Stuffing my face with great food in Santiago, Chile

After a healthy diet of steak and bread in Argentina, I was ready to cross the border into Chile. Full of hope and desire to find amazing food I arrived in Santiago. And boy, did I not get disappointed! Head-over-heels I fell in love with the capital of Chile and it's cuisine. A guided tour run by Franco on the first day I got into town turned into an amazing introduction to Chilean food. 

I left the tour with a map full of restaurants and their signature dishes. I made the wise decision to book an extra couple of nights in my hostel to make sure I had enough time to try them all (I am still in Santiago btw, it's been more than 10 days now). Empanada Pino, Coffee with Legs, Peach Juice with Wheat, Chacarro, Choriana, Pastel de Choclo, Porotos, Pisco Sour, Teremoto and Conger Soup. Off course you have no clue what I'm talking about, so I'll be writing a couple of recipes on the blog about these pleasures of Chilean cuisines and addresses on where you can eat excellent versions of them in Santiago. 

Some of this Chilean food is só good that I decided to take a cooking class. Just so at some point in my life (when I have a kitchen, I guess) I can show of my Chilean cooking skills to my friends. Matthew and José from Uncorked Cooking Classes (here's their website, check them out when you are in town!) are even more passionate about food than me and share all they know about their food heritage. They first took me to a couple of fresh produce markets (Mercado Central, La Vega, La Vega Chica) and I can say for sure: there are fresh ingredients a plenty to be found in Santiago's markets! You really have no excuse whatsoever to go to a supermarket when living here! 

Matthew introduced me to a spice called Merkén (or Merquen), which has its origin with the indiginous Mapuche tribe who has been living (and still lives) here in Chile and Argentina for thousands of years. One of the joys of their cuisine, I believe, is that they love spice and spicy (or at least a bit), which is a real joy after 5 Argentinian weeks of... well... just salt. Merkén is in every Chilean cupboard and every store, but off course, the handmade stuff is the real deal. It's a mixture of smoked red peppers -75%- (goat's horn peppers to be precise), salt -15%- and toasted, ground coriander seeds -10%-. Some add cumin too, but I've read somewhere that it's not part of the original recipe, and I'm up for the real deal off course!  

Back to the cooking class... After going a bit crazy at the markets, it was time to start cooking. Well... actually, it was time for shaking a Pisco Sour cocktail. Pisco is like beer to Belgium. You don't joke about it and you fight with your neighbouring countries about who makes the best (Germany for beer or Peru for pico). A pisco sour has pisco in it (3 parts), as well as lime juice (1 part) and syrup (1 part), a bit of egg white for the foam and a bit of ice in the shaker to chill. Done! 

I have to say, the pisco sour made me a bit lightheaded, so I was ready to do some cooking! Empanada's it is... I think there is something soothing in making your own dough, so I really enjoyed getting my hands dirty. The magic about this empanada, which is called pino, are the ingredients: sliced beef and onions (always, and with Merkén inside), but also a slice of hard boiled egg, a black olive and a couple of raisins. This combination is golden! A bit sweet, a bit spicy and some kick from the olive. Stunning! 

Now, you can't run a Chilean cooking class without making Ceviche (or Cebiche). Chuncks of raw fish (ideally a firm fish, like salmon) in an awesome marinade. It takes you about 10 minutes to make and it will blow your mind! Lime juice, red onions, chopped red chilies, salt, fresh coriander (called cilantro here), ginger and sliced avocado (not for me, cause I die when I eat avocado). Mix it all up. Done! Now eat and cry of joy :-) 

Matthew also pulled some other dishes out of his sleeve, like Sopaipillas (pumpkin puree crackers) with Pebre (a tomato based salsa) for starters and a Merengue (not baked!) with red wine for dessert. If you want to do a bit more than just stuffing your face with food in Santiago, meet up with Matthew and José and learn how to make some of the best dishes Chile has to offer!

I know you're wondering, is she on Instagram? Off course I am!

0 reacties:

0 reacties:


5 reasons to get the newsletter

1. you don't need to surf to this website
2. it's free
3. your personal details are safe
4. you know first about all the new adventures
5. you don't like, unscribe with just 1 click

Stay tuned. Subscribe.

@NoMadBelgian on Instagram