Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
This week we jetted off (figuratively, of course) to Uruguay. This South American country seems to be vastly underrated compared to its neighbours, Argentina and Brazil. After trying their food this week, reading articles, and watching travel vlogs, this country will undoubtedly be a place I hope to travel to after the pandemic is over. A lengthy stop on a South American backpacking trip perhaps? Check out this article which highlights some of the most well-known Uruguayan tourist attractions as well as some hidden gems:
It didn’t take much research to figure out that Chivito, a meaty, hearty sandwich, was going to be the dish we had to try this week. Chivito is the national dish of the country and is revered as both street food and a culinary delicacy. I stumbled upon this really cool article from Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown that talks about the Chivito and refers to it as ‘the Everest of steak sandwiches’. The article linked to Bourdain’s recipe for the sandwich, so we followed that (here’s the link) as well as a video by Guru’Guay (here’s the link, scroll to the bottom of the page). These recipes together made a Chivito that looked exactly like something I’d love to eat.
We started by frying out our bacon. We decided to serve the Chivitos with homemade fries, so we prepped those too and got them in the pan. After our bacon was cooked, we set it aside on some paper towel and kept the grease in the pan to fry our steaks and eggs in (so bad but so, so good). While that cooked, we prepped our veggies.
Assembling the Chivitos was no easy task. We followed Chef Bourdain’s notes exactly: starting with the lettuce on the bottom bun, then tomato, then egg… this is where it gets hard. On top of the egg, I was supposed to put the diced red pepper then mayo. This was impossible to spread! It would have been easier if the bell pepper was sliced into strips, rather than diced. Next, we took the toasted buns out of the oven with melty mozzarella cheese. Then we stacked the bacon and ham on top of the steak in the pan and let them warm. We put the bun on and slid the whole stack on top of the lower stack.
These sandwiches were monsters. They could hardly stand until I basically smushed it together with all my wait– but that’s no complaint. Bourdain, rest in peace, was absolutely right by calling this sandwich Everest. It was absolutely delicious. Undoubtedly the best sandwich I’ve ever made on my own. I think the egg is what really made it for me, but the bacon, melty cheese, and crunchy lettuce also topped it off. Just look at that cross-section. Oh my word.
I was so beyond stuffed when we finished this meal, but not in a gross way. It was such a satisfying, yummy comfort food. We would absolutely make this again– hopefully for company!
While we ate, we watched this travel vlog:
Stay tuned for next week!