Three ingredients. That’s all it takes to get yourself into oozing cheesy Argentinian nirvana with this easy to make provoleta.
Three ingredients. That’s all it takes to get yourself into cheesy Argentinian nirvana.
Argentina is all about eating meat. Well, a good chunk of its cuisine is, anyway. But the good thing for us cheese lovers is that many parrilla and asado menus have this as an option.
It was invented by a cheese-making Italian immigrant more than 70 years ago – a guy that wanted to add grilled cheese to the meat-filled parrillas. He chose provolone as it stood up to direct heat much better than others, due to its semi-firm texture.
True parilleros know they should leave the provolone out of the fridge for several hours before slapping it over the coals. This dries out the surface so it crisps beautifully and holds its shape.
Others choose to cook the cheese in a ceramic or cast iron dish – as I have done – so the diner can dunk into it with bread. Either way it’s a delightfully sinful experience.
The best bits? That golden, caramelized crust that’s spent time against the hot skillet. Oooh yeah!
Many parrillas team it with charred red capsicum, bacon and other ingredients, just like the one I savored at El Desnivel in Buenos Aires. It’s so good!
- 400 g provolone cheese cut 1 inch thick
- 1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
- ½ tsp <g class="gr_ gr_67 gr-alert gr_spell gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="67" data-gr-id="67">chilli</g> flakes
- Sourdough bread toasted
- Lay your slab of provolone onto the kitchen bench and press some fresh oregano leaves onto the top. Scatter some <g class="gr_ gr_69 gr-alert gr_spell gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="69" data-gr-id="69">chilli</g> flakes over as well, pressing down gently so they stick.
- Heat a 12-14 cm cast iron skillet over medium-high flame. Lay the cheese in the skillet, unseasoned side down. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until it gets nice and golden on the bottom.
- Flip the cheese over with a spatula and cook the other side as well, until it all melts and fills the skillet.
- To serve, garnish with more oregano leaves and <g class="gr_ gr_65 gr-alert gr_spell gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="65" data-gr-id="65">chilli</g> flakes. Simply dunk into it with the toasted bread.
John Bek is a trained chef that decided to throw in his professional apron and move into retail management. He's the guy behind heneedsfood.com - a platform that showcases recipes that cover the likes of everyday cooking, use of native Australian ingredients, as well as Croatian creations that come from his heritage. John also writes about where he's travelled around the world as well as any farmers markets he's visited.