Chapa is a quick style of Argentine grilling. Chapa refers to cooking on a griddle or other flat cast-iron surface.
Francis Mallmann’s ‘Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way‘ offers many recipes for this style of cooking. This is an excellent method of searing meat with a crisp outer crust, while the cut maintains moisture inside!
As a vegetarian, I love chopped vegetables that are flashed on a griddle, like Mallmann’s Smashed Beets with Greens, Goat Cheese and Garlic Chips. In this recipe (which you can find on page 40 of Mallmann’s book), cooked beets are smashed with the palm of your hand. The beets are then drizzled with olive oil and seared for about two minutes on each side, allowing them to blacken. The beets’ sugars create a crunch surface with soft insides!
Successful grilling starts with a thick cast iron. Position it the perfect distance above the fire for the optimal Chapa experience! This is key.
There is nothing like the magic of fire! Incorporating open-fire cooking into your outdoor space is a great way to enliven your dining experiences!