May 1st, International Workers’ Day. It’s a tradition here in BA to serve up a main course of locro, the, a-number-one, classic stew of Argentina. Now, we have our own, long standing recipe, though it’s not something we’ve ever served up at a Casa SaltShaker dinner – it’s pretty much a full meal in itself. But now and again we’ve served up a lighter version, generally fish or vegetable, as a soup. And, so we find ourselves with a bok choy and portobello mushroom “locro” inspiration during a couple of recent dinners.
The base – sweat onions, garlic and a jalapeño or two in a little olive oil until the onions are just starting to color. Add soaked, cracked, dried white corn (pisingallo blanco), and some diced butternut squash, season with cumin, salt and pepper, top off vegetable stock and simmer away until the corn is reasonably soft – kind of like a risotto texture. Coarsely puree the whole mixture to obtain what amounts to a porridge. Add chopped bok choy, sliced portobello mushrooms, and fresh corn kernels and simmer until the bok choy is cooked. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Drizzle a little smoked paprika oil over the top and, voilà!
Wine: Caelum Fiano Reserva 2010, Mendoza