Today I write to you with a new view on life. Let me tell you about the new, Argentine Katie, and how I’d like to convene with those of you who may share the same new views as me. I recently returned from an amazing trip with my cousins, aunt, uncle, and their grandmother to Buenos Aires. To be honest with you, I had no idea what to expect and had an amazing time exploring the city, meeting new people, and spending time with my cousin’s girlfriend’s amazing family.
While in Buenos Aires, I learned that we wait for EVERYONE to arrive before eating*. I’d like to really pronounce this as “eating asterisk” because what it really means is, let’s have a very large spread of appetizers and drink beer and be joyous until the last person arrives and then let’s still eat a completely normal meal as if we didn’t eat any of those apps.
SO, we found out that there is a tradition of serving “picada” before the meal. While I don’t think my family totally figured out what actually is included in the picada (apparently it really means there has to be some specific forms of meat and cheese), we associated it with a few key items.
While I did love the olives, cheese, and crackers they served, nothing compared to the saltiest salt-mine bag of peanuts that you could find at any grocery store. We were so amazed at the amount of salt in these snack bags we seriously considering draining them in a colander and saving the leftover salt at the bottom of the bag. This is the ULTIMATE pre-dinner snack which paired well with the Imperial beer.
Second, PRINGLES. A great app that also went well with beer. From now on, I’m going to try and find the salt mine peanuts and have pringles when I entertain. These were party starters. Next time I go back, I want to bring this hummus with me and see if they’d like the American tradition to their picada. The only thing is, apparently Argentines don’t like spicy food :/. Until then, more for me!
This hummus recipe is an original from my friend Mike who is master of all spicy foods. An avid sriracha fan, Mike went so far as to carry a sriracha flag with him throughout a festival in Atlanta as the reference point for all of us to find throughout the day. Serve this up at your next dinner party and adjust the spice to your liking 🙂
Sriracha Hummus – easily adaptable to all spice pallettes
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped slightly
3 TBS tahini
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
SRIRACHA – looks like we used maybe 1.5-2 TBS sriracha
1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in the bowl of your food processor, magic bullet, or blender. Preferably you want to use a food processor here, but if you have either of the others they will work. Pulse in the food processor until the mixture starts to become smooth.
2. Once you’ve broken up the chickpeas and can see the garlic is small, slowly stream in olive oil. This is the part where you can start with a little bit and add more depending on how thick you like it. Mike likes his on the thicker side so that’s what you’ll see here…it’s on the lower end of the olive oil scale. Puree until smooth or keep a bit chunky if thats how you like it.
3. Finish off with a heart-shaped sriracha garnish and a few sesame seeds. Serve with carrots, pita, cucumbers, or on top of a salad/sandwich.
Can’t wait to share the SWEETS I fell in love with in Argentina…I know you’re all on the edge of your chair wondering if I mean desserts or men amirite??? jajaja bon appetit! Let me know how the peanut picada works for you next time you have people over!