September 4, 2009

Provoleta–Grilled Provolone

 

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To use the old adage 'A picture's worth a thousand words' would be trite, but in this case, there's not much I can say beyond what you see in the photo above to convince you to get up from your computer, jump in your car, race to the closest deli and ask for a one-inch thick slice of Provolone cheese so you can make Provoleta as soon as possible.

I guess we could say that 'A picture is worth a thousand bites'  because just looking at this grilled cheese, I start to salivate, I can almost taste the cheese; gooey, melty, savory with a hint of oregano and crushed red pepper.  I'm imagining how it tastes spread across those little toasted slices of bread, salty, with a hint of garlic and olive oil.  I'm thinking of the crunch of the crust when I bite into it, and how I will keep devouring them until I'm stuffed full of cheese and toast, knowing that I really should share, but also knowing that I probably won't!

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Provoleta couldn't be simpler, and maybe that's the reason it maintians its popularity as an appetizer in Argentina.  It's nothing more than a thick slice of Provolone cheese, sprinkled with oregano and crushed red pepper, and grilled–either on a barbecue outdoors, or a cast iron grill pan, even under the broiler.  It's served with little toasted slices of french bread–I like to jazz mine up a bit by rubbing them with a clove of garlic, brushing them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt before toasting.

It's a great dish to share pre-barbecue.  Luckily, it only takes a few minutes, so making seconds (or thirds) is no big deal.  When the class made this at my From Argentina With Love class at The Seasoned Chef Cooking School, the class descended on the platter like  a cloud of locusts and it was gone.  It must be served hot, or the meltiness disappears, and nobody wants that!  Share it, if you can!

Find me on facebook:  Rebecca Caro/Fans of From Argentina With Love  and on twitter: RebeccaCaro or send me an email to get my monthly newsletter: rebeccatcaro@hotmail.com

You may also enjoy Provoleta recipes from Asado Argentina, Morsels and Musings, or Pip In The City.  (There's also one by Food & Wine and Steven Raichlen.)

 

Provoleta

Grilled Provolone

1 inch thick slice provolone cheese

fresh oregano, to taste, about 2 tablespoons

½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 baguette loaf, sliced

1 garlic clove, peeled

salt

olive oil

Heat a cast-iron griddle over medium heat until very hot.  Meanwhile, prepare the bread by laying out the baguette slices on a cookie sheet.  Gently rub each slice with the garlic clove, and then discard the garlic.  Paint the slices with olive oil, and lightly salt.  Put the bread under a low broiler in the oven until lightly browned and crusty, about 3 minutes.

Place the cheese in the griddle and sprinkle with half of the oregano and half of the crushed red pepper.  When the cheese starts to brown and melt, usually after about 2 minutes, turn it over using a wide spatula, and cook until the second side is browned, about 2 minutes.  Remove to a serving dish, and sprinkle with remaining oregano and crushed red pepper.

Serve by spreading cheese on crusts of bread.

4 Responses to “Provoleta–Grilled Provolone”

  1. Dear Rebecca,
    grilled cheese is a classic in these whereabouts.
    I invite you to taste grilled provolone or grilled pecorino (if you can find some) with a teaspoon of chestnut flower honey on top (not too much, just a thin layer of honey).
    I still owe you a whole blog posting about that stunning fugazza a la parilla that i made twice since i read your recipe, but i still need to find the perfect balance between the height of the grill and the heat of the embers, so i keep practicing until it comes out perfect!
    Ciao
    Tlaz

  2. I am salivating. Yum!
    Paz

  3. Oh I am drooling. I wish I could get provolone easily here :(

  4. I think my comment didn’t pass the Typepad spam test due to low word count and added link. Lemme try again.
    Just said that the cheese in the photo looks delicious and that I found a site that appears to sell imported Arg provoleta in the U.S.. I’ve never ordered through them however.
    Search for provoleta at amigofoods.com

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