Pebre (Chilean Salsa)

I only have three weeks left here in Chile so I have to take advantage of the awesome fruit/veggie/everything market that happens every Friday just a block from my apartment.  It’s summer here so everything is insanely cheap.  Really, it’s insane.  How much do you think all the food pictured above cost?  We got some cherries, some nectarines, tomatoes, like 4 pounds of avocados, some mushrooms, green onions, cilantro, chili peppers, onions…Probably like $50 right?  Especially since it’s all organic and locally grown?

Try closer to $10.

While your jealousy abates, join me in a recipe for a staple food here known as pebre.  Basically, it’s Chilean pico de gallo.  A fresh salsa that they put on everything here.  Even on bread.  Sounds weird.  Tastes great.

I made a huge batch today for a barbecue we’re having this weekend.  It’s a goodbye barbecue but I didn’t think tears made a good topping for grilled meat so I decided to make pebre.  This is what I used:

Like…10 small tomatoes.  Or 5 large tomatoes

1 large white onion

4 chili peppers

2 lemons (juiced)

5 tbls chopped, fresh cilantro

1 tbls olive oil

Chop all ingredients, mix together, blend if desired.  This can be served chunky, like a salsa, or I used a hand-blender thing (technical term) to make it into more of a sauce.  Either way, it’s good.  That’s the whole process!  Eat it on bread, chips, hot dogs, pizza…or, ya know, anything!  Enjoy these remaining photos that have nowhere to go.

finished product.

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Chilean Ceviche

People are often squeamish about ceviche in the same way that they’re squeamish about sushi.  “Eeeww, raw fish!” they might say.  Well, ceviche doesn’t actually contain raw fish.  The fish is “cooked” in lemon juice before it’s served.  More accurately one might say that it’s cured.  But the lemon juice kills any offensive bacteria that may make you run for the hills when confronted with a slab of raw fish.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, to the preparation!

Ingredients:

2 lbs reineta or corvina (in the US, corvina is known as Chilean sea bass)

2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (you need a lot of lemons, about 2 lbs)

1 large onion

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

2 tbl fresh chopped cilantro

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbl cumin

2 tbl EVOO

Salt to taste

Okay so, first thing’s first: “cook” the fish.  Chop the fish up into small, bite sized pieces and cover with the lemon juice.  This needs to be done first so that the fish can cure while you’re preparing the rest of the dish.  Set the fish and juice aside, stirring occasionally to make sure all the fish is in contact with the lemon juice.

Now chop the onion and peppers into very small little pieces (julienne) and add to a separate bowl.  Add the cilantro and garlic and mix it all together.  Add the fish and lemon juice to the veggie mix.  Stir so that everything is covered.  Add cumin and salf and let the mixture sit for at least half an hour in the refrigerator before serving it.  Add the olive oil immediately before serving.

You can serve it on toast, crackers or just eat it plain.  It’s also great with avocado.  Hope you enjoy this elegant and easy dish!