Last week we had our 2nd cooking class sponsored by Academic Programs International (API), the program I am studying abroad with in Buenos Aires. During our first cooking class we learned how to make empanadas and a traditional Argentine cake (whose name I can't recall at the moment) at our resident director Carmen's house. This time we met at API's office and learned to make Milanesa, Humita, and Alfajores.

Our resident director, Carmen, explaining the recipes we are about to make

Milanesa is a traditional Argentine meal which consists of thin, tender strips of beef which are battered and then fried or baked to a golden perfection. Humita is a sort of stew made out of corn, creamed corn, peppers, onions, broth and other delicious healthy ingredients. And alfajores are one of the most popular desserts in Argentina. Although they can become quite decadent, including everything from white chocolate to gourmet cookies, we made the simplest form of alfajor, which is essentially 2 cookies encasing dulce de leche (sort of like an oreo but with different ingredients).

Tenderizing beef for the milanesa

After our resident director Carmen explained what we would be cooking and taught us all of the Spanish names for the ingredients we set to work chopping, mixing, tenderizing and sneaking bits of alfajor-dough. When everything was done we sat down together and enjoyed the delicious meal we had helped to create.

Cultural events like these are one of my favorite parts about studying abroad. They give us the chance to spend some quality time with the people in our program, to learn more about the country we are studying in, and to relax and (in this case) enjoy some tasty Argentine food.