Chorrillana is a Bookend

Chorrillana is so good. French fries and assorted meats and sausages all marinated in a red wine reserve, topped with a sunny side up egg; chorrillana is the most deliciously typical Chilean cuisine. It tastes better than the description sounds, and smells incredible.

not my photo. But this is Chorrillana from La Flor de Chile.

This is not my photo. But this is Chorrillana from La Flor de Chile.

The first time I tried chorrillana was at La Flor de Chile the night that I arrived in Chile. That evening was a very interesting experience for several reasons. My first host mom, (I changed host families after a week – see my blog post New Home and Twenty One for the reasons) Paty, took me to eat with six of her friends. I was exhausted  from the flight and thrown right into the middle of a strange culture and a strange language and strange food. Now, I know textbook Spanish, but nothing prepared me for the awfulness of Chilean Spanish! It’s so fast and ridden with Chilenismos and idioms and slang that it’s hardly recognizable as Spanish. I thought I had forgotten everything I ever learned because in ten minutes of conversation I could only recognize one or two words. But as time went on I realized that they weren’t speaking Spanish, but the Chilean dialect. 

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Thankfully one of Paty’s friends spoke broken English and could translate the conversation and describe the items on the menu for me. With Paty’s friend’s help I ordered something safe like beef and french fries, but someone else at the table ordered Chorrillana La Flor de Chile Grande con Mechada. When the waiter brought it to the table I was amazed at the size of the dish because it was large enough for three or four men to eat their fill. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped in disbelief. Everyone laughed at my expression and urged me to taste it. I was a little skeptical because it doesn’t look quite as appetizing as it actually is but I tried it anyway. Side note to the traveler: Always. Always try the local food. You’ll often find gems.  Chorrillana is so good!

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Over the course of four months I ate a lot of chorrillana. Just like pizza, the quality varied depending on where I ate it, but it was always chorrillana and always good. During that time of falling in love with Chorrillana I also fell in love with Chile and Chilean culture and Chilean Spanish. I learned the language more or less. I didn’t realize how much I had grown until the last time I ate Chorrillana.

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My host family (Rosy and Manuel, their daughter, Paula, and her daughter, Victoria) took me, incidentally, to la Flor de Chile. It was a very emotional evening but also really cool because I got a sense of closure and was able to process how important these people are to me and how much I had learned and grown since the first time eating at that restaurant.

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Paula, Victoria, and I ordered Chorrillana to share. I was excruciatingly aware that this very well could be the last time I would ever eat chorrillana and laugh with these wonderful people whom I had grown to love so dearly so I had to force the food past a lump in my throat. Even so, it was delicious, the conversation amusing, and the company warm. It was a much more pleasant experience than the first time I tried chorrillana, and I could finally follow almost all of the conversation. I have very fond memories of that evening. It was a beautiful bookend to my adventures in Chile.

I still have a lot to write about my trip to Peru and the last two weeks in Chile and my transition back home. This is just one story so stay tuned for more! It might be a while because school is insane but good things come to those who wait 😉

Peace,

~ Debs

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Completos and Musical Families

This is my randomness post.

I saw this family several days ago when walking to the mall. They were singing and playing and it was really cute!

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I found some incredible coffee at a little shop called La Tentación.

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Here is a street market. We saw it after a long day at the Botanical Gardens and we were hungry so the fruit looked especially delicious.

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We ate at a place called El Guatón. And the food was incredible. I ordered a Completo, which is a hot dog with guacamole and an ungodly amount of mayonnaise. I could only eat half of it.

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This beauty was sleeping adorably beside the sidewalk but when I walked over to take a picture, he woke up with a start and stared into the camera lens with a confused and disoriented look. Adorable. I want to keep it.

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People here have cute old cars. It makes me happy.

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I also really like the colours and architecture of the city.

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How to Make Beans and Rice plus Platanos.

Yesterday dinner my mum, sister, and I made a delicious meal…or as my dad likes to say “a malicious deal.” (Which, by the way Dad, has a very different meaning…)   Anyways, we made beans and rice and platanos. I took pictures because I could because mum’s camera happened to be in the kitchen.

Here is my mum’s recipe for Honduran beans and rice as she wrote it on Facebook. She grew up there so she knows stuff. It’s really really good.

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Honduran Rice 

  • One small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Saute on medium heat in sauce pan for a couple of minutes stirring occasionally. Then add:

  • two cups raw rice

Saute for several minutes longer on high heat stirring constantly. Then add:

  • 4 scant cups water ( I add a little less than the bag says to because there is liquid in the tomatoes)
  • 1-2 tomatoes diced (I add a can of diced tomatoes with the liquid and then I reduce the amount of water by about a half of a cup)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • juice of one lemon

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat cover and simmer about 20-30 minutes.

Honduran Beans 

  • 4 cans of black beans. (drain some of the liquid off the top of each can)
  • 1 can of dice tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes diced

Add these to a large pan and begin heating up on medium heat. Meanwhile…saute in small skillet:

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed

Add these to the beans and tomatoes then add the following spices:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • (optional) cilantro leaves …I chop them with scissors and add about three forths of the bunch
  • The canned beans are salted already so I don’t add salt.
  • Sometimes I add the juice of a lemon

Bring all this to a boil reduce heat and simmer until the rice is done.

Hondurans alway serve their beans and rice with a hot sauce or hot pico-de-gallo and lots of corn tortillas.

When I make beans and rice I chop all of the onion and crush all of the garlic for both recipes and saute them all together in a pan. Then I set some aside for the beans and get my rice simmering before finishing the beans.

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Okay so that is how to make Honduran beans and rice. Now for the extra awesome stuff. Here is how to make platanos. Platanos are kind of like bananas except you can’t eat them raw cause they’re gross. However, when you fry and salt them, they become the greatest food known to man.

Step #1. Go to the grocery store and buy one platano per person.

Step #2. Drive home.

Step #3. Peal the platano, cut it in half and then cut each half into thirds.

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Step #4. Fry the platanos in oil.  At first they will stick a little. Don’t try to pry them up; let them cook for a little bit until they come free easily and are brownish on the bottom. Then turn them over and let the other side cook until slightly brown.

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Step #5. Place the platanos on a platter with paper towels in between the layers. Salt to taste.

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Step #6. Enjoy.

You are welcome.

How to Make Strawberry Shortcake

Last night I made strawberry shortcake.

Mum put it in the pretty wine glasses to make it look fancier.

It tasted as delicious as it looks if I do say so myself.

Feast your eyes and get the recipe below:

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Here is the recipe. You are welcome.

~

Strawberries:

2 cartons of Strawberries

Powdered sugar

Rinse and cut the tops off of the strawberries

Cut strawberries into fourths or fifths

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and mix

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Shortcake Biscuits: 

1/4 stick of butter

2 cups of white flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tsp of salt

1 cup of milk

Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slightly soften butter in microwave for 5-10 seconds

Cut butter into the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Stir in milk until dough is light and fluffy like clouds

Spoon into an ungreased 8×8 cake pan

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

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Strawberry Shortcake: 

Cut the biscuits into serving sized squares

Serve the squares into bowls (or wine glasses)

Cover in strawberries

Add a spoonful of whipped cream

Take a picture and upload to instagram.

Dig in, and enjoy!