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!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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