Showing posts with label Appetizers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Appetizers. Show all posts

Feb 13, 2019

Papa rellena (stuffed potato)


  • 1 Kg of potatoes
  • 1/2 Kg of diced or minced beef meat
  • 1 diced red onion
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons of ají panca paste (Peruvian red chili pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 6 black olives in thin slices
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Flour
  • Enough oil to fry the potatoes
  • 100 g of raisins (optional)
Preparation: Cook the potatoes in a pot with boiling water until they are tender (around 20-30 minutes depending on the type of potato). Peel them while hot and mash them immediately adding salt to taste. Keep them covered while cooking the filling.

In a saucepan heat the olive oil over high heat, add the onion and garlic stirring for 2 - 3 minutes until the onion and garlic are golden. Add the ají panca and cumin, cook for 1 minute stirring frequently. Add the meat, tomato, salt and pepper to taste, mix well and stir until the meat is cooked. Cover and let it cook for 2 minutes over low heat. Add the hard-boiled eggs, olives and optionally the raisins. Mix well, turn off the heat and keep it cover.

With floured hands, take a portion of the potato dough and flatten it between your hands, not too thin but you should still be able to mold it and close it. With a spoon put a portion of the filling in the center of the potato round. Close it with your fingers and give it a round or ovoid shape. Once it is closed, cover it with flour and reserve.

Fry in a hot pan with hot oil until the potatoes form a thin golden and crusty layer. Turn them around every now and then to make sure every side gets golden. Once fried put the potatoes over a paper towel to eliminate the excess of oil.

Serve while hot with salsa criolla and hot sauce, and white rice if you wish.

Aug 20, 2018

Salchipapas (hotdogs and French fries)


  • 0.5 Kg of your favorite hotdogs (approximately 1 lb)
  • 1 Kg of French fries (approximately 2 lbs)
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • Your favorite sauces (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, black olive mayo, avocado mayo, hot sauce, etc.)

Get your French fries ready (fried or baked, fresh or frozen). Cut the hotdogs in rounds or oval slices. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook the sausages until golden

Serve hot. On a plate serve fries, add some hotdogs and pour over your favorite sauces.

Aug 12, 2018

Mollejitas Fritas o a la Parrilla (fried or grilled chicken gizzards)


  • 1 Kg. of chicken gizzards (approx. 2 lbs.)
  • 0.5 tablespoon of aji panca paste (red Peruvian chili paste or it could be replaced with 2 teaspoons of ground paprika)
  • 0.5 tablespoon of aji amarillo paste (yellow Peruvian chili paste or replace it with aji panca if unable to get the yellow one)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste

  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin

  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Preparation: Cut the gizzards into bite-sized pieces and put them in a bowl. Add the aji, salt, garlic, black pepper, cumin and vinegar, mix and let it marinate for one or two hours. In a big frying heat the oil on medium-high temperature. Add the gizzards and cook until they are golden brown. You can grill them instead for better results. Served them hot with boiled or baked potatoes and/or boiled corn, and your favorite hot sauce.

Aug 3, 2018

Cancha Salada (salty toasted corn)


  • 2 cups of dried chulpe corn
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (it could be replaced with lard)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt (it could be increased or decreased according to your preference)

In medium size pot, heat the oil on high heat. Add the dried corn and stir constantly until the corn is golden brown. Transfer the corn to a bowl or dish and add the salt.

Cancha salada or tostado can be used as an appetizer or as a side dish to several Peruvian dishes.

Jun 6, 2018

Cebiche de Pescado (fish cebiche)


  • 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

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 cancha salada (salty toasted corn), boiled kernel corn, slices of boiled yucca or slices of glazed sweet potatoes. It pairs really well with cold chicha morada.

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.


  • 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

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.

Apr 14, 2018

Empanada de Carne (beef empanada)

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Kg. of beef cut in small cubes (1/2 cm or approximately 1/4 inch cubes)
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon of aji amarillo paste (Peruvian yellow chili paste)
  • 1 teaspoon of aji panca paste (Peruvian red chili paste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt
  • 2 hard boiled eggs cut in small slices
  • 1/2 cup of pitted black olives in slices
Dough Ingredients:
  • 1 Kg. of flour
  • 250 g. of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 whole whisked egg

Heat the oil in a pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook at medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the aji Amarillo and aji panca, mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Add the meat and salt, cook for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the salt, black pepper, oregano and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes. Take the pot out of the stove and let the filling cool down.

Mix the flour and salt. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the melted butter and warm water and mix thoroughly. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes (you can use round molds or a small plate). You can also make small individual balls with the dough and roll out each ball to a disc shape.

To assemble the empanadas, place a spoonful of the filling on the middle of each disc. Do not overstuff or it will be hard to seal. Add a slice of hard boiled egg and some black olive slices to the filling. To seal the empanadas fold the disc over and then press the edges with your fingers, twist curling the edges little by little, this way you will get semicircle shaped empanadas (a fork to press the edges could also be used to seal the edges). You can also press and fold the edges in three parts, this way you will get rectangle shaped empanadas. Put the empanadas on a baking sheet with baking paper and brush them with the whisked egg.

Pre-heat the oven at 375F. Bake the empanadas for 15-20 minutes, until golden.

Serve warm with slices of lime to squeeze on the filling and your favorite hot sauce. They pair very well with red wine. 

Apr 10, 2018

Anticuchos (beef heart skewers)


  • 1 Kg of beef heart (it could be replaced with some tender meat, fish or even squid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
  • 3/4 cup of red vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of aji panca paste (Peruvian red chili paste or it could be replaced with 2 tablespoons of ground paprika and 2 tablespoons of water)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt
  • 8 regular-small size potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 10-inch skewers


Thinly sliced the beef heart and cut it into squares of about 5 cm. long (approximately 2 inches). Place the pieces of beef heart in a tray or bowl.

In a small bowl, blend the vinegar, black pepper, cumin, salt, garlic and aji panca until you get a soft paste. Pour the paste over the heart pieces and mix well. Cover and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Thread the beef heart onto the skewers. Stick three or four pieces of heart in each skewer, so that the meat lays flat. Save the rest of the marinade in a cup or small bowl and add the oil to it, use this for basting the anticuchos on the grill. Place the skewers on a hot grill rack coated with cooking spray, use a charcoal grill for best results. Grill each side for approximately 2 minutes, do not overcook.

Serve hot, with slices of boiled potatoes and hot sauce. You can also add pieces of boiled corn when serving. 

Mar 31, 2018

Causa de Atun (layered potato tuna salad)


  • 1.5 Kg. of yellow potatoes
  • 3 180g cans of tuna fish
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon of aji amarillo paste
  • 4 limes
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 6 lettuce leafs
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 12 black olives (halved or pitted)
  • Salt
  • Parsley
  • Black pepper

Boil the potatoes with their skins on and some salt. Peel once cooked and mash them. Let them cool down. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, the lime juice and the aji amarillo and mix well, gradually adding the oil to keep the mixture smooth.

In a bowl, mix the tuna fish with the onions and mayonnaise. Add some salt and black pepper.

In order to assemble this dish you need to have a layer of the tuna filling in between two layers of potatoes and decorate it with slices of hard boiled eggs, olives, parsley and lettuce. You can assemble individual plates by using cookie cutters or you can prepare a big one from where to cut individual slices by using a tray or the outer ring of a springform pan. Alternatively you can put a layer of potatoes and a layer of the tuna filling on a plastic wrap and carefully roll it, as a jelly roll. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Shredded chicken, crab meat or shrimp can be used instead of tuna fish for the filling. Avocados and tomatoes can also be used for decoration or even for an extra layer of filling.

Mar 10, 2018

Soltero de queso (cheese, olives, corn and fava beans salad)

This is a traditional dish from Arequipa, a city in the Southern region of Peru, which is served cold.


  • 2 onions diced or cut in thin slices
  • 1 tomato in dices
  • 1 cup of fresh cheese (could be replaced with mozzarella or drained cottage cheese)
  • 4 big boiled potatoes or 8 small ones
  • 1 cup of pitted black olives in slices
  • 1 cup of boiled fava beans
  • 1 cup of boiled corn kernels
  • Olive oil
  • Red vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Chopped fresh rocoto (optionally jalapeno pepper or Cayenne pepper powder)
  • Parseley and oregano (optional)


After rinsing and draining, put the onions in a large bowl together with the tomatoes, cheese, olives, fava beans and corn. Add salt, black pepper, olive oil and vinegar. If you like spicy food you can add rocoto (chopped jalapeno pepper or Cayenne pepper powder could be used if rocoto is not available). Optionally you can sprinkle some parsley and/or oregano. Mix everything.

Serve the salad with the potato on the side.

Mar 6, 2018


This is an appetizer served in picanterías (traditional restaurants in Arequipa). However, they don´t serve you the finished dish but they actually give you the ingredients for you to prepare it.


  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 slices of rocoto
  • 1 tomato
  • Red vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt



Boil three or four regular size potatoes with their skin, then peel them. Cut one or two slices of fresh rocoto and take out the seeds and central part of the rocoto where they are attached (you can leave this part if you want it really hot). Cut the tomato in slices. Put everything on a flat dish, add red vinager, oil and salt.

The fun part starts after it is served. Now you need to cut the rocoto, tomato and potatoes in small pieces, crush the potatoes with a fork and mixed them with the rocoto and tomato. Add some more vinager, oil and salt if needed.