Uruguay is located in the continent of South America. It has Brazil to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, Argentina to the west and Paraguay to the northwest.
The capital is Montevideo.
The official language is Spanish.
The climate is a pleasant temperate climate. Midwinter in July temperature is about 50F, while the midsummer in January varies at about 79F. It does not really have a dry or rainy season.
The staples are beef, chorizo, pork, blood sausage, chicken, soft yellow cheese, gouda, provolone, mozzarella, oranges, tangerines, apples, cranberries, pears, melons, grapes, peaches, quinces, sweet potatoes, dry peas, onions, pumpkins, squash, potatoes, broad beans and so much more (https://traveltips.usatoday.com/kind-food-uruguayans-eat-1165.html; https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/fruits-and-vegetables-in-uruguay#:~:text=Major%20fruits%20and%20vegetables%20grown,%2C%20potatoes%2C%20and%20broad%20beans).
URUGUAYAN PASTA WITH CARUSO SAUCE (https://www.thespruceeats.com/uruguayan-pasta-with-caruso-sauce-3029509):
- 1 pound pasta (orecchiette or another shell-like shape)
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 C mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ pound smoked deli ham, chopped
- 3 TBSP butter
- 3 TBSP flour
- 1 TBSP beef bouillon (about 3 cubes or to taste)
- 2 C milk or cream
- ½ C shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ C grated parmesan cheese
- Parsley (garnish)
- In a heavy skillet, saute chopped onion in the olive oil until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add sliced mushrooms and cook, until mushrooms have browned and most of the water is evaporated. Stir in ham and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour. Cook over medium heat until just bubbly.
- Add milk slowly to the saucepan, stirring. Add bouillon. Continue to heat milk, stirring with a whisk, until sauce thickens and just starts to come to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses. Stir in sauteed mushrooms and onions.
- Drain pasta well. Ladle sauce over pasta and serve.
PASTA FROLA (Quince Pie) (https://www.elmundoeats.com/en/pasta-frola-quince-pie-recipe/):
- 1 C cornstarch
- 3 C self-rising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ C granulated sugar
- 7 oz unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 2 lemons, the zest
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, cold from the fridge
- Sift cornstarch, self-rising flour, and baking powder into a large bowl. Add in sugar and mix well.
- Add in cold butter and massage it into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the mixture becomes sand-like. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well using a spatula until everything is coming together.
- Pour into a floured working surface and lightly knead with your hands to bring everything together into a ball. Don’t over knead.
- Place it back into the bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- 1.1-pound quince cheese (firm jam), cut into cubes
- 3 TBSP orange cognac (or juice/water)
- Add quince cubes and orange juice into a pot. Cook on low heat until the cubes melt and becomes a thick paste. Cool completely before using.
- 1 egg yolk, for brushing
- 1 TBSP any jam or honey, for brushing
- Some desiccated coconut, to sprinkle on top
- Place ¾ dough in between 2 cling films and roll it into 13” disk. Remove the top film and sprinkle some flour on the dough.
- Swiftly yet confidently flip it into a 12” glass container that had been buttered and floured. Re-adjust the dough as you need and remove the film. Trim the edges so that it’s 1/2:” tall, more or less. Set aside to chill in the fridge.
- Use the remaining dough to make 8 lattices. Roll on floured surface for better handling. Chill in the fridge for a while if the dough is too soft to handle.
- Pour cooled quince paste into the container and spread evenly. Arrange the lattice on top. Brush the dough with egg yolk.
- Bake in a preheated oven on the lowest rack at 340F for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and while still hot, brush some jam on the pastry. Finally sprinkle some desiccated coconut on the pastry. Cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!!