Boka hosted a Chilean dinner (created by Chef Julius Russel, a south side Chicagoan who is now the Chilean Chef Ambassador) a couple of weeks back that I had the pleasure of attending. It’s kind of funny because so much of what we talk about these days having to do with resto menus revolves around local and seasonal ingredients. On the other hand, so much of the produce we see in the grocery stores during this time of the year is imported, and much of it from Chile. (You know… it’s their summer when it’s our winter. PS. How weird would it be to have Christmas on the beach?) We’ve come to expect that we can buy asparagus or blueberries in December or any other time of the year for that matter. That’s all thanks to the crops of places like Chile. The whole menu highlighted Chilean ingredients. It was quite lovely.
Here are the pics:
Chilean Olive Oil Poached Salmon with Avocado, Apple and Pickled Strawberries.
Steelhead Trout with Quinoa, Steamed Mussels & Clementine Vinaigrette
Almond Financier with Chilean Blueberry (52% of imported blueberries come from Chile) Compote,
Chilean Almond Ice Cream and Tonka Bean Custard
It was all very beautiful and delicious. Chef Julius did an absolutely fab job!
Here’s the recipe for the Christmas Bread. It’s something similar to the Italian Panettone or German/French Stolen (which are both delicious!). Anybody have the guts to try it? Comment if you do and let me know how it goes!!!
CHRISTMAS BREAD (PAN DE PASCUA)
This holiday bread is prepared everywhere in Chile during December, commemorating Christmas It is always served with chilled Monkey`s Tail. The features of the Pan de Pascua evoke both German and Italian cuisines, as a reflection of those two big communities through Chilean history.
- ·1 cup butter, softened
- ·1/3 cup light brown sugar
- ·1/2 cup sugar
- ·4 eggs, at room temperature
- ·3 cups flour
- ·1 teaspoon soda
- ·1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ·1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- ·1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- ·3/4 teaspoon salt
- ·3 teaspoons
- ·Zest of one orange
- ·Zest of one lemon
- ·1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
- ·1/2 cup pisco
- ·1/2 cup evaporated milk
- ·2 tablespoons anise flavor liqueur
- ·1 tablespoon vinegar
- ·1 cup nuts, finely chopped
- ·1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
- ·1/2 cup golden raisins, family chopped
- ·1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degress.
- Cream butter with the sugars until smooth and creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time until well blended.
- Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir the fruit zests into the dry ingredients.
- Whisk the coffee, Pisco, evaporated milk, anise flavoring, vanilla, and vinegar together.
- Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture, blending well.
- Fold in the nuts and the dried fruit.
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with a circle of wax paper.
- Spread the batter evenly into the pan.
- Bake cake for 45 minutes. Without removing the cake from the oven, carefully sprinkle some sifted powdered sugar over the top of the cake, then bake cake for 15 minutes more.
- Check cake for doneness: a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean. If the cake is not yet done, return it to the oven and check it again every 5 or 10 minutes until done.
- Let cake cool 15 minutes in the pan on a rack.
- While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Sift 1 cup confectioner’s sugar into bowl. Add melted butter, pinch of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1 – 2 tablespoons milk, or more to reach desired consistency.
- Remove cake from pan, and drizzle top with icing.
- Cake keeps for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic.