Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
In this “7 days, 7 dishes”, we are travelling to Chile for finding 7 Chilean dishes to cook during the week.
It is a country characterized by its fusion cuisine. This is because it has many influences from European cuisine (Germany, Italy and France), especially from the Spanish one, and this cultural mix has formed the “Chilean Creole Cuisine”. Besides, the geographical characteristics of Chile have an important impact on its diet as, due to its long coastline, it has a significant quantity and variety of seafood.
Chile is also famous for its alcoholic drinks, more specifically for: chicha, pisco and Chilean wine. The last one is known worldwide for its aroma, quality and body. So now you know, if you want to enjoy a totally Chilean culinary experience, you must accompany the following recipes with one of these typical drinks.
This is one of the most famous street foods. Is it eaten transversally throughout Chile is accessible to all social groups due to it’s small, relatively cheap, list of ingredients. The most popular version is called “El Italiano”, and it consists of a long and fluffy bread, a frankfurter-style sausage, diced tomato and ground avocado topped with mayonnaise. It is a heavenly snack that lets you eat well, fast and cheap, since its usual price is €2. You can find the best Completo sandwiches in La Fuente Alemana, located in the capital, Santiago de Chile.
Recipe for 4 sandwiches
- 4 hot dog buns
- 4 hotdog sausages
- 1 large avocado (ground and seasoned)
- 2 tomatoes (small diced and seasoned)
Step by step:
- Heat the hotdog buns in the toaster so that they are crispy. If you prefer them soft you have to wrap them in aluminum foil and put them in the oven to warm.
- Cook the frankfurter in water for 5 minutes.
- Wash the onion, chop it and sauté it.
- To prepare the sandwiches following the traditional order you must: open the hotdog bun, place the frankfurter sausage, the diced tomato and the ground avocado. Finally bathe the sandwich in mayonnaise.
Apart from “El Italiano”, there are more versions of this dish, such as: the “Simple”, which consists of frankfurter sausage, tomato and mayonnaise; the “A lo pobre”, which has egg, fried onion and cheese; and the “Alemán”, which has tomato, sauerkraut and mayonnaise.
It is the most consumed street-food, and one of the most famous Chilean snacks. Its ingredients are very simple and its preparation even more. A tip you should take into consideration: it is better to bake the pumpkin or cook it in the microwave without water, to reduce the moistur content.
- 600 gr of mashed zapallo (pumpkin)
- 1 Kg of flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of fine salt
Step by step:
- Put the pumpkin in a pot with hot water and cook it for 5 minutes until it gets softer. Remove and grind until you get a paste.
- Add salt, the baking powder and two tablespoons of flour.
- Mix until you get a homogeneous paste.
- The dough is left to cool for 10 minutes, until it can be kneaded.
- Roll out and cut the dough into 10 cm diameter circles.
- Fry in abundant vegetable oil.
3. Empanadas chilenas
We can find two types of traditional Chilean empanadas: the fried and the baked ones.
Fried empanadas can be filled with cheese and various seafood, such as shrimp, octopus or scallops, and its price varies between 2 and 4 euros. Baked empanadas have become, over the years, the breakfast preferred by most Chileans on Sunday mornings, after a good “carrete” (it’s the name given in Chile to weekend parties) The best recipe is the one stuffed with minced meat, onion, olives, raisins and eggs. Its average value is 2.5 euros. The best baked empanadas price-quality are the ones of Don Guille local, located in downtown Santiago.
The dough is the same for both recipes, the only difference is that the one of the baked empanadas is a bit thicker to prevent them from breaking.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 225 ml of warm water
- 2 teaspoons of fine salt
- 500 gr of flour
- 25 ml of white wine
- 100 gr of vegetable margarine
- 2 egg yolks (to brown the dough)
Step by Step:
- For the dough make a brine with the milk, water and salt. Stir until the salt dissolves completely.
- In a large bowl mix the flour and egg yolks; Incorporate, stirring with a fork.
- Add the butter and work a little more in the same way, forming crumbs.
- Keep working the dough, while you add the brine, until it is smooth and elastic.
- About 10 minutes of hand kneading.
For the filling there is not one specific ingredient, each person makes them in a different way, although the typical fillings are the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph. After dividing the dough into 10 portions, fill each patty with 120-150 grams of mixture, place on a baking tray, paint with the egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes at 220ºC.
It is, without any doubt, one of the most common Chilean sandwiches, competing with the Completo one. The difference is that this is not that much of a street dish, it is mostly eaten in restaurants, more specifically in “Fuentes de Soda”, places that exclusively sell sandwiches. Its usual price is 7 euros.
- Hamburger bread
- Steak slices
- Sliced tomatoes
- Green beans
Step by step:
- Wash the green beans, remove the tips and cut them in julienne style strips. Place it in a source with a bit of salty water and cook it for 10 minutes.
- Once cooked, drain it and cover it with iced water. When they are cold, season with oil and salt.
- Cover the meat with plastic wrap and flatten it until it reaches 3mm thick. Salt and pepper it.
- In a medium skillet, over high heat, cook the steak for 3 minutes each side. When cooked, shred it.
- Cut the tomato into slices and season it with salt.
- Cut the hamburger bun, toast it and spread it with butter.
- To assemble the sandwich, place the meat inside the bread followed by the sliced tomato and the green beans.
5. Pastel de choclo
We can consider the “Pastel de choclo” (Corn cake) recipe as the most emblematic Chilean dish. This recipe has its origin in colonial times, and is considered a “mestizo” (mixed race) dish because it combines Spanish and Chilean elements. In the past, it was consumed mostly in rural areas, during peasant celebrations. At the beginning of the 20th century, migrations from the countryside to the city brought this recipe to Santiago de Chile, where it became very popular.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 2 spoons of butter
- 500 gr of frozen choclo (corn) or 10 cups approx. of sweet corn.
- ½ cup of whole milk
- 100 ml of heavy cream
- 1 bunch of basil (approx. 10 leaves)
- Salt, pepper and smoked chilli pepper
Ingredients for the filling:
- 1 Kg of ground beef
- 1 cup of water or beef broth
- 3 onions, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder or paprika
- ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons of flour (optional)
- Roast chicken and raisins for serving, optional.
First of all we are going to cook the filling because we have to let it rest for a while in the fridge.
Step by step, Filling:
- Heat the oil in a large pot and sautée the meat for approximately 8 minutes, until it gets brown.
- Add the paprika, salt, pepper and cumin and fry for 2 more minutes.
- Add the broth and cook for 30 minutes over low heat.
- Add the onions and cook until soft (about 30 more minutes)
- Turn off the fire. If you want to obtain a thicker filling add the flour and stir well.
- Let cool and refrigerate while preparing the dough.
Step by step, Dough:
- In a large and deep pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the frozen choclo and stir, allowing the corn to melt.
- Add the milk, basil, salt, pepper and paprika. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes.
- Process the choclo with a blender without making a puree. Add the heavy cream and continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- To make the cakes place the filling, roast chicken (your choice), and raisins (optional). Cover with the corn dough and refrigerate until thick.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 200ª, until it is bubbly and golden on top.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
6. Cancato al papillote
In general, this dish is found in all restaurants in southern Chile. It can be prepared with almost any type of fish and its characteristic flavor is very different from other dishes, this is due to the fat that the sausage provides to it.
- 4 pieces of salmon, 250 gr. each.
- 1 large onion julienned
- 1 longaniza cut into 2 cm thick slices
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 4 slices of chanco or buttery cheese
- Salt, pepper and dried oregano.
Step by step:
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC
- Place ⅔ of the julienne onion on a baking sheet and place the salmon pieces on top. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the longaniza, tomato and the rest of the onion on top. Season with salt and pepper and add the dried oregano.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes until the salmon is done.
- Uncover and place the cheese slices. Sprinkle with oregano and bake again until the cheese melts.
- Take out and serve immediately.
7. Ceviche chileno
This is one of the most consumed dishes on weekends along all the coasts of Chile. It is famous for its high vitamin content because it’s generally a dish made from white fish.
- 1Kg of white fish
- 200 gr of fresh coriander
- 50 gr of green ají (chili)
- 400 gr of white onion
- 500 ml of lemon juice
- 500 ml of white vinegar
Step by step:
- The first step is to cut the fish into cubes and season it with pepper and salt.
- Let it marinate for a few minutes in lemon and vinegar.
- Wash and finely chop the onion, add to the previous mixture.
- Finish the dish by adding chili, garlic and chopped cilantro on the top.
If you want to read more recipes, you should check:
- 7 Spanish dishes to cook during the week
- 6 of the best pumpkin recipes
- 7 recipes for welcoming autumn
- 7 traditional Irish bread recipes for all occasions