In the old days when I wanted recipes, I read food magazines and cookbooks. It was wonderful.
But I have to say, having millions of recipes at my fingertips by simply being “online” makes me thrilled that the internet was discovered during my lifetime.
I discovered provoleta after receiving an email from Good Food, which is an Australian publication.
Provoleta is Argentina’s version of raclette, and to make it even more fabulous, this molten cheese is served with chimichurri. And good bread, of course.
So this was certainly a cheese dish I could not ignore, being a huge raclette fan. And cheese fan.
Provoleta with Chimichurri
½ cup finely chopped parsley
3 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
large pinch of crushed red pepper
3 tsp red wine vinegar
Round of provolone cheese, sliced about 3/4″ thick
3 tsp roughly chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
½ tsp cayenne pepper flakes
1 baguette, sliced, toasted, if desired
In a small bowl, stir together the parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, and vinegar. Thin with a little water, if necessary, to make a pourable sauce.
Set aside to let flavors meld. Sauce may be prepared the day ahead.
Before you begin, have your bread sliced (I grilled mine), and the oregano chopped.
Set a small cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. I used my crêpe pan. When pan is hot, put in the cheese.
Sprinkle with half the oregano and crushed red pepper.
Cook for about two minutes, until the bottom begins to brown.
Carefully flip the cheese with a spatula and cook for two to three minutes more, until the second side is browned and the cheese is beginning to ooze.
Transfer cheese to a plate and sprinkle with remaining oregano and crushed red pepper. I added a few tablespoons of chimichurri.
Serve from the hot skillet on a heat-proof surface, along with the bread and the chimichurri.
Alternatively, finish the cheese by putting it under the grill or in a hot oven.
Argentinians grill the provolone slices directly on the fire, but I was not willing to lose good cheese and deal with the resulting mess on my stove!
As soon as the provolone cools a bit, it gets a bit rubbery, but the cheese can be reheated.
Which is exactly what I did that evening when my girlfriend came over. I reheated it on the stove, and we kept eating it, and eating it. Until there wasn’t much left.
She really loved the addition of the chimichurri. I just loved the cheese with the oregano and cayenne pepper flakes.
Will I be making this again? Oh yes indeedy.
note: If you’d like more direction for making chimichurri, check out my recipe here.