If there were ever a quality that would make a food lovable, for me that quality would be versatility. Take the humble Pionono--a handful of basic ingredients (above) blended together to create a spongy cake that has just about as many filling options as you can dream up.
In the mood for something sweet? Spread your Pionono with Dulce de Leche, or maybe Nutella and crumbled nuts. Or spread it with a soft gelato, then roll and freeze to make an ice cream cake. Looking for a brunch option? Whipped cream and strawberry-filled Pionono make a great brunch dish.
In the mood for something savory? Fill your Pionono like a sandwich--with layers of ham or salami or turkey, provolone cheese, sliced olives, roasted red peppers and hard boiled egg. Or whipped cream cheese with Roquefort crumbles mixed in. Or like this version, it can be filled with tuna salad spiked with fresh herbs and roasted red peppers.
The humble Pionono, a staple in Argentina's kitchens, makes a great party appetizer or something different to bring to a potluck. And last week we had it paired with a hearty quinoa salad--it was the perfect small plate to go with a grain, both playing an equal part as main dishes on the plate.
What are your favorite filling ideas?
Pionono (Jelly Roll)
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon honey
5 tablespoons flour
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a stand mixer, put the eggs,sugar, and honey, and beat on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and grease with butter or spray with cooking spray.
After 8 minutes, you should have a fluffy batter. Add the flour in all at once and beat for one minute more, until incorporated. Pour the batter onto the cookie sheet and spread gently with a spatula (you don't want to de-fluff the batter!) Make an even layer covering the cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 6 minutes.
Wet a cotton (not terry-cloth) towel and put it flat on the counter. Sprinkle it lightly with sugar. Lift the parchment paper off of the cookie sheet, and lay the pionono face down on the wet towel, paper-side up. Carefully peel the corner of the paper off, and continue, careful not to rip the pionono, until the paper has been removed. Fill with filling as below or as desired by spreading the chosen filling evenly across the pionono. Roll carefully (too long on the wet towel is not good) and slice. Arrange on a plate to serve.
Relleno de Atun con Morrones
Tuna and Roasted Red Pepper Filling
Salmon would also be a nice option here, just substitute the 2 cans of tuna for 2 cans of skinless, boneless salmon.
2 cans tuna, drained
2 tablespoons (or more, to taste) mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (tarragon or basil would also be nice)
1 egg, hard-boiled, peeled and chopped (optional)
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
Place the tuna in a medium mixing bowl, and flake with a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise and mix well until combined. Add in the lemon juice, and then fold in the parsley, hard-boiled egg, and roasted peppers. Spread the mixture across the pionono as described above, before rolling and slicing.