At last, the declared dude-favorite of all the countries I've cooked in thus far! The manly Chivito sandwich wins the blue ribbon seal of approval from my husband and sons alike. Packed with three different kinds of meat, cheese and egg, this sandwich must be eaten with two hands while bending slightly forward from the waist over a plate or paper towel - or both. The Salsa golf sauce, a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise my boys have always been partial to, puts the perfect finishing condiment touch on the Chivito, the national sandwich of Uruguay. Depending on the recipe, there are many slight variations of this street snack that include the addition of pickles, olives and peppers to name just a few, but I skipped those and kept to what seemed like the most consistent recipe combination. I did however have to opt for thinly sliced sirloin steak tips (props to my butcher for doing the work for me!) instead of pricey fillet mignon which is the authentic cut called for, since the cost was a total budget-buster. Ah well, necessity is the mother of invention.
|Map Courtesy of Lonely Planetwww.lonelyplanet.com|
Food in Uruguay has been influenced by the Spanish who first introduced cattle. Mediterranean influences are also infused in the food from countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Britain, Africa and to a lesser degree, ancient indigenous traditions. Barbecue, or Asado (mixed grill), is one of the country's most impressive and delicious offerings, along with the chivito (meaning 'little goat') sandwich, pasta, sausages and rich desserts. Dolche Leche (sweet and creamy) is used to fill cakes, cookies and to make custards. Grappamiel, a popular drink that combines alcohol and honey can be found throughout the country - I'm really curious about what that tastes like!
Sliced tomatoes, onions and lettuce
Salsa Golf Sauce - a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup is a popular combination in Uruguay
Chivito (Adapted from About.com)
4 very large sandwich buns (large ciabatta rolls are good)
2 beef filet steaks, or 4 thin slices of grilled steak
8 pieces of bacon
4 slices of deli ham
4 tomato slices
1/2 thinly sliced onion (optional)
4 slices of mozzarella cheese
1-2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon slices until crispy. Set aside on paper towels to cool.
- If using the filet steaks, drain the excess bacon fat out of the skillet. Slice each filet in halve crosswise, to make 2 thin steaks (4 total). Sprinkle with coarse salt, and use a mallet to pound the steaks even thinner.
- Heat the skillet over medium high heat until hot, and place steaks on the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Remove to paper towels to cool. Add onions and saute until golden, remove to paper towels to cool.
- Wipe the skillet clean. Melt the butter in over medium heat, and fry eggs sunnyside up until desired doneness.
- Preheat the broiler.
Assemble sandwiches: Spread inside of buns with ketchup and mayonnaise. Place lettuce slices over bottom half of buns. Top with a slice of beef, 2 bacon slices, a slice of ham, a slice of tomato, and a slice of mozzarella.
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