Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Paila Marina - Chile

One of the most delectable South American seafood indulgences is Paila Marina (Chilean seafood soup). My friend, Chef Marcela Hernandez of Arica, informs me that depending on where you are the soup will change due to shellfish and fishes prevalent in local waters. And being that the Pacific coastline of Chile is 6435 kilometers (4000 mi) long north to south, that promises a considerable range in water temperature and resident species. However, the basic recipe remains the same (favorite hot fish stock and add readily available fish, shellfish and shrimp, mince of onion & garlic, oregano, bay leaf and perhaps a daub of tomato paste and fresh parsley as a finishing touch). 

Following the above approach while exercising due respect for all seafood used, any home cook can achieve a perfectly wonderful Paila Marina. In conversation, it occurred to me that it is a confident chef who will share a "secret" and the self-assured Chef Hernandez happily revealed a superior Paila Marina is finished with a splash of fresh milk and dry white wine. She insists you use the same white you have in your glass. “One to accent the other,” she adds. “Really, nothing could be better. Salud!”

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2009. All Rights Reserved. 
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