Aug 3, 2018

Cancha Salada (salty toasted corn)

Ingredients:

  • 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)
Preparation:

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 18, 2018

Seco de Cordero (lamb stew)

Ingredients:

  • 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
Preparation:

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)

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 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.