Thursday, September 26, 2019

Carnal in Santiago, Chile - Review

T-bone steak from Carnal in Santiago, Chile
T-bone steak from Carnal in Santiago, Chile

Of all the steakhouses in Santiago, Chile, Carnal may be the most unique. Sure, every other restaurant focused on their beef offerings has a menu with something for everyone. But what makes Carnal so exquisite, is that it truly is a fish out water when you see their menu.

Carnal might be located in Chile, but its parent restaurant is actually based in Peru, similar to how La Cabrera originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, yet has locations in a number of other countries including Santiago, Chile. 

But what makes Carnal different is that it's a Peruvian creation, existing in Santiago, Chile...but has a completely American beef menu. When reviewing the different cuts of meat they offer, the list is more reminiscent of what you'd expect at a New York City steakhouse. In fact, the first cut of beef on the menu is a New York Strip, followed by a Bone-in New York and others such as a Flat Iron, Porterhouse and T-bone. You won't find all of these cuts of meet on most Chilean menus.

If the cuts of beef weren't enough to sample a different restaurant experience in Chile, all of the beef they offer is either Certified Angus Beef or USDA Prime. So they offer the patrons a US steakhouse experience right here in Santiago, Chile.

The food meets all of the expectations.

With an array of different side dishes, it's easy for a visitor to find the perfect food pairing for their meal. You'll even find a distinctly US side-dish option of Mac & Cheese with truffles.

Upon sitting at your table, the wait staff offer a visually impressive bread assortment with different herbed butters.

Bread assortment from Carnal in Santiago, Chile
Bread assortment from Carnal in Santiago, Chile


When ordering your meal, they additionally make their recommendation for the ideal cooking temperature for the specific cut. As I ordered a T-bone steak (photo above), which has the bone, the waiter recommended medium rare sine my usually preference "a punto" or medium well, might result in the meat further away from the bone being overcooked. I asked them to find a happy medium by aiming for something in between medium rare and medium well. They delivered. 

On my most recent visit, I opted for my usual choice of creamed spinach and pure de papas. In both cases, they were combined with cheese and were the perfect compliment for the wonderful T-bone steak.

Creamed Spinach from Carnal in Santiago, Chile
Creamed Spinach from Carnal in Santiago, Chile


Pure de Papas gratinado from Carnal in Santiago, Chile
Pure de Papas gratinado from Carnal in Santiago, Chile



Carnal also happens to have an extensive wine list. So it is easy for everyone to find something to go with their meal. As a Malbec lover, I was happy to find 7 different options to chose from out of the hundred or more bottles on the list.


I've often found that in many restaurants where I enjoy the food, I'm less keen on the ambiance. But at Carnal, it's always been lively and loud and seemingly transported me back to my days living in the US and visiting the "New York style" steakhouses. With each visit, I've enjoyed my time there and always look forward to my next visit. 

There are are many excellent steakhouses in Santiago to chose from. But at some point, if you're living in Chile and want to try something different than most of the others, I recommend a trip to Carnal: it's less expensive than a flight to New York City for a similar experience.



Carnal Menu:

menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile



Carnal Wine List:


menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile

menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile

menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile

menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile


menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile

menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile

menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile



menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile

menu from Carnal in Santiago, Chile


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Seared Tuna from Pinpilinpausha in Santiago, Chile



Seared Tuna from Pinpilinpausha in Santiago, Chile


Seared tuna in a honey and ginger sauce with mashed potatoes and hot pepper

Atun laqueado en salsa de miel y jenjibre con ají y escabeche sobre puré








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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sweet Baby Rays Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs - Recipe




Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs
Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

You have a slow cooker and use it to make all sorts of things like savory chicken, pot roast and stews. But did you know you can also prepare juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs with it?

This recipe takes just minutes to prepare as the slow cooker does the rest of the work for you.

The ingredients are fairly simple, with a dry rub prepared for the ribs which are then cooked with a mixture of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce and Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.

The combination of the liquid smoke and the smoked paprika give these ribs a smokey flavor without the need for a grill or smoker!


Slow Cooker Baby Bak Ribs Recipe
Slow Cooker Baby Bak Ribs Recipe

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs Ingredients:

  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 3/4 cup stout beer (Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout)
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce

Sweet Baby Rays Slow Cooker Ribs

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs with Rosemary & Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Baked Mac & Cheese
Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs with Rosemary & Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Baked Mac & Cheese

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs Recipe:

  1. In a small bowl, make the dry rub by combining the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion power, black pepper and salt

  2. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs

  3. Apply the dry rub evenly to both sides of the ribs. Save about 1 tsp. of the dry rub for later.

  4. Cut the (2) racks in half to create 4 even sized smaller racks

  5. Pour the beer into the slow cooker

  6. Add the liquid smoke

  7. Insert the 4 rib rack halves upright in the slow cooker if unit is 3.5 litters; insert the ribs flat for a larger liter unit

  8. Add the onions and garlic on top of the ribs

  9. Add the Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce atop the ribs

  10. Cover the slow cooker

  11. Cook on low for 8 hours (4 hours on high for less tender ribs)

  12. Optional: If cooking for 8 hours in a 3.5 liter slow cooker, flip the upright ribs over so that the uncovered sides are on the bottom to cook for the remaining 4 hours

  13. Optional: 15 minutes before serving, remove 1/2 cup of the cooked juice and place in a bowl to cool. The addition of the pork fat will make the sauce more thinner, so letting it cool and congeal for 15 minutes will allow the sauce the thicken for use.
  14. Before serving, sprinkle a pinch or so of the remaining dry rub atop the ribs



Thursday, September 12, 2019

Happening in Santiago, Chile - Review


Bife de Ancho con hueso from Happening in Santiago, Chile

When looking to experience one of the better steakhouses in Santiago, Chile, one should consider a trip to Happening. The two-floor restaurant has a strong reputation for serving some of the best steaks in the city while providing a generally good ambiance.

I've visited Happening a few times over the years, first back in 2012 and a few times over the past 8 months. The food has remained consistent over time with some small variations to the menu. I have noticed that the capacity tends to be filled half of what it was in 2012, when the restaurant was  packed on a Friday or Saturday evening. There isn't as much a need for a weekend reservation these days. But this does not take away from the quality of the food.


When you enter Happening and sit down at your table, the wait staff is always prepared with the food and wine menus in hand. Upon sitting, they immediately make a recommendation for a starter, and propose an Argentinian grilled chorizo. It's refreshing to see the staff up-selling with an offer that is so fitting for an Argentinian restaurant. It was also refreshing that the wine list is available on their website, which is fairly uncommon.

The staff is equally as helpful when it comes to the wine selections. I ordered a bottle of a specific Malbec. The waiter returned and apologized that they did not have the bottle I ordered, but instead brought another bottle. Instead of using it as an opportunity to up-sell to a more expensive bottle, the waiter instead brought a less priced bottle because it was closer in taste to the specific bottle I had ordered.

As for the food itself, you can't go wrong with their beef offerings.

On my last visit, I ordered the bife de ancho con hueso, or a tomahawk steak (pictured above) along with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. The quality of the beef was superb and it was an enjoyable meal.

Ojo de bife de Angus pampeano, reducción de vino tinto, con cake de aligot y escabeche de hongos from Happening in Santiago, Chile


During a previous visit, I've tried some of the house specialties such as the Ojo de bife de Angus pampeano, in a red wine reduction, with aligot cakes and mushrooms. When I'm at a steakhouse, especially an Argentinian restaurant, I tend to order a standard grilled beef meal. But I made the exception at Happening and it did not disappoint. The wine reduction and mushrooms paired perfectly with the ojo de bife and the cheesy aligot (potato and cheese mixture) cakes.

If you're one a steakhouse tour of Santiago, Chile, stop by Happening and give it a shot as it will not likely disappoint.


Ojo de bife from Happening in Santiago, Chile


Happening Restaurant Review Grades:

Atmosphere: B

Menu: B

Food: B+

Wine List: A


Happening in Santiago, Chile - Menu:


menu from Happening in Santiago, Chile

menu from Happening in Santiago, Chile

menu from Happening in Santiago, Chile

menu from Happening in Santiago, Chile






Happening in Santiago, Chile - Wine List:




menu from Happening in Santiago, Chile

menu from Happening in Santiago, Chile

menu from Happening in Santiago, Chile

menu from Happening in Santiago, Chile


Friday, September 6, 2019

Guinness Stew from Flannery’s Beer House in Santiago, Chile


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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Bacon Jam Recipe


On a recent trip to Iowa, I found myself falling head over heels for this tasty bacon concoction. It's really quite simple: it's bacon, onions, sugar and maple syrup cooked down into a tasty jam. 

Whether you're using in as a topping for cheese and crackers or as a way to add some extra flavor to mac' and cheese or a burger, bacon jam is something every bacon fan needs to try. 
It's so easy to make, there's no reason why you can't cook bacon jam today. Below is a proven recipe that will knock your socks off!



Bacon Jam Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. bacon (finely cut into 1/4 inch squares)
  • 8 shallots (minced or pureed for a creamier texture)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup sweet white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke



Bacon Jam Cooking Directions:

  1. Cut the bacon into small pieces, into approximately 1/4 inch squares. Cook on medium heat in a saucepan until fully cooked. Remove the cooked bacon and set aside, while keeping the remaining bacon grease in the saucepan.

  2. This recipe will use pureed shallots in a food processor versus minced. The shallot puree provides a creamier texture to the jam as the base, so that the only remaining solid ingredients in the completed bacon jam is the bacon itself, along with the finely minced garlic.

    In the saucepan with the remaining bacon grease, cook the shallot puree, constantly stirring for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked. If you are using minced shallots, then cook until caramelized.

  3. Add in the garlic about 5 minutes before the shallots are complete cook at the medium heat

  4. Mix in the cooked bacon, brown sugar, white wine (I use a sweet Late Harvest Chilean white wine), chili powder, liquid smoke and maple syrup.

  5. Bring the heat to low and cook until the bacon jam has thickened and the liquid has been reduced. Cooking time will be approximately 5-10 minutes depending on what texture you are looking for.

  6. Let cool for jarring or use it warm as the perfect topping for mac' and cheese, burgers, bagels or crackers.





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