Appetizer Time, Chilean Style! With Singer/Songwriter, Catalina
Hey Grubs & Grooves! I've made a typical Chilean appetizer, along with our national cocktail for you guys today.
For food, you'll see what we call Palta Reina. Palta Reina translates directly to "Avocado Queen" and it comes in a variety of different forms, mainly because you can choose the filling. The most traditional way to make Palta Reina is to fill it with tuna or small salad shrimp, but some people choose to use little ham cubes, too. I decided to make both traditional Palta Reina alternatives! They make a refreshing appetizer and it's super duper easy to make since there is really no cooking involved. Just assembling the master piece! This is a dish that I usually encounter at family functions before the entree comes out, especially during Christmas Eve dinner.
Now for the beverage of choice...Chile is wine country, but that's not all we use our grapes for! Pisco is a clear brandy which is distilled from white muscat grapes, and we use it to make into delicious Pisco Sours. The glassware in which you can serve this cocktail in varies depending on the area of the country you are ordering this at. While the recipe below yields 4 servings, my husband and I ended up pouring ourselves 2 servings each in wine glasses. In Chile, this is offered as an option and they call it Pisco Sour Catedral, which essentially is a double at a discounted price. ;) Chilean Pisco Sours are made with egg whites to provide a frothy aesthetic to its presentation.
Easy peasy, minimal, fun and artistic! Especially when you are whipping something on the fly or don't have a lot of time to cook!
Palta Reina (Serves 4)Total Time: 10 minutes Ingredients:
2 ripe, but firm avocados
1/2 can of tuna
12 small, cooked shrimps (peeled, tail-off)
1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise
Salt, pepper and olive oil
1 teaspoon of merkén (Chilean spice of our indigenous Mapuche people, you can actually find this at the Savory Spice Shop in Downtown Franklin, TN).
Slice the avocados in half, split them apart in perfect halves if you can and get rid of the pits. I recommend peeling the skin off with your fingers. Should come off very easily! Set these aside for now.
Mix the tuna, the mayonnaise and the merkén altogether. Use the mixture to fill two avocados halves. They should comfortably fit in the holes where the pit once was.
Separately, place 6 little shrimp pieces in each of the remaining halves.
Add a small dollop of mayonnaise on top of the shrimp. (You can easily create a design by using squeeze bottle!)
Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.
(Optional: you can lay these on a bed of green, leafy lettuce with or without tomatoes. You can also put a black olive on top of the tuna mixture. All for decorative purposes.)
Pisco Sour Chileno (Serves 4)
Total Time: 2 minutes
1 and half cups of pisco
1/2 cup of lime juice
1 egg white
1/2 cup of sugar
6 ice cubes
Preparation: Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend for 1 minute. Serve immediately. You can also decorate the rim of your glass with sugar like we did!
MORE ABOUT CATALINA:
At the very young age of five, Catalina and her mom would take turns listening to their favorite cassettes when driving around Santiago. It is due to this and her parents’ love for music that she grew up surrounded by the sounds of Motown, Aretha Franklin, Barry White, Michael Jackson and Madonna. Now, not only has she grown as a person, artist and entrepreneur, but so has her musical palette. Catalina’s music is rooted in a soulful pop/R&B with her own latina demeanor.
Think You'd Fool Me - Inspired in a 'catfish' situation, Catalina took it upon herself to create an anthem for people that have been fooled once, and not only will they not be fooled twice, but they will come back swinging. She wanted this song to inspire her friend and all else who have ever experienced a similar scenario. The storyline of the song isn't portrayed only through the lyrics, but the music matches the tone of empowerment alright. Between the sass heard in the brass and backup vocals, you have a haunting guitar lingering through the chorus, which culminates in the latin and suspense-filled bridge building to catch “desperado”. Which is the perfect way to describe this character both in English and Spanish: an outlaw running away in a desperate frenzy.
Blood, Sweat, Tears - Provides closure to feelings Catalina had surrounding my departure from Chile in 2011.This Chilean artist will be making a homecoming to her heritage, and to herself; as a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an immigrant, a lover, a fighter, through her new song “Blood, Sweat, Tears”. Catalina uses specific geographic characteristics of her home country to demonstrate personal growth achieved through observation, resiliency, happenstance, and purpose, which applies to everyone’s paths in life, not just her own. Sonically, this tune will take you for an uplifting and empowering journey that will culminate in a celebration of self discovery with Catalina’s heart wrenching belts, with a male chorus behind her with an encouraging ‘Sangre, Sudor, Lágrimas’.
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