In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Viva Chile!

As a child I spent six wonderful years living in Chile. This week Chileans celebrate Dieciocho on the 18th, which commemorates when Chile gained Independence from Spain.
My childhood memories of the Dieciocho holiday involve our family cramming into our little Volkswagen Beetle and driving to the countryside for a long weekend to celebrate with friends. Chilean flag were decorating everything, there were parades and dancing, and we would stop at the roadside to buy empanadas or humitas (steamed packets of corn pudding encased in corn husks), -- this was my absolute favorite food , seconded only by corn on the cob-- imagine my disappointment when we moved back to Germany, where corn is not sweet, and fed to pigs! I missed corn so much that I'd beg my mom to buy baby corn in cans, the only form of corn ever eaten there... but I digress...

Here are some other wonderful foods that I remember from my childhood:

Empanadas, meats fresh off the grill, queso fresco, pastel de Choclo (a meat and corn casserole), porotos granados (Bean-vegetable stew), and dulce chileno (a sweet), and of course lots and lots of seafood, such as congrio and langostinos.

Here are some recipes, most are taken from South American cooking by Barbara Karoff

any good piecrust or flaky pastry (2 c.flour, 1 c lard, salt, icewater)
1/2 # ground beef
olive oil, onions, garlic
3-6 serrano or jalapeno chilies
1 T ground cumin
Salt, pepper
2 T parsley
2 T cilantro
2 tomatoes
1/2 c raisins
pimiento-stuffed olives, cut in half

Saute all ingredients (except the olives), let cool.
Roll out approx 20 circles of dough. Place 1/2 olive and spoonful filling. Seal w/ tines of fork.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

Pastel de Choclo
The filling can be either ground beef (similar to empanadas above, with raisins and olives), or chicken, or both.
6 c corn kernels (freshly grated, or frozen kernels processed in food processor)
1/3 c milk
1 egg,
1 t sugar (optional) for sprinkling on top

Bake in a casserole dish, with the topping spread over the meat.
I like to serve this with rice, but potatoes would be authentic too.

photo credit:

1 comment:

  1. The empanadas sound great. Since you grew up in Chili, do you have an authentic humita recipe or do I need to go find one? Or just make up my own as I've a lot of leftover corn husks just begging to used.