Last week, Jackie and Debbie joined me on an outing to North Bergen, NJ (an ethnically diverse town just across the river from Manhattan) in search of authentic Argentinian, Cuban and Mexican food. It was a fabulous day as we wandered new streets and lingered in various cafes, restaurants and markets, tasting and laughing our way through this vibrant New Jersey neighborhood. (You can read all about it on Baristakids.) But what I didn’t mention in my article is how much fun we had a few days later when we got together again to make Argentinian tartas using the puff pastry we brought home.
We decided to make Tarta de Pollo, a savory chicken pie made with a top and bottom flaky crust. Jackie says her mother (Argentinian) makes a tart with canned tuna fish instead of chicken. We bought a slice of Chicken Pie at a café,so we had a taste to emulate. Since we couldn’t find an exact match for the recipe online, we consulted Jackie’s mother and then guessed a bit to create a simple filling. We decided upon onions, garlic cloves, diced peppers and tomatoes. We worked together in Debbie’s kitchen, sautéing onions, tasting and contemplating how to make our chicken even more flavorful. We stuck to the basics since it was our first go at it and created simple pies. The thin pastry which puffed to a golden finish, added an elegant look to our pies.
The filling itself was a bit on the dry side but when served with a dab of chutney and tamarind sauce, our families enjoyed dinner.
We may have been conservative with our first attempts at Tarta de Pollo, but next time around we’ll be a bit braver. I’d l like to create a saucier version of a “tarta”. Another cuisine inspired something new, which is the beauty of recipe developing. It was the enjoyment making and then eating our Argentine chicken pies which concluded a fabulous date with two good friends. I can’t wait for our next outing!