My everyday life here in Chile is not essentially that different from my life in the U.S., but the culture here is. It is very hard to describe to someone who has never experienced different cultures for themselves. It is not like I live in the third world conditions that you see in every other Hollywood movie. Obviously, I have internet, electricity, appliances and electronics. There are large grocery stores, malls, and cities in this country too, but we live in a small town that is somewhat far from those things.
If I’m being honest, I must admit there are many things I miss from The States, like convenience. Recently, my parents made a new acquaintance with a man from the U.S. He was vacationing here with some friends who have a nice vacation house here. It was obvious that he hadn’t been here very long because, during his conversation with my parents, he asked them if there was a Costco anywhere close by. My parents must have tried very hard not to laugh. It isn’t that you can’t buy good food here, the food is great. It’s that you can’t find easy food. Almost everything we purchase from our local markets is fresh and raw ingredients. This is great because it is so much healthier than buying processed foods and fast food, but everything requires more effort to prepare.
Boy, do we have moments where we miss Costco, like really bad. We are fans of Panda Express and when I lived in Idaho we ate there whenever we were out shopping and needed a quick bite. Living in the USA we are just used to quick food availible at all times. Not having that anymore has been a healthy reality check and we are probably benefitting from it more than we know.
Amoung the things my family and I miss are taquitos. In a recent post I mentioned that they don’t have Mexican food here. The culture is very European and so is the food. You may find a stray Taco Bell in the mega malls in Santiago but that is about the only place to find Mexican food. I knew that if we wanted good taquitos I would have to make them. These turned out better than I had hoped and my family loved them. They were a nice taste of something familiar.
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup prepared salsa
- 4 tablespoons butter, separated
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup milk
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I would use cheddar but it is hard to find where I live)
- small flour tortillas (about 6-inches)(I made my recipe for homemade tortillasand just made them about half the usual size.)
- oil for frying
- salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for serving(optional)
- In medium skillet, saute garlic, red bell pepper, and 2 tablespoons of butter until soft. Add salsa and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour into small bowl. Set aside for later.
- In the same pan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Remove from heat and add flour and seasonings. Stir until smooth, then add milk and return to medium low heat. When it begins to thicken, reduce heat to low and add cream cheese until melted. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese and bell pepper mixture. You want your filling thick enough that it won't run out and thin enough to coat chicken. If it is too thick, add a little milk. If too thin, add more cheese.
- Now add chicken and again return to low heat. Stir constantly until everything is warm. Spread a few tablespoons of filling on the bottom half af each tortilla and roll as tightly as possible.
- Heat oil and fry in small batches turning multiple times until done on all sides.
- Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.