Jun 6, 2018

Cebiche de Pescado (fish cebiche)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Kg. of fresh fish (semi-firm white-fleshed ocean fish like sea bass, sole, flounder or cod)
  • 10 limes
  • 1 onion cut in thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped aji limo or rocoto (if you don't have these hot chilis you could use 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper)
  • 1 celery stalk finely minced (this is optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves finely minced (this is optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of minced cilantro leaves (this is optional)
  • 2 medium size sweet potatoes, boiled and cut in slices
Preparation:

Cut the fish in 1 - 1.5 cm cubes (approximately 1/2 inch cubes) and put it in a big bowl. Add the freshly squeezed juice of the limes, the aji limo or rocoto, and salt. Mix well and let it settle for some minutes before serving. The cebiche should remain cold so let it settle preferably in the fridge. The time to let it settle depends on how "ccoked" you like it, some decades ago people used to eat it really cooked, with the fish turning completely white so they were letting it settle for 15 - 20 minutes or even more. In the last couple of decades the trend changed and people now eat it almost raw so they let it settle only for 2 - 3 minutes.

The traditional cebiche only uses fish, lime, hot chili, salt and onions but there are many variations and additions. The one using celery, garlic and cilantro is a popular one.

Served it cold with onion slices on top and slices of boiled sweet potatoes as a side. You can sprinkle more hot chili and decorate it with a slice of rocoto, a lettuce leaf or fresh seaweed. Other sides that are used are roasted kernel corn, boiled kernel corn, slices of boiled yucca or slices of glazed sweet potatoes. It pairs really well with cold chicha morada.

Jun 3, 2018

Chicha Morada (purple corn punch)

Ingredients:

  • 2 dried purple corn on the cob
  • 4 liters of water
  • 1 pineapple peels
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 limes
Preparation:

In a large pot, bring the water to a boil with the corn, cinnamon, cloves and pineapple peels. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the liquid into another pot and discard the corn, spices and peels. Add the sugar and dissolve it while hot. Add the lime juice and refrigerate until cold.

Serve cold or over ice. You can add some chopped pineapple before serving. 

May 25, 2018

Sarza de Embutidos (charcuterie onion salad)

This is a variation of the sarza de cabeza, a traditional dish from Arequipa, in the South of Peru. The traditional dish is prepared with boiled pork head meat which is cut in small pieces.

Ingredients:

  • 750 g. of meat ends in small slices or cubes (approximately 1 1/2 lbs of meat ends)
  • 3 medium size onions in thin slices
  • 3 medium size tomatoes in slices
  • 8 medium to small size boiled potatoes
  • 2 slices of fresh rocoto chopped in small pieces (you could replace it with ground cayenne pepper)
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
Preparation:

Cut the meat ends in small slices or cubes (about 1.5 cm cubes or 1/2 inch), put them in a bowl and add the vinegar, and pepper. For best results, let the mix marinate for 4 to 5 hours, or overnight, in the fridge.

Boil and peel the potatoes.

Cut the onions and wash them thoroughly. Add them to the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Add more salt and rocoto or cayenne pepper if needed.

Serve it cold with the boiled potatoes.