Chilean Food: El Completo

Boy, What can I say about Chilean food. Living close to almost the center of what is considered one of the most important places, New York, there is almost no place that distinguishes Chilean food.

Ummmmm How Can That Be?

There are all kinds of south and center American food, but the Chileans are zero in that story. Not even in the busiest streets of New York can you find authentic Chilean food.

How can it be that our food is not something that can be found in any other country other than in Chile? No, this really has to change! When they ask me, “Hey does Chilean food have Frijoles fritos? Or fried bananas?” My first reaction is what the hell are you talking about? People actually fry bananas and what do they do to the beans?

Sorry to not know what that is because in Chile we don’t have those flavors. We are typically not spicy or tropical. Largely due to the location and by the Italians and Germans who came to inhabit the region.

So what is the Chilean flavor? That, in my very biased opinion, is the best flavors that exist.

I’m tired of explaining that the Chileans are neither Colombians, nor Puerto Ricans, nor Mexicans. We are Chileans and to know what it is to be a Chilean, I think you have to see and taste it first hand.

The Chileans do not dance much. Hmmm, that typically complicates things when you are explaining that you are indeed Hispanic.  So what do we do at a party in Chile? We mostly talk, drink a shella (beer) or two, and laugh our asses off!  Usually, we are laughing at the silly things that the “other” person did.  But mostly laughing at ourselves never taking life too seriously.

A typical party consists of “un asado” (BBQ). We love our roasts, meats, fish, a choripan(sausage on bread) and numerous salads.

I realized that it is my duty to be a Chilean being here in the tri-state are to lighten a little the palette of our friends.

The First recipe has to be the National Treasure:

El Completo

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El completo was first called “el bahamones”. The first Completo was created in 1935 after Eduardo Bahamones traveled to the U.S. and got the idea of adding a twist to the American hot dog.  What was that twist?  Well, we just added everything to it!

Your traditional completo has palta(avocado) {Please DO NOT CONFUSE AN Avocado WITH GUACAMOLE.  No! That’s another set of flavors from a whole other country.} Tomatoes and Mayo.

INGREDIENTS
2 substantial hot dog buns
2 hot dogs
1 medium-sized ripe tomato
1 large Haas avocado
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
*fine salt to taste
DIRECTIONS
In a pot, boil enough water to cover hotdogs and boil them for five minutes.
Remove the hot dogs out of the water and keep them warm.
Cut the tomato into smallish cubes (1/2 inch or so), and season them with salt to taste
Peel and mash the avocado with a fork, discarding the pit.
Heat the hot dog rolls slightly in the oven.
For each completo, open the hot dog bun and place the hot dog inside.
Down one side of the bun, sprinkle half of the diced tomato. Down the other side of the bun, dollop and spread half of the mashed avocado. Down the middle of the bun, spread each hotdog with up to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, or to taste.

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Other completos vary from “the German” which has the sour kraut added to it.  To the Irish which has lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes and homemade mayo.

How do we ask for a completo in Chile?… “Oye huevon dame un completo po!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Around Beets

When I got some farm grown beets I contemplated on what to do. I tried to come up with a recipe that would trigger all the tastebuds.

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I wanted to sweeten the earthy tone. What better way to sweeten the tones then to add some honey!

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Ingredients:

1 Red beet
1 Chioggia beets are naturally striped
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg + 1 teaspoon water, beaten
6 ounces goat cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons honey
fresh basil leaves for garnish

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice the greens off the beets and scrub the outsides. Rub them down with olive oil then wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender enough to slice. Unwrap the beets and let cool until they are comfortable to the touch. Once cool, rub the beets to remove the skin. It should peel right off!

Using a sharp knife, slice the beets into 1/4-inch slices.

Place the thawed puff pastry on a baking sheet. Brush it with the beaten egg wash. Take 4 ounces of the goat cheese and spread it evenly over the pastry. Add the sliced beets on top – however you’d like. Season with the salt and pepper and crumble the remaining goat cheese on top. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Remove and drizzle the honey over top. Garnish with a few basil leaves. Serve immediately.

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Hope you enjoy this recipe!

xoxoxo

 

 

 

Bistec A Lo Pobre(Poor Man’s Steak)

Bistec A Lo Pobre in translation means Poor Man’s Steak, which in my opinion doesn’t have anything poor about it.   This dish brings me back to when I was 10 years old and stayed with my family in Chile for 3 months.  When my Aunt Delma asked me, what I felt like having for dinner and I said french fries she knew exactly how to make it into a power almuerzo so that she wouldn’t feel guilty about giving me ice cream when I asked for it later.  As soon as it came out I fell in love.  It had all the things that I loved the juicy steak, the steak fries and the runny egg yolk.  The combination of all these in one bite is pretty much like heaven all in one fork full.

I had some friends coming over and I wanted to make this typical traditional dish but I also wanted it to be less rustic.  So instead of the steak fries I made chips!  Thick enough to be able to soak up the yummy juices but thin enough where the crunchiness of the chip made your mouth want more!

 

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Ingredients:

Grassfeed Filet Mignon

Russet Potatoes thinly sliced

Salt

Pepper

Poached Egg/ or Fried Egg

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Method:

  1. Place potato slices into a large bowl of cold water as you slice. Drain, and rinse, then refill the bowl with water, and add the salt. Let the potatoes soak in the salty water for at least 30 minutes. Drain, then rinse and drain again.
  2. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Fry potato slices in small batches. Once they start turning golden, remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all of the slices are fried. Season with additional salt if desired.
  3. Sprinkle fillets with pepper and salt. Melt butter with olive oil in a large stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add fillets, and cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes.
  4. For the Poached Egg: First heat the water to a simmer you want to add enough water to come 1 inch up the side of a narrow, deep 2-quart pot.  Add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then crack 1 cold large egg into a strainer over a bowl to get and loose excess.(This is the part that makes it perfection every time) Use the handle of a spatula or spoon to quickly stir the water in one direction until it’s all smoothly spinning around.  Add the egg: Carefully lower the strainer with the egg in it into the center of the whirlpool. After the egg hits the water count to 15 and slowly scrape the bottom of the egg to loosen it up from the stainer.  Then turn off the heat, cover the pan and set your timer for 5 minutes. Don’t peek, poke, stir or accost the egg in any way. After the 5 minute mark remove the egg with a slotted spoon and to an old bread to have it absorb the additional water.  You don’t want your toast to be soggy and serve immediately.

Layer all the ingredients together and enjoy!

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Food Series 1: Hot Chocolate

I had so much fun on this photo shoot!  I can’t wait to show everyone all the photos from this series!

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The inspiration for this one is 1950’s girl sipping on some sweet hot chocolate!  Just in time for the cold weather!

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Sweet Hot Chocolate Recipe:

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 cup milk or any combination of milk, half-and-half, or cream

PREPARATION

    1. Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot.
    2. If you like it frothy, blend it in the blender.
    3. This recipe multiplies easily!

 

As if Squash couldn’t get any better!

Growing up I was one of those weird kids that absolutely loved squash. My mom would add it to so many traditional Chilean meals that you couldn’t help but fall in love with the sweetness. Later on in life I started to experiment a little more with the wonderful fruit taking it out of the meal and making it a main meal itself. When working with Zaza’s Perfect Pie and Lee Ann a Culinary Chef to Colavita they made my tastebuds soar to new levels!

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I consider squash to be one of the most perfect autumn foods. They are incredibly festive and versatile. While they are roasting in the oven the house gradually fills with savory aromas and makes you want to throw on a scarf and jump in a pile of leaves holding a pumpkin spice latte!

Acorn squash is a fabulous source of high fiber content. A single serving of acorn squash has 9 grams of fiber

Food this good makes your tummy happy. I think it will make you happy, too

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 can of chickpea
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons Colavita Olive Oil, divided
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 3 cups tightly packed torn kale
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°.
  2. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray.
  3. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  4. Bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler.
  5. In a small saucepan, cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Remove from the heat, place the quinoa in a large bowl. Add the Chickpea to the hot quinoa.
  6. To the same skillet, add the remaining 2 tbsp Colavita Olive oil, the diced shallots. Cook until the shallots are translucent, about 3 minutes. If the pan seems to dry, add a drizzle of Colavita Olive Oil. Then, add the kale and toss. Saute until kale has wilted, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add the kale mixture to the bowl with the quinoa and chickpeas. Mix to incorporate all the ingredients.
  8. Divide the filling among squash. Drizzle the tops of the filled squash with a little maple syrup. Broil until the tops of the squash have browned, about 2 minutes.

Ingredients have been adopted for the photograph above from Colavita site

Colavita Stuffed Acorn Squash

Follow Your Own North Star…

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/01/new-portraits-drawn-on-maps-by-ed-fairburn/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+colossal+%28Colossal%29

“Believe in what you set out to do. Follow your north star.” -Brit Morin

Just a simple quote from Forbes today that can turn someones moment of reluctance and self-deprivation to an honestly pretty great one.  It’s amazing how when you are in your deepest thoughts you can find just one group of letters bunched cohesively together to form a sentence that could change your day.  But what does it mean?  What does Follow your North Star really mean?  It could be different for many people, for some it could be a journey that they have been thinking of taking and have been reluctant because of fear.  Or it could be because we are still fighting those demons of awkwardness that have haunted us since childhood.  For me it’s pretty simple.  It just means that I am on the right path; following the things that I believe in.  Not to waver and trust the journey.   It’s so easy to fall into your own thoughts and for those thoughts to spin completely out of control.  But if we remember to just trust and know that we are all in it together it somehow makes things so much easier.

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I remember  when someone asked me, “Do you think it’s really that easy”?   And the answer is yes it really is that easy!  The knowing is not what makes it hard, it’s the trusting.  Trusting that you are doing your best.  Trusting that you have everything that you need.  Trusting that you are going to be ok no matter what comes your way.

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Picture Credit: woodennest.tumblr.com

Trust the journey! and Just be You!

xoxoxo

dani

Mashed up Bananas?

Hungry, in a rush, not having that much extra cash to spare for the week and still wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  What is a girl to do?  Well I ransack the fridge like any other normal human being would.  I didn’t have too much in the house but I had bananas, walnuts and peanut butter.  Growing up my mom would mash up this yummy fruit full of potassium and sprinkle some sugar on it. I have to admit not the healthiest of choices but peanut butter was really off the radar for my hispanic mom.  I remember the first time I told her about peanut butter and my mom said, “Mija what do you mean?  You smash peanuts with butter that’s discussing! ”  Totally off the grid.  But as I got older and my friend would share her peanut butter and banana sandwich with me during lunch I realized how yummy and full of protein it was.

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Making your own Peanut Butter :

Ingredients
2 cups of peanuts, shelled and skinned
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
Instructions
Combine the peanuts, salt, and honey in a food processor.
Process until smooth adding peanut oil slowly. Scraping the sides when necessary to get all that yumminess as smooth or as crunchy as you want.
Store the peanut butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
For something lighter and if you are craving something sweet.  You could 
always mash up bananas and add honey!
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Enjoy!!
xoxo
Dani

Greek Salad Pizza

When I was asked to create a Greek Pizza for a photo shoot.  I was wondering how can I pull this off quickly and make it look yummy.  Since I had 5 recipes to make that day, I decided to make it easy.

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Ingredients:

Go to your local pizzeria ask for dough

Go to your local Greek Diner and buy greek salad. 

EP8A0005.jpgHow To:

Dough:
Mold the dough as you want it. Some like it round, others square which ever way it all tastes great! sprinkle some oregano, salt and crushed red tomato. Place in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes! When the dough comes out of the oven let it cool for 5 then add the salad and enjoy the yumminess!

If you don't have a Greek diner around:

For a Greek Salad Ingredients:

3 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 European seedless cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chunked

1 cup Kalamata black olives

Several sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, about 1/2 cup

2 (1/4 pound) slices imported Greek feta

1/4 cup (a couple of glugs) extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons (3 splashes) red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in palm of your hand

Coarse salt and black pepper

Combine vegetables, olives, and parsley in a large bowl. Rest sliced feta on the top of salad. Combine oil, vinegar, and oregano in a small plastic container with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine oil and vinegar and pour over salad and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and let the salad marinate until ready to serve!

Olives?

From what I gather, the famous olives was native to Asia Minor and then spread it’s wings from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin about 6,000 years ago. Yea, we’ve been enjoying these little guys for that long!  I was grown even before the written language was invented!   Thanks to the Phoenicians they spread the olive to the Mediterranean shores of Africa and Southern Europe. They  have even been found in Egyptian tombs from 2,000 years BC. Can you imagine that Cleopatra enjoyed these with her lovers!   The olive culture was spread to the early Greeks then Romans. As the Romans extended their domain they brought the olive with them.

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1,400 years ago the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, advised his followers to apply olive oil to their bodies, and himself used oil on his head. The use of oil is found in many religions and cultures. It has been used during special ceremonies as well as a general health measure. During baptism in the Christian church, holy oil, which is often olive oil, may be used for anointment. At the Christmas mass, olive oil blessed by the bishop, “chrism”, is used in the ceremony. Like the grape, the Christian missionaries brought the olive tree with them to California for food but also for ceremonial use. Olive oil was used to anoint the early kings of the Greeks and Jews. The Greeks anointed winning athletes. Olive oil has also been used to anoint the dead in many cultures.

The olive trees on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem are reputed to be over 2000 years old, still relative newcomers considering the long domestication of the olive. We don’t know the exact variety of the trees on the Mount. Man has manipulated the olive tree for so many thousands of years that it is unclear what varieties came from which other varieties. Varieties in one country have been found to be identical to differently named varieties in another.

 

Benefits:

 

Here are 6 great reasons to snack on olives regularly

Cardiovascular benefits

Skin and hair health

Bone and connective tissue

Digestive tract health

Good source of iron

Eye Health

So don’t feel like you need to have a cocktail party to eat some olives or to put it on your skin for that matter.  Just go ahead and enjoy them!

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