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May 8

The month of Mary: A Marian Month

Our Lady of Luján

Virgin of Luján, Patroness of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay

Our Lady of Luján (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Luján) is a celebrated 16th-century statue of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The image, also known as the Virgin of Luján (Spanish: Virgen de Luján), is on display in the Basilica of Luján in Argentina. The feast day of Our Lady of Luján is May 8.

The Luján image was made in Brazil and sent to Argentina. Tradition holds that a settler ordered the terracotta image of the Immaculate Conception in 1630 because he intended to create a shrine in her honor to help reinvigorate the Catholic faith in Santiago del Estero, his region. After embarking from the port of Buenos Aires, the caravan carrying the image stopped at the residence of Don Rosendo Oramas, located in the present town of Zelaya. When the caravan wanted to resume the journey, the oxen refused to move. Once the crate containing the image was removed, the animals started to move again. Given the evidence of a miracle, people believed the Virgin wished to remain there. The image was venerated in a primitive chapel for 40 years. Then the image was acquired by Ana de Matos and carried to Luján, where it currently resides. Pope John Paul II visited the shrine during an apostolic journey.








Basilica of Our Lady of Luján

Av. Ntra Sra de Luján 816, B6700CCU Luján, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina



Locro & Humita


Locro Soup

  • 2 cups dried, broken hominy

  • 1 cup dried lima beans

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas

  • 3⁄4 cup olive oil

  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound veal shoulder, cut into 1" pieces

  • 1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 1" pieces

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 10 oz. cured chorizo, cut into 1/2" slices

  • 1 large yellow onion, minced

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 small acorn squash, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions


  1. Rinse hominy under running water until water runs clear; place in a bowl with limas and chickpeas.

  2. Cover with water, and soak at least 8 hours or overnight; drain.

  3. Whisk 1⁄2 cup oil, paprika, chile flakes, and 1⁄4 of the garlic in a bowl; set sauce aside.

  4. Heat remaining oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat.

  5. Season veal and pork with salt and pepper; working in batches, add to pan, and cook, turning, until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  6. Add chorizo; cook until fat renders, about 2 minutes. Add remaining garlic and onion; cook until soft, about 3 minutes.

  7. Add tomato paste, oregano, cumin, and bay leaf; cook for 2 minutes.

  8. Return meat to pan with hominy, beans, chickpeas, squash, and 10 cups water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until hominy and beans are tender, about 2 hours. Stir in juice; season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls; drizzle with sauce. Sprinkle with scallions.



Humitas (Corn Cakes)

This recipe for humitas is a savory steamed fresh corn cakes made inside corn husks and steamed.


  • 6-7 fresh ears of corn with husks

  • 3 cups grated or crumbled cheese mozzarella or a fresh farmers cheese

  • 1 cup diced white onions about ½ large onion

  • 1 tsp ground coriander optional

  • 2 garlic cloves crushed

  • 1 cup corn meal

  • ¼ cup of heavy cream

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar



  1. Remove the husks from the corn; try to keep each husk intact, the large ones will be used as wrappers for the humitas and the smaller ones will be broken into long strips to tie around the humitas.

  2. To help make the corn husks more pliable place them in a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain the water and save the husks until ready to use.

  3. Remove the silky hairs from the corn and use a knife to cut the corn kernels from the cob, if you don’t have a steamer save the cobs to use as a steamer.

  4. Place the corn kernels, 1 cup of cheese, diced onions, crushed garlic, ground coriander, corn meal, cream, eggs, sugar and salt in the food processor, mix until the corn is pureed.

  5. In large deep pot place about 2 ½ cups of water and a steamer, the water should be just below the steamer, if you don’t have a steamer arrange the cobs on the bottom of the pan instead and cover them with some of the leftover husks.

  6. To fill each humita (see detailed instructions on filling above as well as pictures), use 2 of the large corn husks per humita, place them on top of each other, fold the left side of the husks, then fold the top half over the bottom half, this creates a semi-pocket, fill it with a spoonful of the mixture (how much mixture will depend on the size of the husks, the larger the husks the more filling you can add) and stuff some of the remaining cheese in the middle, now fold over the right side of the husk and tighten it up a little bit, use the thin strips to tie around the wrapper and keep it closed.

  7. Place the humitas in the pot on top of the steamer, I like to keep them slightly inclined with the open end on top. Place any leftover husks on top and cover well.

  8. Place the pot on the stove over high heat until you hear the water boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 35-40 minutes, the cooked humitas will be slightly firm to firm when they are done.

  9. Serve warm with aji de tomate de arbol or tree tomato hot sauce.


Tucuman Empanadas


Dough for empanadas– makes about 20 medium or 30 small empanadas

  • 3 cups flour

  • 1 egg yolk

  • ½ cup of lard or butter or mix of both

  • ¾ to 1 cup of warm milk

  • ½ teaspoon salt

Beef picadillo filling

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 white onions diced, about 3 cups

  • 1/2 cup lard or butter

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder or any ground hot pepper adjust to taste

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 bunch green onions finely chopped

  • 3 hard boiled eggs sliced

  • ¼ cup sliced green olives

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 egg white and yolk separated and lightly whisked



Empanada dough

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, pulse until well combined.

  2. Add the lard or butter, blend well.

  3. Add the egg yolk and the milk in small amounts, pulse until small dough clumps start to form.

  4. Make a couple of balls, flatten into disks and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

  5. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).

  6. Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Beef picadillo filling and empanada assembly

  1. Combine the ground beef, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and chill until ready to use.

  2. Melt the lard in a large frying pan or sauté pan, add the onions and salt, cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.

  3. Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently.

  4. Let the meat mixture or picadillo cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions and chopped oregano.

  5. To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a slice of egg and sliced olive.

  6. Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada.

  7. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas.

  8. Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake.

  9. Let the empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.

  10. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden on top.

  11. Serve warm with chimichurri sauce or other dipping sauces.


Tortilla de Verdura (Kale, Mushroom & Potato Tortilla)
Makes about 6 slices

  • 1 onion 

  • 2 1/2 cups firm potatoes, diced

  • 5 tablespoon butter or oil

  • 2 cups Funnel chanterelles (or any other mushroom)

  • 2 leaves kale, stems removed

  • 1 large handful fresh parsley 

  • 7 large eggs

  • salt and pepper, to taste



  1. Set the oven to 400°F.

  2. Add water to a medium size saucepan along with salt and bring to a boil.

  3. Peel and chop the onions.  Heat 1 tablespoon butter in an ovenproof frying pan. Sauté the onions on low heat for about 10-15 minutes until soft and translucent, stir occasionally.

  4. Scrub and dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes, add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook for about 13-15 minutes on medium heat, they should be just done.

  5. Drain the cooking water and add the potatoes to the saucepan with onions, along with one more tablespoon butter and a little salt.

  6. Sauté for a few minutes more to give the potatoes some flavor and color.

  7. Pour the onion and potatoes into a separate bowl and put the saucepan back on the heat.

  8. Clean the mushrooms, slice them into desired size and add to the pan along with a knob of butter. Fry the mushrooms on low/medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until they have released some moisture and started caramelizing. Rinse the kale, chop finely and add it to the pan along with fresh parsley. Let wilt down for a few minutes. Add salt and then pour into the bowl with potatoes.

  9. Wipe the saucepan clean and put it back on the heat along with a knob of butter. Crack the eggs in a bowl, add salt and pepper and whisk. Pour the vegetables into the egg mixture and then tip it into the warm saucepan (it’s essential that the pan is warm and buttered for the tortilla not to stick to it). Let it fry for about two minutes (preferably with a lid or a plate on top) and then place the pan in the oven (without lid) and switch on the broiler. After about 10 minutes it should be firm, golden and ready. Wait a few minutes for it to cool down and then run a spatula around the edges to make sure it comes off easily. Cut into triangles and serve.

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