Choripan with Pebre

I don’t write about recipes very often, but cooking unique meals is one key to having a fabulous kitchen. Take mine for example–it may not have much going for it in the decor category (currently), but I make up for it by making delicious food! So, when I come across something amazingly delicious, I have to share it with the world!

Right after we moved here, my best friend (since 7th grade!) Angela invited Doug and me to her house for a Chilean Independence Day party–September 18. I’ve loved her family’s cooking for years, so I would have been crazy to decline! Angela has declared me “Chilean by association” so I was happy to participate in the evening’s meal!

Back in high school, I did not know the first thing about cooking so I never lent a hand in the kitchen. These days, I love to cook, so I was given instructions to make the incredibly simple Pebre, which could be classified as a very mild salsa, I guess?

Note: Our dinner contained about six or seven different Chilean dishes. This was just an appetizer! 

Pebre Ingredients: 

1 large bunch of cilantro
6 to 8 green onions
Some tomatoes (I picked these heirlooms up at a farmer’s market. If using Roma, maybe use 5 or 6?)
Olive oil
1 large lemon

This salsa will be very green with a little red in it–very different form the kind of salsa people normally expect!

  1. Cut the tips and ends off the green onions, and dispose. Then chop the onions in small pieces, the green part and the white part, and put them in your bowl.
  2. Dice the tomatoes into very small pieces. Include all the seeds and juice. If you look at the photo below, I suppose my tomatoes could have been diced even smaller.
  3. Divide the cilantro in half. Pull off the long stem part of each piece of cilantro–You don’t have to take each leaf off the stem, just get rid of the longer part (before the leaves start).
  4. Chop the cilantro finely. Use a very sharp knife so you are actually chopping it, not just mashing it into the cutting board. Alternatively, you can use a food processor/quick chop tool.
  5. Combine everything in the bowl, stir, and eyeball the cilantro. If there’s to much red (tomato), repeat step 4 until the mixture is predominantly green.
  6. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half into the mixture (watch out for seeds!). Drizzle with olive oil and stir. Then, set aside to allow flavors to mix while you make the Choripan!

Fun fact: In certain regions of chile, this contains no tomatoes whatsoever. It has to do with whether or not tomatoes even grow there. This leads to disputes regarding which recipe is the “right” version. 

Choripan Ingredients: 

Sausage- Linguica (pronounced leen gwee sa)
Hoagie rolls

Choripan is a combination of Chorizo and Pan (bread). The Linguica I used here is a portugese sausage that I was able to find at Vons (here in California). If you are unable to get this where you live, I guess you could try making this recipe with an Andouille sausage? Try to stay away from heavier bratwurst- and summer-style sausages and use a light, slightly spicy kind.

  1. Grill the sausage on the barbecue (preferably) or on George Foreman device, frying pan, etc.
  2. Cut hoagie rolls (toasted on grill, if you want to) in half.
  3. Cut sausage to fit in half-hoagie rolls.
  4. Top with a generous spoonful of Pebre.

This was served to us as an appetizer (hence the small size). The flavors haunted me for days, so it wasn’t long before we were making this at home! The great part about this is although the sausage will be slightly spicy, the Pebre is cool and refreshing, which makes for a great complement. Even those who don’t like spicy foods should give this a try! Or, just come on over, I will cook for you. :)

Also, check out this Huffington Post slide show containing beautiful pictures of Chile!

Affogato

Affogato usually takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream
topped with a shot of hot espresso.
(Thanks, Wikipedia!)

I surprised my dude with an especially nice dinner the other night which consisted of garlic-butter tilapia, garlic angelhair, and steamed veggies. Looked pretty on the place, tasted even better.

Now, after having such a great dinner, one must follow it up with an equally great dessert. Cue a last-minute run to the grocery store to get vanilla bean ice cream for affogato.

How to make your own delicious affogato. Easiest thing ever, I swear.

  1. Scoop ice cream into bowl or mug.
  2. Pour freshly made espresso over ice cream. (We use the Marimba stove-top espresso maker. I suppose you could use drip brewed coffee if that’s what you have–just make it extra strong!)
  3. Enjoy.

PS: we used small bowls here but I recommend using mugs because there is usually espresso left over after the ice cream has been eaten, and it is easier to drink out of a mug.

Easiest Sweet and Sour

I’ve tried sweet and sour before on this blog, when the blog was just a tiny baby, making its first little peeps.

Let’s just say that meal was not one of my finer moments. I was just learning how to cook and used some weird recipe from the internet. My family graciously ate it, although I think it was decidedly more “sour” than “sweet.”

Since then I’ve found a foolproof sauce recipe!

Chicken and Veggies
1 lb chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 lb mixed veggies (frozen or fresh will do)

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 4 tsp water
1 tsp soy sauce

Directions

Cook whatever meat you’re using (we used chicken in just a tiny bit of oil) in a wok or large frying pan.

When it’s cooked through or mostly cooked through, add vegetables. Today, I used “key largo blend” frozen vegetables containing green beans, red bell peppers, and orange & yellow carrots.

I put the lid on, allowing the vegetables to steam themselves. I try to never overcook veggies so they keep most of their nutrients. Plus, overcooked veggies are mushy and yucky. It’d be safe to say that I usually undercook them–I heat them through but they stay firm, fresh and crunchy.

Once the veggies are un-frozen, pour the sauce in!  Heat it until simmering and let it boil down some so it’s thicker.

Unless you bread the chicken at the start, it won’t be like restaurant sweet & sour, but it’s healthier and tastes great