My daughter’s first grade class is studying South America. Each student was asked to gather information about a particular country. Livi was assigned Argentina and I don’t know if all the cookies she gives Mrs. Reeves had anything to do with this, but she was specifically assigned food from Argentina! Of course I have been way more into this project than my daughter. Basically, it was the perfect excuse to make a big dinner and drink Argentine wine all week!
After careful study, we came up with a menu that would be both kid friendly, authentic and delicious. Argentina is a huge beef producer so most of their meals involve beef. Also, like the United States, Argentina is a melting pot of cultures so they are influenced heavily by Spain, Italy, other European as well as Latin American countries. As you can see this menu is diverse and proves this is a small world after all.
Appetizer 1/ Dessert: Crostini topped with Manchego Cheese and Quince Paste
Appetizer 2: Grilled Provolone over bread
Salad: Spinach with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Friday night was the big “feast”. Livi was conveniently asked for a play date that afternoon, so she missed the ingredient purchasing. My sweet four year old son was my partner in crime and came along with me to all the grocery stores – you can’t find Quince Paste just anywhere. Reid’s pulled through on the Quince Paste and the Wine. Leyla in their wine department picked the perfect Malbec for us and also taught me how to grill provolone. Thanks, Leyla!
The meal came together perfectly and was actually a quick and easy meal to put together. The Chimichurri was a little strong for the children, but it can easily be adjusted for a milder palate. Also, as my Peruvian friend told me, “you don’t have to use the most expensive cuts of beef. Argentines eat the whole cow – you could eat the tongue and it would be authentic!” I think I might pass on the tongue, but we did end up using a roast that we cut into steaks. It was perfect.
This little project has now sparked my family’s interest in international food and Livi now wants to have a new “feast” every weekend. Any suggestions on what country we should do next?