Pascualina is a double-crusted, savory tart that's a traditional dish from Uruguay and Argentina. It's composed of spinach and eggs in a filled pie pastry baked in the oven. Served during Easter celebrations, the delicious main course is one that may be enjoyed any time of the year. Torta pascualina is part of the culinary heritage of these two countries.
Chef Laura Arredondo is from Punta del Este, Uruguay. She, her husband Nestor, and son Eugenio moved to the United States in the mid-2000s. Once here, they opened Martin Fierro restaurant in downtown Paducah, Kentucky.
Authentic Spanish cuisine with full flavors and fermented favorites required little effort. The entire Nunez Familia played important roles in the family business. There are so many wonderful Spanish dishes and Laura has agreed to share many of her recipes with you...our readers.
In Uruguay, Pascualina can be enjoyed all year round and is an impressive dish no matter the occasion. It can be found everywhere, from bakeries to street food stalls or cafes. Just remember to squeeze all of the liquid out of the greens. It's a vegetarian dish not to be forgotten. Simply delicious.
PASCUALINA (Spanish Spinach Pie)
Ingredients (serves 8)
2 pie crusts
1/4 cup milk
3 bags frozen spinach (thawed)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
7 to 9 eggs (two eggs for the filling, four to six 'wells', and one for egg wash)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 pie crusts
Filling: 2 leeks and one onion chopped and cook in a pan w a little milk.
Add 3 bags of frozen spinach already thawed and pressed to release liquid.
Mix everything and add 2 eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and some parmesan cheese.
Cover a round or rectangular baking dish with the pie crust and fill with the spinach mix.
Make 4-6 holes with a spoon where you’re going to put an egg in each one.
Cover with the top crust, and paint w egg w a little sugar.
Bake at 400 for 35 min.
You can eat hot or cold.
And the next day it’s even better.
Spanish Chimichurri sauce over a chargrilled steak with potatoes and onions for the perfect meal.
As the days get shorter and nights get longer, enjoying a chargrilled meal is one to savor. This summer, grilling with hardwood charcoal for the perfect steak has been a treat. For years, the family chucked charcoal for gas for the quick, 'no mess' dinner.
This evening, the star of the meal was the chimichurri sauce. As the charcoal grill was lit, two beautifully-trimmed ribeye steaks were placed on the fiery, hot coals.
My friend, Laura shared the chimichurri recipe with me only days ago. Laura, Nestor and Eugenio Arredondo, originally from Uruguay, were the owners of Martin Fierro Restaurant that opened in downtown Paducah, Kentucky fall of 2008.
For a brief period, I worked with Laura and her family at Martin Fierro. The Brazilian restaurant served rodizio-style meat on skewers with slicing directly from skewer to plate. And, served with the various meats was the chimichurri sauce.
If you're looking for a delicious Argentinian sauce for your steak, this is the perfect compliment. The recipe may be made with dry or fresh herbs. Both are a Spanish delight.
Spanish Chimichurri Sauce Recipe:
Heaping Tbsp. parsley
Heaping Tbsp. oregano
Three large garlic cloves (chopped)
Tbsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
One part red wine vinegar to three parts EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Mix the vinegar and oil together and add to the other ingredients until the preferred consistency is achieved. (I used 1/4 cup vinegar to 3/4 cup of EVOO).
My recipe was made with dry herbs with the exception of the garlic cloves. It was super delicious.
Raising money for charities this coming Thursday through Saturday in Paducah - Clarence Gaines Memorial, Hearts for babies/bears Cares Charitable, Inc., Community Kitchen, Easter Seals West Kentucky, Family Service Society, Relay for Life, Highland Cumberland Presbyterian Church, LO Baseball and Softball Association, Youth Charities, The Brotherhood
It’s Saturday night and you’re in a bind. Friends call and want to stop by. Of course, you want the company. With COVID-19 lurking in the background, there are few interactions, and having a couple of like-minded friends drop in for coffee and dessert, is ideal.
Jeff Fleming, chef, friend, and cook on the Hines-Furlong Line, Inc., makes a mean, peach cobbler. His crew enjoys eating the mouth-watering southern dessert as frequently as he’s willing to bake it. Fleming said fresh is always better but sometimes it’s not on-hand. Keep your freezer stocked with your favorite fruits because any fruit will do.
“For a quick and easy dessert, try this simple peach cobbler. It’s a great last-minute dessert when friends pop in,” shared Fleming.
16-ounce bag of frozen peaches (substitute any fruit)
1 ½ cups sugar (separated)
Stick of butter
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Tsp. cornstarch
Cup self-rising flour
½ cup plus water
Use a 2 ½ to 3-quart casserole dish and add one stick of butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the dish in the oven for 8 - 10 minutes or until melted. Take your peaches and toss them with ¼ to ½ cups of sugar to taste. Add two tsp. cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. When coated, add 2 tbs. cornstarch and toss to combine. Mix one cup of sugar and one cup of self-rising flour then add ½ cup of water. Whisk to combine. Pour batter into the hot casserole dish and allow to spread. Add fruit and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (approximately 20 minutes).
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
The Kitchens Cafe' located at 905 Harrison Street in Paducah was simply a delight. The beautiful historic building with the courtyard seating was very quaint. The dine-in area was clean, neat, and socially-distanced.
Located in the WKCTC Paducah School of Arts and Design, it's the perfect place to have lunch with friends, family, or table for two.
The special of the day was the Jamaican Jerk Chicken thighs served with coconut rice and grilled vegetables. Biting into that meal was so enjoyable. You could create the perfect bite with the juicy spiced chicken, rice with the peas and pineapple, and top it off with some of the roasted jalapenos. The art of 'the cook' was that of a true chef.
There are so many wonderful things to discover in Paducah if you just take a moment to look around. The Paducah Art and Design School has been located on Harrison St. for six years. Kitchen's Cafe' is a taste of something special.
Kitchens Cafe: Open 11 am to 3 pm. 905 Harrison St. Paducah, Kentucky
Crispy fried chicken and green bean salad prepared by Jeff Fleming, chef on the Hines - Furlong Line
One of Paducah's own, chef Jeff Fleming, has been crafting delicious dishes for the Paducah area for years. His journey in the food industry began after graduating from Paducah Tilghman High School. With nothing more than a true passion for food and a desire to succeed, a big break came at an early age.
Fleming's first official job was as a catering manager for Bob Holman, a well-known and respected local businessman. Holman opened the first Dairy Queen in Kentucky followed by Bob’s Drive-In, Roberto’s, Red Heifer, Holman House, and Holman House Cafeteria.
After realizing his calling, the plan was to start a chef training program at Sheraton USA. Before career plans had time to sprout, Cynthia Gardner, owner of Cynthia’s Ristorante, asked Fleming to come to work for her. He would start under an apprenticeship rule with plans to become a sous chef.
After leaving Cynthia’s, Fleming became head chef at B. Russell's. Then, he ran the kitchen at Toucan’s for a ‘New York minute’ before landing in the galleys on the riverboat.
Fleming has been cooking for the crew on the Hines - Furlong Line for nine years. “The pace on the river is different from restaurant life. It’s much more peaceful and a pleasant change,” said Fleming.
Saturday nights are usually steak nights, however, Fleming was out of beef so he made his super crispy fried chicken. Fleming is one of those unique chefs that loves to share recipes. Today, he’s going to share with the readers of WKY Community Living his fried chicken and green bean salad recipe. Both dishes would make for a fabulous picnic.
Fried Chicken Recipe:
One whole chicken (cut up)
Two cups of buttermilk
2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
A bit of dry rub (see directions below)
Dash of hot sauce
4 C Self-Rising flour
4 T. salt
2 T. black pepper
2 T. granulated garlic
T. onion powder
T. chili powder
T. Italian seasoning
Soak chicken overnight in seasoned buttermilk (salt and pepper, a bit of dry rub, dash of hot sauce). Place in a large plastic ziplocked bag inside a bowl (in case of leakage). NOTE: Dry rub (salt/pepper, onion powder, Italian seasoning, paprika, and garlic powder...about 1/2 tsp. of each).
Drain well & bread about 30 mins before cooking. Cook at 275° in a deep fryer or electric skillet for 15-20 mins
"I came up with this side dish about 20 years ago with a little inspiration from a dish by Jacques Pépin," Jeff Fleming
Green Bean Salad Recipe:
2 lbs. fresh green beans (Really no substitutes here)
1/2 a small red onion fine julienne (can be omitted)
2 lemons juice & zest
3 - 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
3-4 T chopped fresh oregano (dried doesn’t work as well can subs. fresh basil)
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil.
Salt & pepper to taste.
Bring a pot of salted water to a simmer. Sprinkle in a good tablespoon of baking soda (helps retain color). Add the green beans until al dente. Be careful not to overcook if you want a little bite.
While this is happening zest the lemons & juice into a large bowl & add garlic and red onion. Slowly whisk in the olive oil making a light emulsion (basically a simple dressing). Add the chopped oregano and salt & pepper to taste.
When green beans are just barely tender remove from water & add immediately to dressing and check seasoning. Adjust salt & pepper again to taste. At this point, you can do two things (I prefer chilled). You can serve immediately as a side but I prefer to chill for at least 2 hours & serve more as a salad side.
Over the last few months, I've enjoyed reading the different sheet-pan or pan roasted recipes a few of my friends have so graciously shared on Facebook. They've all looked simply delicious and packed from edge to edge with nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Some of the more notable dishes were chicken fajitas with three kinds of peppers, onions, and chicken. One of my favorites was the sheet pan recipe with root vegetables and chicken...root vegetables like carrots, leeks, onions, and beets. They were seasoned with some of my favorite herbs...oregano, rosemary, and thyme.
A few days ago, I was shopping in the produce section of my neighborhood grocery - Banks in Lone Oak, Kentucky. This season, I've particularly enjoyed the peaches, cantaloupes, blueberries, and occasional watermelon. All have helped keep me hydrated and energized during the hot summer months. As I was looking around, I came across the black plum.
As a young girl, I really enjoyed plums. I loved biting into the tiny fruit with its yummy sweetness. The texture reminded me a lot of the nectarine. So, I picked up about six of their ripe black plums and decided I wanted to make a sheet pan chicken dinner. The flavors blended wonderfully and I've got the recipe, if you're interested.
Cherry Plum pan roasted chicken recipe:
3.5 pounds of chicken - two large breasts (cut in half) and six small chicken thighs (deboned, skinless, and excess fat trimmed).
six black plums (pitted and cut in quarters)
Either Bing cherries (pitted and halved 20-30 count) or dried cherries (I used dried because that's what I had - 1/3 bag).
Red onion (sliced)
five cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 squeezed lemon
6 to 8 sprigs of thyme
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Tablespoon of roasted fennel seed
2 to 3 Tablespoons of honey
1/2 teaspoon of allspice
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Two jalapenos (membrane and seeds removed)
10 - 15 mint leaves
Salt and pepper
Chicken (salt generously and pepper)
Roast the fennel seeds for two minutes in the preheated 400 degree oven. After two minutes, crush and pour in a large mixing bowl.
Marinade: Mix together the following ingredients for the chicken rub
Add to the crushed fennel, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, allspice, red pepper flakes, garlic and chopped jalapeno. Mix together. Add the chicken to the bowl and rub it around the chicken, preferably with your hands.
Line the sheet pan with aluminum foil and add the chicken, plums, (Bing cherries or hold off when using dried cherries), red onion slices, and sprigs of thyme
Drizzle the entire sheet pan with EVOO. Add salt to the entire dish.
Loosely cover the pan and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. After the chicken has reached 165 degrees, take the pan out of the oven and immediately add the dried cherries (if you've gone this route). The heat will allow the cherries to plump up.
After 10 minutes, add the mint and serve. For my side dish, I boiled some small red potatoes until I could pierce with a fork and finished by roasting in the oven.