I just returned from a week long trip to Santiago yesterday, and wanted to post something about cool foods I got to try while there. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything that really seemed to define the place. There was some great stuff mind you (I had one of the best steaks EVER!) but nothing seemed to scream out "Hey! I am the iconic food of Chile!" This is most likely due to the fact that my Spanish is non-existent, and reading menus was an exercise in guessing words from similar pieces in other languages (a dangerous, if potentially hilarious game), so I never quite got a sense of what was really available. The iconic drink was no problem though! Pisco sour rules down there. There's no need to post a recipe though, since it's basically a whiskey (or whisky, take your pick) sour made with the local hooch called pisco. It is delicious and sinister at the same time (i.e. they can sneak up on you pretty quick. 'Nuf said!).
I did have some inspiration while there though. One of my bosses posted a video on my Facebook account about hot tamales. If this doesn't inspire you to want a tamale, then I don't know what will. (Don't wait for a punchline in the video, it just does the same thing over and over.) I didn't manage to find a tamale anywhere during my travels, but I did find this thing:
Chilly Chiles, who augments their massive collection of hot sauces with some kooky ingredients like these.
Now, lets make tamales, hot, hot tamales! (I am starting to annoy myself with this...)
I find it easier to do all this in assembly line fashion. I roll all the tamales, then tie all the bottoms, then do all the tamping, then tie the tops. If you have helpers, you can form a real assembly line, and each person can become an expert at a specific task. It's pretty fun!
fire-roasted salsa to go with it (this post is long enough already though, so I'll put that one up a little later).
I hope you like tamale! I like tamale, hot, hot tamale!