know. :)

  32. This recipe is insane and the best lamb chops I have ever had!! The Chimichurri sauce tastes good on practically everything from meats to salads and vegetables- so versatile!

    I actually made them for my own food blog tonight. I hope you don’t mind? I gave you all the credit! I changed a few ingredients but made a link your original recipe! Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Grilling the Argentine Way, focuses on rustic food.  Had I heard of him before this trip? No.  Sylvie, our tour guide in Buenos Aires, introduced us to this restaurant but I fell in love with his menu at once.  The grilled meats, […]

  2. […] chimichurri sauce was inspired by lemons&anchovies.com which is an amazing and fascinating food blog that you will have to check out! I changed the sauce a little because I can’t handle raw […]

  3. […] chimichurri sauce was inspired by lemons&anchovies.com which is an amazing and fascinating food blog that you will have to check out! I changed the sauce a little because I can’t handle raw […]

  4. […] lemonsandanchovies.com via Isabelle on […]

  5. […] (Mini) Pies, Coconut Curry Mussels, White Bean Dip, Pineapple Sorbet, Lemon Buttermilk Sorbet, Grilled Lamb Chops with Chimichurri Sauce, Pan Bagnat, Spicy Honey Roasted Almonds,Peri Peri Pepper-Almond Dip with Marinated, Carnitas […]

  6. […] long-overdue conclusion of my Taste of South America series.  For parts 1 – 3, please click here, here and here. […]

  7. […] Gyro Salad Another make ahead weekend recipe and the greek flavors are refreshing! Day 10: Grilled Lamb Chops with Chimichuri served with a side salad and some grilled veggies doused in oregano olive oil. I freaking LOVE […]

  8. […] out of the highlights just like I’ve done with our South America trip earlier this year (part 1, part 2, part 3, part […]

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