South American Recipes

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Food from South America is still a relatively unknown experience for many people here in the US, but that is slowly but surely changing. With a great ethnic fusion of southern European and native recipes, South American cuisine tastes like no other, and here at NetCost Market, we would like to introduce you to some of our favorites!


Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri sauce hails from Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Bolivia, and many other countries have local variations. It has become more popular in recent times, but many people buy shop bought imitations without knowing how simple and tasty a freshly made chimichurri sauce truly is! This versatile sauce is perfect for marinating meat such as beef or chicken, or for simply dipping bread.

You will need:

1 cup fresh parsley, ¾ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp dried oregano, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1 large clove garlic, diced, 1 medium deseeded chili (finely chopped)

How to make:

  1. Simply blend all the ingredients together, or finely chop the dry ingredients and mix all the ingredients together for a more “chunky” or textured version.
  2. Marinate meat for at least 24 (ideally 48) hours in the fridge with plenty of chimichurri sauce for an amazing steak, chicken breast or lamb cutlet at your summer BBQ!


Argentine Meat Empanadas

Empanadas are a South American favorite, with different countries laying claim to their own particular style. They are great party food as they can be prepared in advance, and are small and non-messy (until you break into one!).

You will need:

½ cup of shortening, 2 chopped onions, 1 pound of lean ground beef, 2 tsp of sweet paprika, ¾ tsp hot paprika, ½ tsp crushed red pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp white vinegar, ¼ cup raisins, ½ cup pitted green olives (chopped), 2 hard-boiled eggs (chopped), salt (to taste), 1 package puff pastry

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a pan, melt the shortening and cook the chopped onions until they just begin to become golden. Remove from the heat and in stir both paprikas, red pepper, and salt.
  3. In a separate pan, brown the meat and once browned, add salt, cumin, and white vinegar. Mix both the mixtures together and place to one side to cool.
  4. Cut the puff pastry into 10 shells and place a spoonful of the mixture into each, top each with raisins, olives, and chopped boiled eggs. Slightly wet the edges of the pastry shells and fold the edges together, forming an airtight seal.
  5. Place the empanadas on baking paper on a baking tray and prick each one on the top, in the middle with a fork. Glaze each with egg yolk and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes, until the edges are crispy and golden brown.


Bolivian Silpancho

Silpancho is a traditional dish from Cochabamba, Bolivia. It is a heart-warming classical 1 dish wonder that can be enjoyed by the whole family, or with friends at a dinner party!

You will need:

4 cups water, 2 cups white rice, 6 peeled potatoes, ½  cup vegetable oil, 3 cups breadcrumbs, 1 ½ pounds thinly sliced sirloin beef, salt to taste, 6 eggs, 3 sliced onions, 2 diced tomatoes, 2 red chilies, 3 tbsp olive oil.

How to make:

  1. Boil the rice in the 4 cups of water until the rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed.
  2. Place potatoes in a large pan and cover with water, bringing them to the boil until tender. Drain, and allow them to cool and then cut them into ½ inch slices.
  3. Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in a large pan, and brown the potatoes in batches until they are golden and crispy. Removed them and keep them to one side.
  4. Pour breadcrumbs in a bowl and season the beef with salt before pressing and coating in the breadcrumbs.
  5. In the pan used for the potatoes, brown the breaded beef in the remaining ¼ cup vegetable oil until golden brown.
  6. Fry the six eggs in a frying pan.
  7. Combine onions, tomatoes, chilies, and olive oil in a bowl and season with salt.
  8. Layer the rice, potatoes, beef, and fried eggs on serving plates, and then top with the onion and tomatoes mixture and serve!