Asado Chef Norberto Palacios’ Three Favourite Dishes

From organic quinoa to traditional dulce de leche rogel cake, the top chef reveals his specials for you to try at home
Monday , 12 March 2012
 Chef Norberto Palacios
Chef Norberto Palacios
Quinoarisotto-Style
Quinoarisotto-Style
Dulce le leche rogel cake
Dulce le leche rogel cake
Lamb chops with wild rice and mint gel
Lamb chops with wild rice and mint gel

Food is always more authentic when the nationality of a chef matches a restaurant’s cuisine, and that’s exactly what we have with NORBERTO PALACIOS, head chef of Dubai’s acclaimed Argentine eatery Asado at The Palace – Old Town hotel. Thanks to his seven-year stint cooking across not just Argentina but Peru, before joining Asado in 2008, he’s passionate about showcasing the country’s differing regional cuisine on the menu. Norberto loves delivering cooking classes, and here he shows us his three favourite dishes he promises you can easily concoct at home.

Organic Quinoa Risotto-Style
What’s quinoa? Highly appreciated for its nutritional value and gluten-free properties, which make it easy on the digestive track, quinoa is a grain-like crop whose seeds are edible. High in essential amino acids, dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, it’s best to buy organic quinoa for added flavour.

Ingredients
For the risotto:
1 cup cream
1 packet quinoa
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp chives, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1l vegetable stock
For the salmon:
300g salmon
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Handful of endives
Serves 4

Method
For the Risotto:
1. Wash the quinoa in running water for 3 minutes and reserve.
2. Pan fry the garlic and onions chopped with butter until the onions release the water.
3. Add the quinoa and cover with vegetable stock.
4. Cook the quinoa on low temperature and add the vegetable stock until the quinoa is soft. At the end, when the quinoa is ready, add the cream, parmesan cheese and chopped chives – mix thoroughly with a spoon and serve on the plate.
For the Salmon:
1. Cut the salmon in cubes of the same size and pan fry with olive oil and sea salt. Serve the salmon on top of the quinoa together with some endives.

Chef’s Tips: This dish is from Northern Argentina, where the climate is hot and the food is even hotter.

INFO: This recipe was provided courtesy of Norberto Palacios, head chef of Argentine eatery Asado at The Palace – Old Town Hotel, 04 888 3444, www.theaddress.com

Traditional Dulce De Leche Rogel Cake

Ingredients
For the dough:
200g flour
15g sugar
3 egg yolks
1 egg
25g butter
For the meringue:
3 egg whites
180g sugar
For the sauce:
400g condensed milk
400g cream
4 limes, juiced
For the garnish:
1 mango
1 kiwi
1 pineapple

Serves 4

Method
For the dough:
1 Place the flour on the table making a crown. In the middle, add room-temperature butter, the sugar and the rest of the ingredients, mixing with the flour to obtain a smooth consistency. Allow to cool in the fridge for 1 hour.
2. Work the dough until it’s 1mm thick.
3. Cut in round circles and place in a tray and cook in the oven at 180C for 15 minutes.
For the meringue:
1. Mix the sugar and the white egg with machine whisk until you get a meringue effect.
For the sauce: 1. Combine all the ingredients together and keep in the fridge.

To Present:
1.
Slice the fruit with a slicing machine as thinly as you can.
2. Place the fruit on the plate like a carpaccio. Top with the cake, and finish with a scoop of coconut ice cream.

Chef’s Tips: No Argentine menu would be authentic without its most famous dessert export, dulce de leche, basically a sweet milk-based jam that is a core ingredient of a variety of puddings. Buy it in Dubai under the brand Castanea.

INFO: This recipe was provided courtesy of Norberto Palacios, head chef of Argentine eatery Asado at The Palace – Old Town Hotel, 04 888 3444, www.theaddress.com

Lamb Chops with Wild Rice and Mint Gel
All of Asado’s traditional cuts are from grass-fed Argentine breeds in La Pampa whether beef or lamb, as opposed to the more commercial grainfed meat. I would encourage you to discuss your meat requirements with your butcher, asking questions about its origin and freshness.

Ingredients
For the lamb chops:
1 kg lamb chops
2 sprigs rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
5g sea salt
For the sweet potato puree:
500g sweet potato
10g ginger
100g butter
For the mint gel:
5000 ml grape juice
500 ml lemon juice
20g mint
4g agar
For the wild rice:
350g wild rice
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
2 tbsp olive oil
3000 ml water
1000 ml tomato sauce
50g cream
25g parmesan cheese
5g salt
1 cup green peas
1 cup sweet corn kernels
Serves 4

Method
For the Lamb Chops:
1. Clean the lamb chop and seal it in a hot pan with olive oil and garlic. Allow to cool down.
2. Cover the bones with aluminium foil and grill at a medium temperature.
For the sweet potato puree:
1. Bake the sweet potato at 140C for 1 hour or until soft inside - check with a knife.
2. Remove from the oven and peel.
3. Blend with the ginger and strain.
4. Add the butter until you get a moist and smooth puree.
For the mint gel:
1. Make the grape juice mix with agar – first boil and then mix using a hand blender. Allow to cool down.
2. Blanch the mint and blend, strain to obtain the juice.
3. Pour the grape juice into the mint juice using a hand blender.
4. Strain finely and reserve in the fridge.
5. When you are ready to serve use a hand blender to obtain a smooth consistency.
For the wild rice:
1. Heat the olive oil in a pot - add chopped onion, sauté until soft and then add the chopped red bell peppers and continue to sauté until soft.
2. Add the wild rice and sauté until coated.
3. Add the mixture of tomato sauce and water.
4. Once it boils, reduce the heat and cover the pot with a lid - cook until the rice is soft.
5. Pour in the cream, cheese, sweet corn and green peas.
6. Cook until hot and the cheese has melted - season with salt.

Chef’s Tips: Lamb dishes tend to prevail in the southern part of the country where it’s cold and snowy. Expect grass-fed Argentine lamb from the south to be extra salty thanks to grazing on the Atlantic coastline.

INFO: This recipe was provided courtesy of Norberto Palacios, head chef of Argentine eatery Asado at The Palace – Old Town Hotel, 04 888 3444, www.theaddress.com

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