El 18 de Septiembre – Day 2

As mentioned before, Chileans celebrate their independence like no other nation I know. Although one day is listed as the specific holiday, they close up shop and throw parties for at least three days straight.

Day Two

Today we took it easy and headed over to Cristian C’s house for family asado.

 The festivities commence when the barbeque is lit! As the grill heats up, Chileans clean and season the grill by rubbing an onion vigorously across the cooking grid.

Oh yes, those adorable little sausages on the right – chorizo for choripan! 

 This is what I’m talking about!

Fiestas are time for old friends to reconnect over some tasty grilled meats… (Cristian C and Mark)

 …and of course, time to make new friends. (Oli and Cristian’s beautiful daughters)

 No matter the country, Mark always finds himself at the grill.

 Oli is in full fiesta mode, sporting the traditional dress of the Chilean Cueca.

Shredded carrot and lettuce salad with lemon vinaigrette.

 Ensalada Chilena, the “official” salad of Chile. Offered up at nearly every fiesta as a popular side dish. We ate this a lot in the U.S. and it’s pretty simple to make.  

Here’s how: Slice up a yellow onion fairly thinly and blanch in boiled water for a few minutes. This takes the pungent bite out of the onions without loosing the savory flavor. Shock the onions with cold water after they become slightly floppy but haven’t lost all their crunch. Slice a tomato or two and toss with the onions. For dressing, simply drizzle over a tablespoon of olive oil and add a pinch or two of salt. Minced cilantro or oregano make nice additions if you want a little more punch.

Diced carrot and potato salad dressed with mayonnaise (Disclaimer: Chileans LOVE mayo and you will see it a lot in this blog.)

To see what transpired on the other days of celebrating Independence in Chile, go here:

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