Jun 18, 2018

Seco de Cordero (lamb stew)


  • 1 Kg. of boneless leg lamb (approximately 2 lbs.)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 1 teaspoon of aji amarillo paste
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 4 potatoes, cut in quarters
  • 4 carrots, sliced in rounds
  • 1/2 cup of green peas
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • Salt and black pepper

Cut the lamb in 4 cm. cubes (approximately 1.5 inch cubes) and season them with salt and pepper. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high and brown the lamb. Remove the lamb when done. Reduce the temperature to medium and add to the pot the minced garlic, diced onions, aji amarillo and cumin and cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Add the lamb, the cilantro (previously pureed in 1/2 cup of water) and the beef broth. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot and let it cook until the lamb is tender (approximately 30 minutes). Add the potatoes, carrots and green peas and let it simmer until the potatoes are cooked (approximately 30 minutes). Add more salt if needed and mix well.

Serve with white rice.

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.

Jun 3, 2018

Chicha Morada (purple corn punch)


  • 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

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.