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Posts from the ‘Peru’ Category

Soufflé de Quinoa

Nothing takes the fear out of making a soufflé like making three in a row.  I found a recipe for one combined with amaranth that I couldn’t wait to try.  My training for this year’s New York City marathon is nearing the 20-mile mark so I’ve been cooking up batches of  amaranth to have on hand for cereal topped with honey and fruit.  While adding eggs and cheese may not be the best way to enjoy my vitamin high grain, it sounded wonderful and I’d been so good. Read more

Manjarblanco de Chirimoya

I’ve had one recurring thought since I tasted my first chirimoya a few months ago – there are parts of this world where flan grows on trees.  Flan on trees.  I’ve been pining for chirimoyas, also known as custard apples, ever since.  In response to my previous post where I used them to fill pavlovas, my aunt described an alternative recipe that’s popular in Peru.  The chirimoyas are folded into manjarblanco  that’s been lightened with whipped cream and chilled, like dulce de leche pots de crème.  I went back for more to but it’s been weeks since I’ve seen them.  Then suddenly, there they were, looking proud but out of place at the Park Slope Food Coop.  I scooped up a pretty heart shaped one and let it ripen on my counter like an avocado.  After the whirl of Easter weekend had passed, I finally got down to using them.  It was as simple as it seemed and the fresh fruit provided the right balance to the manjarblanco.  I don’t know when I’m going to find them again but I’ll always look.  From the moment the last scoop was served, I started to miss them.

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Merengues con Chirimoya

I’d been looking for a way to use chirimoyas since I came across them a few months ago in a nearby market.  Originally found in the Andean region between Peru and Ecuador, they’re also cultivated in small pockets throughout Chile, California, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and Israel.  Heart-shaped and scaly, they could be a dragon’s paw and are almost as rare in my Brooklyn neighborhood, so I was excited when I found them.  Also known as custard apples, they’re like everything and like nothing else.  The fruit can be likened to strawberry, banana, pineapple, papaya, avocados, mango, ripe pears, and commercial bubble gum while Mark Twain described it more simply as “deliciousness itself.” Read more

Causa Caliente

I’ve been wanting to try this second causa recipe, stuffed with chicken for awhile.  I was finally got my hands on bottled ají amarillo, the Peruvian peppers that are key to so many recipes but are difficult to find in New York.  Though usually served cold, roast chicken wrapped in yellow potatoes then slathered with cheese and lightly browned, seemed like the perfect early fall comfort food.  I’m always a little skeptical that it’s going to work, but the pureed potatoes combined with oil and peppers become a perfect kind of molding clay so the only difficult part is stopping yourself from playing with it incessantly so it has time to chill.

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New Map

I’ve been going through this week’s New York Times travel section featuring Latin America, specifically  an awakened Chile, colonial Colombia, 36 Hours in Montevideo, Rio hot spots, Peruvian restaurants, and rejuvenated Mazatlán.  Travel exhausts me but its a fun read.

Future Plans

I noticed that I’ve been dessert heavy lately when even my WiiFit avatar plumped up a little.  I wanted to make something light to get through a heavy week and found this recipe for quinoa pilaf on Yanuq, my favorite Peruvian food site.  Each time I go to it, I find something familiar and healthy but with a twist that I can’t wait to try.  The Read more

Punk Piscoratti

I love finding articles that take you to improbable places.  In A Peruvian Cocktail in The Washington Post, John Briley introduces the Peruvian Woody Allen before crossing paths with the Godfather on his way to La Reyna Bodega in Catapalla, a small town south of Lima, to meet piscoratti Godofredo Gonzales: Read more

Peruvian Treasure

Since realizing how much we owe to them, I have been looking for anything and everything to do with Peruvian cuisine.  With so many ingredients difficult to find, I sometimes have to be content to read the food rather than make it.  In Food Fit For The Gods for Saveur magazine, Gabriella de Ferrari describes the way recipes were passed (or not) among family and friends:

When my mother came to Peru, no Peruvian cookbook of any significance existed. Instead, recipes were passed from mother to daughter—or, like beauty secrets, were exchanged cautiously by word of mouth, as symbols of friendship. I remember that one of my classmates got into trouble because she revealed to me her mother’s special method of preparing mazamorra, a dessert made of fruit and purple corn. Read more

Chaulafan Addiction

I hold take-out chicken fried rice responsible for the freshman 10 I gained in college (except it was closer to 15 and I was a senior).  While others may dabble, I know I can’t stop at a pint and have largely avoided it for years.  However, since I’m preparing to run a half-marathon this Saturday and need to eat carbohydrates covered in soy sauce, this kind of indulgence is not only permitted, it’s encouraged.  Plus, I’m stronger now.  The stars seemed to align for making my own when I found a recipe on Laylita’s recipes, one of my favorite sites, for chaulafan de pollo, a popular Latin American version of fried rice popular in Ecuador and Peru.  This is the first time I made fried rice at home and at first glance it seemed like standard take-out – chicken, peas, scallions, carrots, eggs.  It was the seasonings like achiote, chili, cilantro, and more cilantro that really set it apart.  My favorite addition though were the raisins.  Not sure how they would blend, they were like tiny, interspersed packets of plum sauce.  Served with sliced avocado as suggested, it’s the perfect light meal to enjoy in moderation.  Starting tomorrow that is, right now I just want more.

Click here for the complete recipe.

Una Causa

I was curious when I read Katie Workman’s post in The Daily Beast about the rivalry between Peru and Chile over the potato’s origin.  I asked my aunt, who has lived in Lima enough decades to put down her own roots, if it was true.  When I received an all caps email from my usually soft spoken aunt, I knew not only was it true, it was serious.  I could see why countries would fight over it.  Comforting and generous, potatoes lend themselves to almost everything.  Regardless of its origin, I was curious to know what Peruvians did with them.  She directed me to a friend’s website, Yanuq, an extensive source for traditional and contemporary Peruvian recipes and ingredients.  I started looking at recipes for causas, mashed yellow potatoes seasoned with aji amarillo, lime juice, and oil and then stuffed with anything from octopus in olive sauce to chicken and beets.  Deciding to start picnic simple, I chose the causa de atún, a jelly roll or brazo gitano style loaf filled with tuna, tomatoes, and avocados.  Despite a wide market search, I wasn’t able to find the Peruvian aji amarillo but followed a suggestion on eGullet to use habaneros soaked in milk as a substitute.  Still, my market search did bear fruit since I found fresh chirimoyas instead with the sticker declaring them the product of Chile.  I wonder what Peru thinks of that? Read more