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February 28, 2013 | By Noelle Carter
Roasted chiles are great for adding wonderfully rich flavors and depth to a recipe, and they're amazingly easy to prepare. To roast peppers, place whole fresh peppers on a rack over a stove-top burner (if you're roasting large peppers that will fit directly onto the burner grate without slipping through, you can skip the rack) and turn on the burner. Rotate the peppers over the fire using a set of tongs just until the outer skin blackens and blisters and becomes charred on all sides.
February 14, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Say yes to "No. " An entire country did, causing a political earthquake that uprooted a tenacious dictatorship and formed the basis of this smart, involving and provocative new film. Starring Gael García Bernal, "No" is inspired by a real-life 1988 scenario that marked the beginning of the end for Chile's brutal Augusto Pinochet dictatorship. It's an irresistible fable of sorts about the power of counter-intuitive thinking, but it is also something more. As put together by some of Chile's top cinematic talents, a hit at Cannes and one of the five foreign-language Oscar nominees this year, "No" is also unexpectedly amusing and as savvy as it gets about the psychology of the political process.
February 9, 2013 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
In the United States it's business as usual for political ideas to be branded and sold like breakfast cereals. But when those marketing tools were used in Chile in 1988, the outcome reshaped an entire nation - and generated the stuff of high drama. Twenty-five years ago, a majority of Chileans just said no to extending the regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Only it wasn't guerrilla revolutionaries that toppled the right-wing strongman. It was a slick, Madison Avenue-style advertising campaign that urged Chileans to vote "No" on Pinochet's plebiscite and yes for restoring democracy after 15 years of the general's autocratic rule.
February 1, 2013 | By Noelle Carter
Who says pancakes are just for breakfast? These savory pancakes from Yotam Ottolenghi get their flavor from a colorful blend of spinach, green onions, cumin and serrano chile. Round out the harmony with a pat of lime butter spiced with cilantro, garlic and chile flakes, and you can call it a meal any time of the day. The whole dish comes together in less than an hour. For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery . Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix several dishes in an hour or less.
January 31, 2013 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
Ways of Going Home A Novel Alejandro Zambra Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 160 pp., $23 In an age when writing careers can be born on the strength of 140-character tweets, massive word counts aren't required to make an impression. While many novelists create doorstop-sized statements in their reach for something profound and canonical, Chilean poet and novelist Alejandro Zambra is an adherent to the idea that less is more. His previous novels, "The Secret Lives of Trees" and "Bonsai," earned acclaim while coming in at fewer than 100 pages, and his latest effort, "Ways of Going Home," is Melville-esque by comparison, topping out at 160. But though the book looks lean, don't mistake it for something slight, as Zambra thoughtfully - even beautifully - navigates through larger themes of loss, political oppression and the nature of writing against the backdrop of Chile during and after the rule of dictator Augusto Pinochet.
January 26, 2013 | By Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times
A quick note on heat: Capsaicin is found in the inner ribs, or veins, of chiles, not just the seeds. To minimize the heat (why you'd ever want to do that, I don't know), remove the ribs with the seeds. And when working with chiles, be careful. The capsaicin in the oils can burn your hands and eyes. Wear gloves when handling the hottest chiles, and work in a well-ventilated area. Chile heat varies by type, with Anaheim and pasilla on the milder end and jalapeños and serranos packing somewhat more of a punch.
January 19, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
PARK CITY, Utah -- Among the screenings on the opening night of the Sundance Film Festival was the world premiere of a new film starring Michael Cera shot in Chile in Spanish and English by writer-director Sebastian Silva. But which one? The festival actually has two. “Crystal Fairy” played Thursday as part of world dramatic competition, while “Magic Magic” will premiere Tuesday as part of the midnight section. Cera himself said he found it “uncanny” to have two films premiering at once that are so similar and yet so different.
January 18, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
PARK CITY, Utah -- Michael Cera has embarked on some pretty quirky adventures in recent years - “Paper Heart,” or the collected canon of George Michael Bluth. But he's up for some serious noodling in “Crystal Fairy,” a new road trip dramatic comedy that helped open the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday night and is told in a mix of English and Spanish. (Cera speaks mostly the former.) For one thing, the film was shot in Chile, over a period of 12 days, with nothing close to a script.
December 5, 2012 | By Noelle Carter
When you're looking for a dinner idea with a little more substance, but still want to put food on the table fast, you can't go wrong with hash. It's one-pan comfort food -- simple and no fuss. For this recipe, take that leftover chicken in the fridge (or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store on your way home) and cook it up with some cubed potatoes, crumbled chorizo, roasted green chiles and  and you can put dinner on the table in less than an hour. For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery . Food Editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.
November 21, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila
Before my father tasted any of his food, he'd shower the plate with red chile flakes. He even did it when, as a teenager, I made him lobster Thermidor for his birthday, a grueling task for a fledgling cook following a Julia Child recipe. The love of hot food runs in the family. When I was a toddler, my grandfather used to dose my mashed potatoes with horseradish. The result was no lasting trauma, but a lifelong love of fiery peppers. We used to go through jars of hot pickled peppers.
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