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Traveling Through Cooking: Chilean Recipes for Everyone

By: Chile Travel | Date: 7 July, 2020 | In: Wine and gastronomy ,

She is Pilar Hernández, a Chilean doctor who migrated for love 17 years ago to Texas, United States, and with every Chilean recipe she cooks, she is reunited with her home country once again. With her dishes, she evokes her mother and her aunts, of whom she remembers a childhood close to her grandparents in the Chilean countryside in Maule and growing up in a house in Coya (near the city of Rancagua) with a working mother, but who cooked everything.

From the bread dough to the gastronomic coven that involved a “pastel de choclo” (corn cake) are part of her memories: “My aunts, my mother and I, all of us shelling corn, chopping onion, grinding the meat, cooking together.”, recalls Pilar. She spoke with us and told us about her favorite Chilean recipes, which are part of her cookbook “The Chilean Kitchen”, the first for the North American market in twenty years and the culmination of her ten years of work in the blog En Mi Cocina Hoy in Spanish and Chilean Food and Garden in English.

Pilar loves food, but with the Chilean, her relationship is close. She believes that the classic Chilean recipes deserve representation and that they are not only part of our traditions, but also take advantage of our ingredients in the best possible way, symbolizing Chile’s natural diversity. Also, she highlights the exceptional quality of Chilean fruits and vegetables: “When you live outside, you realize the quality of Chilean fruit and vegetables, they are a luxury!”

Can you travel with food? She says yes, especially if there is a personal bond with the place like her case and the thousands of people who fell in love with Chile on a trip.

In this article, we will give you a preview of Pilar’s book that teached how to cook Chilean recipes from anywhere in the world.


Steak Rolls “Niños Envueltos”

This classic stuffed beefsteak has many versions throughout Latin America, but Pilar highlights that the Chilean version “is delicious and traditional for the Chilean family”.


1 fine chopped onion

8 small flank steaks (I cut 4 big ones in half), in the USA you could also buy top sirloin (you can order them as for Milanesa)

1 carrot in 8 long pieces

4 chard leaves without stem or spinach

1 zucchini, 8 pieces and the rest minced or celery or green pepper

1 cup of vegetable broth or water

1 cup of tomato sauce

500 grams of sliced mushrooms

Oregano, salt, and pepper



In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onion with a couple of tablespoons of broth, occasionally stirring until browned, 5-8 minutes.

Assemble the meat rolls, place the steaks on a board. Season with salt and pepper. Place a chard leaf, a piece of zucchini, carrot, and roll closed with two toothpicks.

Brown the meat rolls 3 minutes per side. Add the broth, the tomato sauce, stir. Sprinkle with oregano. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and zucchini. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Remove the toothpicks before serving. Serve hot with rice or mashed potatoes.

For more details please see: https://bit.ly/31TnbUh


Dumpling Soup “Machos Ahogados”

This is one of her favorite Chilean recipes, since she believes that Chile is a country of 100% broths. This soup, very economical and easy to prepare, brings dear memories to Pilar, mainly because it is one of the preparations that takes her back to her childhood, and that each Chilean family adapts to its own version.


1 liter of beef broth

1/2 teaspoon cumin, optional

1 egg

1 tablespoon chopped onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

125 grams or 3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder


Salt and pepper


In a medium saucepan place the broth, heat on medium-high heat, when it boils, reduce heat to low, add cumin if you want, let it simmer cover.

Prepare the batter in a separate bowl. Separate the egg. Beat the egg white until soft peaks form, add the yolk, beat until incorporated. Add onion, parsley, salt, and pepper mix well and sift over the flour with the baking powder. Stir with a spoon and add water until a moist dough form (I used 1/8 cup or so).

Add spoonfuls of the dough over the simmering broth and let cook covered, boiling gently for 12-15 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve hot sprinkled with parsley.

For more details please see: https://bit.ly/2AGFPUg


Powder Puffs “Empolvados”

The Powder Puffs are very traditional sweets that probably all Chileans have tried. Pilar rescues this classic preparation, typical of Chile’s central zone, perfect for gifts and eating on the go.

This are soft and delicious spongy little pastry.


6 eggs

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons potato starch

2 teaspoons baking powder

Powdered sugar

1 can of Dulce de Leche (on Latin markets)


Preheat oven to 180C or 350F.

Separate the whites from the yolks; it is always much easier when the eggs are cold. After letting it warm up to room temperature, so the meringue will rise more.

With the mixer in a large bowl beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form, add the sugar by the spoonful like rain while beating at low speed. Continue beating on high speed until shiny and silky, about 4-5 minutes more.

In a medium bowl beat the yolks with a fork about 30 seconds. Add to the egg whites, while beating on medium speed.

Place the sieve over the batter and sift the flour, baking powder, and potato starch together.

Incorporate to the batter using a spatula slowly and gentle.

With a spoon make mounds on the baking sheet covered with silicone paper or Silpat.

Bake for 12-13 minutes until golden.

Take out of the oven.

Sprinkle immediately with plenty of powdered sugar; I use the sieve to do this. Cool on a wire rack.  Remove off or peel using a knife and stick together with dulce de leche and serve.

For more details please see: https://bit.ly/2BMQ21X


Written by: Chile Travel

Chile Travel
A guide to discover extraordinary destinations from north to south of Chile, sharing information and important data with travelers that love its untamed nature, landscapes full of contrasts and, above all, the warmth of its people.

A guide to discover extraordinary destinations from north to south of Chile, sharing information and important data with travelers that love its untamed nature, landscapes full of contrasts and, above all, the warmth of its people.