Author: Enrique Zanoni & Gaston Stivelmaher 
Murdoch Books RRP $29.99
Review: Monique Mulligan

Argentinian Street FoodEmpanadas, curry puffs, samosas … our family loves them. Lately I’ve been experimenting with different pastries for samosas in effort to find one that’s just right, so when a copy of Argentinian Street Food turned up on my desk, the timing was perfect. I did not know there were so many different types of empanadas – how misguided I was! With a family gathering here this weekend, no prizes for guessing what I’ll be serving.

Argentinian Street Food is chock-full of authentic recipes that will bring this vibrant food culture into any home. From traditional savoury empanadas stuffed with meat, fish, cheese and vegetables to sweet varieties filled with fruits, creamy chocolate and dulce de leche (be still my beating heart!), to ice creams and other classic desserts (including the signature alfajore biscuits I’ve heard so much about), this is a cookbook brimming with atmosphere and tempting recipes. There is even a section with some refreshing iced teas, perfect for cooling down after a hot day, and here in Perth we get plenty of those. You’ll also find recipes for different doughs, depending on whether you’re frying or baking, as well as folding tips.

A couple of weeks ago I was after a dulce de leche recipe for a macadamia and salted caramel tart I made. You can use a canned variety (the closest we have is Caramel Top ‘n’ Fill in Australia), but I wanted the real thing. Turns out dulce de leche takes quite a while to make! Argentinian Street Food has a recipe for this decadent dessert filling, as well as a dulce de leche ice cream, so I’ll be making more of those caramel tarts (as well as trying my hand at alfajores).

Yes, I made this!

Which recipes won me over? Loads of them … honestly, we’ll be trying out a lot of empanadas over the next few months. They’re perfect for freezing and using to fill lunchboxes (if they last that long). The recipes I want to try first are:

  • Tucumana (empanada filled with meat, hard boiled eggs and spices)
  • Sweet and sour chicken empanada
  • Spinach and cheese empanada
  • Caprese (empanada filled with tomato, mozzarella and basil)
  • Mini dulce de leche empanadas
  • Vanilla, dulce de leche and chocolate ice-creams … and the strawberry sorbet
  • Alfajores (biscuits sandwiched with dulce de leche)

Overall, the style of the book is attractive but simple; the photography complements the recipes well and gives a much-needed visual for those who like to see what they’re going to be making. A tip: if you’re going to be making empanadas, you can buy cutters similar to this from Asian grocers. I bought an extra one the other day in anticipation of the weekend’s cooking.

Perfect for empanadas and samosas.

Argentinian Street Food is available from good bookstores and Allen & Unwin. My copy was courtesy of Murdoch Books.

Bookish treat: See list above.




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