Apr 23, 2018

Aji de Calabaza (spicy squash stew)


  • 2 Kg. of squash (use a white flesh squash like opo squash)
  • 4 medium size potatoes in cubes (1.5 cm or approximately 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 tablespoons of aji Amarillo paste (yellow Peruvian chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoons of aji panca paste (red Peruvian chili paste or 2 teaspoons of ground paprika)
  • 1 tablespoons of garlic paste
  • 1 medium size onion finely diced
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of boiled corn kernels
  • 300 g. of fresh cheese in small dice (it could be replaced with mozzarella)
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

After peeling and seeding the squash, cut it in thin slices and reserve.

Heat the oil in a medium size pot, add the aji amarillo, aji panca, garlic, onion and cumin. Cook on medium high until brown. Add the milk, squash, potatoes and salt. Set temperature to medium low, cover it and cook until the potatoes are tender (approximately 25 minutes). Set temperature to low, add the cheese and corn, and cook for 1-2 minutes while mixing everything.

Serve with white rice and decorate with huacatay (black mint).

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

Locro de Carne y Panza (beef, tripe and mashed potatoes stew)

Locro is a hearty thick stew popular along the Andes mountain range in South America. This variation of locro is traditional from Arequipa, in the Southern region of Peru.


  • 1 Kg. of beef (approximately 2 lbs.) cut in regular size pieces (5 cm. or 2 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 Kg. of cleaned tripe cut in 5 cm. squares
  • 1 daikon cut in pieces
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 leek stalk cut in pieces
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 regular size onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons of aji panca paste (Peruvian red chili paste or you could replace it with 1 tablespoon of ground paprika)
  • 1 Kg. of potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Salt

Put the water in a pot, add two teaspoons of salt, the daikon, celery, leek, cilantro, beef and tripe. Cook on medium-high until the meat and tripe are tender. Strain the broth and reserve.

In another pot heat the oil and fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, aji panca, black pepper, cumin and one teaspoon of salt. Cook for two minutes, stirring and mixing all the ingredients well. Add the broth and potatoes. Set heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender. With a potato masher, gently press down the potatoes until they slightly mash. Add the beef and tripe, add more salt if needed, and mix well. If the mix is too thick add a little bit of hot broth.

Serve with white rice and sprinkle it with chopped cilantro.