Friday, May 21, 2010

Mussels Provençal

Last Saturday, May 15, 2010, Carolyn, Julia and I had lunch at El Obrero, a well known and well regarded “bogedone” in the La Boca barrio of Buenos Aires.  The restaurant is well off the beaten path, in a somewhat seedy neighborhood containing many industrial buildings, stray dogs and little street life.  The sidewalks in this area are unusual, abruptly changing elevation that presumably is meant to protect the buildings against flooding from the nearby river (see photo below).  Note that there are no guard rails at the top of the elevated sidewalks.  The restaurant, which dates back to 1954, is popular and crowded. The food and service were excellent.  Here, Carolyn and I introduced Julia to mejillones a la provençal (mussels provencal).  Following is my interpretation, which I developed after a trip to France in 2000.  Extremely simple, but totally satisfying.  -jb

2 lbs. mussels, cleaned and debearded
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup white wine
¼ teaspoon celery seed
salt and black pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 medium/large tomato, diced

In a Dutch oven, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil for 10 minutes over a medium heat.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes.  The heat to boiling and add the mussels, cover and reduce heat to medium.  Cook about 8 minutes or until all the mussels have opened.  Discard any mussels that remain closed.  Serve with bread and white wine.

first prepared June 29, 2000

At El Obrero, Augustin R. Caffarena 64

Autumn Asado

A short movie documenting an asado (barbeque) at Tito and Alicia’s weekend house, about 100 miles north of Buenos Aires.  The house is situated on 2 hectares and the grounds are like a park.  In addition, there is a large garden, from which we collected the ingredients for the salad.  The cool morning turned into a perfect afternoon.  After the asado we played a game of soccer to work off some calories.  This will forever be a memorable afternoon.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thursday, May 13 – Buenos Aires

  Carolyn and Maria.  Maria invited us to sample the Magnolia Hotel breakfast. 

Sofia takes a moment to pose for a photo.

The bandiola de cerdo at La Renaciente.  One of my favorite dishes for lunch, it’s simply grilled pork.

IMG_6447-Rw We ran into Leo and Ernesto at La Renaciente.

IMG_6454-w La Renaciente, from the outside.

IMG_6450-w IMG_6458-w Av. Cabildo in Belgrano, at dusk (above).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wednesday, May 12 – Buenos Aires

Although we arrived on Saturday, it wasn’t until today that we got out on our bikes.  We headed toward Belgrano, which is generally northwest of Casa Palermo.  The neighborhoods along our route varied from very impoverished to very wealthy. 




Above, waiting for the end of the school day.


The two photos below represent a frontier.  The wealthy homes of Belgrano are just a few blocks away. 

That’s my bike with a watering can that we bought in a shop that makes all sorts of things from sheet metal.



We encountered a guy with a strange pet.  A tiny porcupine from Africa.




Above, waiting for the bus after school.


Above, another kiosko in a city with thousands of kioskos.


Above, dusk settles in at the corner of Gurrachaga and Nicaragua.  Later that evening we went to dinner with Adriana and Carlos to A Nos Amours.

Tuesday, May 11 – Buenos Aires


Fall morning in Palermo Viejo.  At the end of our block.


Above, the lobby of Maria’s hotel (Hotel Magnolia)

Sofia (Maria’s daughter) was making alfajores.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Monday, May 10th, Buenos Aires


Above, Pastel de Papas at La Colonia

Clockwise from the top left:  Carolyn, Camila, me, Jujuy (at La Colonia)

IMG_6200-w IMG_6204-w IMG_6199-w IMG_6212-w


Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday, May 9th, in Buenos Aires

Above, a follow-up on the Palo Boracho tree (the fat tree with the spiked trunk and branches).  The Palo Boracho also bears large pink flowers and fruit.

Fall in Buenos Aires.  People here think it’s cold.  The girl in the photo above is donning a sweater.  The other girls are dressed for cool weather.  Meanwhile, I was wearing a short sleeved shirt and thought it was wonderful out. 


The ubiquitous green signs that dot the urban landscape in BA.  I was dismayed to discover that these seemingly old signs are in fact convincing reproductions make from fiberglass.



Sunday night C, J and I went to see Dancing Mood perform at the Club Necito Vega (above).