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Posts from the ‘Chile’ Category

Porotos Granados

I always hope that someone will see a recipe on my site and decide to try it out for themselves.  In the case of these porotos granados, I absolutely understand if they wait for the cooler days of summer.  I came across the Chilean recipe months ago when fresh cranberry beans seemed very far away.  With origins going back to the pre-Columbian Mapuche Indians, it brings together my summer favorites- fresh beans, tomatoes, and corn.  Available year around as dry Roman beans, I could have made the dish with frozen corn, and canned tomatoes but decided to wait.  Finally, last week the cranberry beans made their appearance at my Sunday farmer’s market, right around the time someone turned the heat up to a 100 degrees. Read more

Huevos Falsos

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I’ve never liked canned fruit and didn’t understand why my grandparents served it with so much ceremony. They loved they’re fruit cocktail but it was never a good dessert day for us. It wasn’t until years later that I realized canned fruit was something of a delicacy where the punishing tropical climate could make fresh fruit hard to hold on to, passing from ripe to way too ripe before your eyes. Away from the central A/C of Florida, I appreciate that now – especially with surface-of-the-sun conditions in my own kitchen during the summer now. Read more

Down South

I know it shouldn’t make a difference but I love it when food has a story and Chilean olive oil has been writing its own. Alfonso Swett who discovered small scale olive oil plantations in conditions similar to the Chilean climate on a trip through Spain, wondered why it shouldn’t be cultivated and produced in Chile as well.  Olisur, an estate grown, largely sustainable operation encompassing a 6,500 acre olive groves and expecting to produce 1.7 million liters of olive oil in their next harvest, grew from this initial why not. Read more

Mousse de Turrón

I’m not devoutly superstitious so I have no problem picking and choosing which New Year’s traditions to follow.  While 12 grapes at midnight are non-negotiable anywhere Spanish is spoken, for the rest of Latin America it’s pretty much an open field.  I’ve written wishes for the coming months (Venezuela) then throw them in the fire so no one could steal them.  Unfortunately, I forgot what I’d written before the paper had turned to ash, leaving me with unstarted resolutions.  If I lived in Honduras, I’d make an “Año Viejo” doll stuffed with fireworks to set off at midnight if I didn’t find effigies and fireworks equally frightening.  I’ve never thrown a bucket of water out of my window to rid myself of evil spirits (Puerto Rico), but a water pipe bursting a few years ago started off one of my favorite New Year’s nights and great year.  A Peruvian friend suggested I wander around the block with a suitcase if I wanted to travel in 2011, but I’ve had enough of packing bags and getting nowhere in the last few days.  Fortunately, everyone seems to be in agreement on an underwear color scheme for the occassion (red=love, green=money, yellow=luck, white=health).  I don’t know if it works, but at the very least it forces you to get your priorities straight before midnight. Read more

Panqueques Celestinos

It’s hard not to be drawn to a recipe by a beautiful photograph.  Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent, and Francis Mallman’s Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way have all escaped from my kitchen shelves to my coffee table (where both the books and I feel they belong).  Not surprisingly, Santiago Soto Monllor won this year’s James Beard award for Best Photography for Seven Fires. Read more

So Far, Yet So Near

I am always looking for the best ingredients, but there are some things I just can’t find nearby and some I probably shouldn’t be able to find nearby.  I try to stay local but the temptations of a jet-setting Prosciutto di Parma or a well traveled Chinatown dragon fruit can be difficult to resist.  Still, it’s hard not to wonder what your missing when someone else does the picking and packing.  The subtle differences between varieties and vendors that you can only discern when it’s close to home.  That’s why, when trying a new cuisine, dessert can be the best place to start.  I may not find the right Peruvian pepper or Argentinian zapallo, but milk, grains and sugar are universal and need little translation (or transatlantic travel).  I’d been looking for a Chilean recipes to try and found several I wanted to include but kept circling back to this custard made with semolina and wine syrup (wine being the exception that was meant to travel the earth). Read more

Catching Up in January

I took advantage of a rainy Sunday to catch up on some reading though, instead of newspaper stacks, I had  bookmarked pages and Google alerts filling up my inbox.  For the New York Times, Jonathan Miles visited Roneria Caracas, a new Brooklyn bar specializing in rum drinks, in The Choices? Rum or Rum and doesn’t miss the whisky while Paola Singer went to western Spain to sample the Dom Pérignon of Iberian ham for In Spain, A Delicacy Rooted in Earth and Tradition. Meanwhile, Read more

Puro Chile

I was excited to read about the opening of a store in Soho dedicated to the sale and promotion of Chilean gourmet food products and wines.  I’m always searching for new ingredients and it’s good to have a new focus for my obsession.  Puro Chile, a Hitchcock-sleek light box store on the corner of Center and Grand, is definitely obsession worthy.  What’s most surprising is how warm the space becomes the moment you step inside.  The staff is genuinely enthusiastic and the sparse room is dominated by  a large tasting table at the center.  Though they’re inventory is still growing, the shelves are lined with avocado oils and wine vinegars Read more

New Map

I’ve been going through this week’s New York Times travel section featuring Latin America, specifically  an awakened Chile, colonial Colombia, 36 Hours in Montevideo, Rio hot spots, Peruvian restaurants, and rejuvenated Mazatlán.  Travel exhausts me but its a fun read.

Singing Salt

I spent the day at the Brooklyn Book Festival at Borough Hall wandering in and out of readings and seeing friends.  With little time to cook, I thought it would be right to end the day with Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda.  In his Elementary Odes, he writes to wine, tomatoes, maize, large tuna, chestnuts, artichokes, lemons.  Here the salt sings back. Read more

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