When Tee Tee Comes To Town…We Eat Paella!

June 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Renata, our Au Pair from Chile, became a part of our family as she warmed our home with her love and generosity.  When her mother “Tee Tee” came to visit we were treated to wonderful Paella and Pisco Sours.  Back home, Renata and her family, make HUGE pans of paella over a fire and cousins, aunts, uncles, friends gather for the feast (and I’m sure there’s lots of  dancing into the wee hours).  I look forward to the day when we can gather around the fire, eat paella and dance all night with our extended family in Chile.

When it was our turn to cook we made a South American Grill recipe.  The recipe came from my friend Kate who prepared it for us after a long day at the beach with the kids in Michigan at her parents lovely home.  You really can’t go wrong with Paella or a version of this South American Grill even if you don’t have the exact ingredients.

Hello Tee Tee

Chilean Pisco Sour

“Pisco is a clear brandy that is popular in both Peru and Chile. The white muscat grapes, from which pisco is distilled, were first grown in Peru by the Spaniards in the 16th century (at that time Peru & Chile were both part of Spain’s American empire.) When they became independent countries, both claimed the liquor as their own. Therefore the national drink of both Peru and Chile, is the rich “Pisco Sour.” However there is a difference in sweetness and the citrus used between the two countries’ piscos.”



  1. In a shaker with crushed ice add Sugar, followed by pisco and top with lemon juice.
  2. Vigorously shake until sugar dissolves.
  3. Taste, and adjust sugar to your liking.
  4. Serve in chilled cocktail glass.

Chilean Seafood Paella

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion
3-5 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp ground thyme, or 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
200g white rice
1 litre chicken stock or broth (fresh or frrom bullion – if using bullion, check salt level before adding more)
2 bay (laurel) leaves
1 tsp salt (see note)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, optional
500g mixed seafoods and vegetables, your choice.  I used baby shrimps, small snails, 1 squid, 200g in-shell clams, green bell pepper strips, a handful of baby green peas, and a small bunch of fancy mushrooms
half lemon
parsley, fresh or dry
more olive oil, for garnishing flavor


  1. Preheat oven to 200*C or 400*F
  2. Prep your meats and vegetables.
  3. In a paella pan or shallow, oven-safe dutch oven, gently saute the onion, garlic and bell pepper in olive oil.
  4. Add rice and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes to activate the pilaf effect.
  5. Add small meats, in this case snails and baby shrimps.
  6. Add tomato concassee (or drained diced tomatoes from a can), Chicken stock or broth, bay leaves (laurel) and saffron goes in. Bring to a simmer.
  7. Decoratively arrange the remaining meats and vegetables on top of rice.
  8. Cover with a oven-safe lid.  Bring to a strong simmer.
  9. Immediately transfer to the oven, bake about 20 minutes or until the rice in the center of the pan is cooked through.
  10. Remove lid and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  11. Carefully remove from oven, drizzle with fresh squeezed lemon juice and a zing of olive oil, garnish with chopped parsley.
  12. Serve immediately

South American Grill with Chimichurri Sauce

To Make Chimichurri Sauce:

4 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh parsley
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno
3/4 cup Olive Oil
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
salt/pepper to taste

Chop garlic and herbs and then blend all together in food processor with other ingredients to make sauce.  Can be made several hours ahead.

1 to 2 red onions, sliced
2 to 3 lbs beef loin or boneless top sirloin (cut into medium sized pieces for grilling – we marinated the meat in some of the sauce before grilling)
2 lbs small new red potatoes, halved
4 to 5 large ear of corn, cut into thirds
6 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1 cup Kalamata olives
Coat all vegetables in Olive Oil before grilling.  Grill onions (we did this on the stove ahead of time).  About 30 min before you are ready to serve, pre-heat grill, spray grill with vegetable spray or oil and have on high heat.  Place potatoes, cut side down and close lid.  Grill for 5 minutes, turn and grill another 5 or until fully cooked.  Remove and coat with some of the sauce, keep warm.  Next grill steak and corn – both until done depending on your preference.

Arrange all ingredients on a large platter, coat with some of the sauce.  Serve with additional sauce on the side.

Hasta que nos encontramos otra vez (until we meet again).




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