My friend Melissa Caudle and I took a tour around the city of Santiago with a group from the PTA. Our plan was to drive around to several places pointing them out as we went along as potential day trips for families. Unfortunately, the driver decided to take a short-cut so we didn't see as much as we had hoped to.
We stopped at the mall for coffee (I had chocolate caliente) and initially I wasn't thrilled to be sitting around having coffee - I wanted to SEE things not sit around. But after the fact I realized how much I enjoyed the time to get to know the other women (and one man) a little bit better. These women had lots of tips and tricks to share about living in Santiago. We met a lady (also named Melissa) who told us how to get buy-one-get one whoppers at Burger King by texting a code, discounted movie tickets and popcorn/soda deals. All very important when living in this expensive city.
We then stopped at the REAL fish market. Not the touristy, fun market, but the nitty gritty fish market. We knew we were close when the smell started to overtake the bus, but the fish was fresh and sold for great prices. I bought $60 USD worth of fish. 1 entire sea bass (Corvina), a filet of salmon, and 2 kilos of pink clams (machas). Luckily, they filleted everything for me. It was a great day. I couldn't have made it without the help of new Melissa - she spoke to the vendors for me :)
After the tour finished up, Melissa Caudle and I were starving. I talked about how nice it used to be to be able to just run through a drive thru at home. Or stop in and grab a bite to eat at any ole' restaurant. I can't do that here. *I know, it's been 5 months - you'd think I spoke better spanish - but I don't.* We decided that we figured we could manage our way through McDonalds. That whole adventure is detailed in my post "Earthquake!".
I took my fish home and on Saturday started the tedious task of preparing my Ceviche and Machas a la Parmesana. It was tedious and time consuming. After several hours of work, Greg and I both decided that next time, I'll save the $60 bucks and go to a restaurant. I can get a lot of Parmesan clams and Ceviche for $30.000 pesos! I didn't realize when I bought the clams that I would have to squeeze each and every single one of them to 'remove the innards'. It was just as gross as it sounded. My house smelled fishy for days and although it was delicious - not worth the effort. It took 2 hours to prepare 2 kilos of machas and we ate them all in about 15 minutes. It's like Thanksgiving only stinkier and no left overs....
Here is Greg, cutting and cutting and cutting several kilos of fish into small little bites for ceviche.
He finally had enough and we cooked up the rest of the Corvina (sea bass). YUM!
Here are the machas. It doesn't look like a ton - but after removing each one, rinsing and de-innarding these dudes.. trust me, it was an ordeal!
The clean shells
Removing the innards - yep - all that black goo plus some yellow goo had to be squeezed out of each and every one of those suckers. GROSS!
Once they are clean, you top it with a pat of butter and parmesan cheese and they are broiled for 3-5 minutes. SOO GOOD!
Andrew - dude. Slow down and enjoy it. They took so long to make!
The ceviche is just raw fish that is 'cooked' in lemon juice for 3 hours. It was really very tasty!
So good in fact, that we earned a tweet from our fish lover. Yep. Mom rocks!
Next time - someone else gets to do all the work. I will never do that again. Live and learn.