Chile’s long coastline (2647miles!) with the Pacific and it’s history as a Spanish colony have both influenced its cuisine. Seafood is really popular as are dishes with corn. For our Chilean meal I decided to cook a traditional crab pie called Pastel de Jaiba, Empanadas and some coconut cookies called Cocada
Empanadas are popular across South America. I found a recipe online for a Chilean version. The filling was made of finely diced braising steak, black olives, boiled eggs and onion, flavoured with cumin, paprika and hot sauce. They taste slightly different to the Argentinian ones we’ve made previously so made a nice change. The mix was spooned into rounds of pastry, folded and crimped, washed with egg and baked for 20 minutes. They make a great lunch as a tasty alternative to sandwiches and freeze well.
The Pastel de Jaiba is a really popular Chilean dish and is usually made with blue crabs. I found a recipe in my South American recipe book but there were plenty of similar recipes online. Brown crab was the closest we could find. The cooked crab meat is mixed with bread which had been soaked in cream, fried onion and smoked Gouda. Bizarrely we had some smoked Gouda in the fridge left over from a major home smoking session in the Bradley Smoker over the Christmas holidays. The filling is spooned back into the crab shells (or ramekins), sprinkled with grated cheese and grilled. I’d not eaten crab much before and to be honest it’s not to my taste but I can see that this is a lovely dish. It certainly went down well in our house!
Cocadas are a traditional coconut cookie. They’re really easy to make and there are plenty of recipes online. You seem to be able to mix up the ingredients and bake them, or mix them and cook on the hob. The cookies contained a tin of sweetened condensed milk, 300g coconut and half of a tin of caster sugar. I mixed it all on the hob and then balled it up when it was cool enough to touch.
All in all, a very tasty meal. Served, of course, with a lovely glass of Chilean wine!