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Peruvian cuisine is nothing like Mexican food. Almost unknown until recently, Peruvian Cuisine is steadily conquering the taste and interest of the best chefs worldwide. The wild choice of fresh ingredients and the gentle blend of immigrant traditions -such as Spanish, African, Chinese, or Japanese- have created one of the World's most unique and delicious cuisines. Go back in time through its millenary cultures, smell the impressive biodiversity surrounding every corner of the country, taste a bit of heaven with its huge and world renowned gastronomy. Go beyond an ordinary tour to Peru and indulge in your culinary interest. Attend classes with chefs, trips to the markets, superb restaurants, wineries, and fall in love with its people, their customs, arts and beliefs.
Aji de Gallina (Chicken with a creamy sauce)
3 lbs. Chicken breast boiled and shredded (no salt)
4 C of chicken broth (obtained from the chicken above)
4 slices of white bread
1 C of shelled walnuts
1 C evaporated milk
1 can evaporated milk (optional)
1 C parmesan cheese
1 C onion finely chopped
1 T crushed garlic vegetable oil "blended aji"* salt, pepperTo serve and decorate:
2 boiled eggs sliced
3 boiled Yukon Gold potatoes sliced (1/2 inch thick) chopped Italian parsley *
"aji" is found in several Mexican markets and is found frozen or already blended. A new recipe for "aji" has been added below.
1. Blend white bread, walnuts and 1 can evaporated milk to make a fine cream, set aside.
2. Heat oil in a medium size pot, add chopped onions, garlic, blended aji (according to taste), salt and pepper and cumin. Cook until golden brown
3. Add the creamy mix from step 1, bring to a boil, cook for five minutes (low heat) stirring constantly.
4. Add shredded chicken, chicken broth and parmesan cheese to get a soft creamy consistency. Only if needed, you may add more evaporated milk. Cook over low heat for another 5-10 minutes.
5. Serve with white rice and decorate with eggs and chopped parsley. Place the potatoes on a serving dish next to the "Aji de Gallina".
Alfajores (Filled cookies with caramel)
2 C of all-purpose flour
1 C of corn starch
1 Whole egg
1 C of salted butter
1 C powdered sugar
3 T milk Bakers Joy Spray
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Filling (caramel "manjarblanco"):
1 Large can of condensed milk: place unopened can in pot and cover with water. Boil it for 3 hours checking water level and adding water as needed. This will make the necessary consistency for the filling
1. Sift the flour, cornstarch and powdered sugar at least once. Set these dry ingredients in a large bowl and cut in butter.
2. Add the egg and mix until it forms a soft dough. (Add a spoon of milk -one at a time- only if necessary to soften the dough). Let stand for 15 min.
3. Cut dough in 4 pieces
4. Spray cookie sheet with Baker's joy.
5. Sprinkle some flour over a smooth and clean surface and lay out a piece of the dough, stretch it with a roller to 1/8 inch thickness. With a round cookie cutter make the cookies and lay them on cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 350° for approximately 12-15 min. or until they are golden brown. Making the cookies...
7. Let the cookies dry completely at least 4 hours.
8. Apply a small amount of the caramel to one cookie and attach another cookie to make a sandwich
9. Roll cookies in powdered sugar to coat all over
Papas a la Huancaina (Potatoes on a creamy sauce)
For the cream:
1 package of white cheese: "Queso Cacique tipo Cotija"
1 can or 10 oz. of evaporated milk
1 garlic clove
1 small slice of white or yellow onion
3 T Vegetable oil
3 T blended "aji" *(or according to taste) or 2 whole "ajies"
1 hard boiled egg
2. lbs. boiled, peeled and cut in slices Yukon Gold potatoes (1 bag)
3. hard boiled eggs quartered butter lettuce for decoration black Greek olives for decoration
*"aji" is found in several Mexican markets and is found frozen or already blended.
1. When using whole ajies, first clean out the seeds and blend them with some of the oil.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until a cream is formed. Please note that no salt or additional seasoning is needed because the cheese is salty enough.
3. To serve, arrange the sliced potatoes over a bed of butter lettuce and cover the potatoes with the cream. On top decorate with the black olives and sliced egg. Serve cold.
Seco de Carne (Beef stew with a cilantro based sauce)
2 lbs Tri-tip beef roast, clean from fat and cut in stew size pieces
1 T Vegetable oil
1 C chopped onions
1 bundle fresh cilantro washed and stem free
1 C frozen spinach or 1 bundle of fresh spinach
1 C water
1 C frozen peas
1 C Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut in 1 inch square pieces, keep covered with cold water
1-2 T crushed garlic
2-3 C water
powdered beef broth
zest of 1 lime
1. Season tri-tip roast pieces with salt, pepper, cumin and minced garlic, set aside and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. In a large and heavy pot heat vegetable oil, add meat and brown lightly. Add chopped onions cook until translucent. Add 1 C water and boil until meat is tender (this can take up to 45 minutes) keep adding water until meat is tender.
3. Blend cilantro and spinach with 1C water add this mix to pot
4. Add potatoes to pot, cook for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are ready. Add frozen peas cook for two more minutes. Before serving add zest of lime.
5. Serve with white rice.
Ingredients: Serves 4
1 lb. Boneless lamb (shoulder or leg)
6 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 Ea. Onion, chopped finely
2 Ea. Cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Ground cumin
1 Tbsp.Chili sauce
1 Bunch Cilantro
4 Cups of water
2 Ea. Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 Ea. Yuca, peeled and cubed (3 inches)
2 Cup Green peas
Method and Techniques:
1. Cut the meat into 2 inch pieces
2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the meat over medium to high heat until browned on all sides
3. Reduce the heat, add the onion and garlic and fry until it is golden
4. Add the cumin and chili sauce
5. Puree the cilantro in a blender with 1 cup of water
6. Add the cilantro paste to the pan with the remaining water and bring to a boil
7. Add the potatoes, yucca and peas
9. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for 30 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender
10. Serve immediately with white rice and chili sauce
Here is a simple appetizer that is popular and easy to make and will appeal to even those who are not ceviche aficionados. Ceviche of many types are popular in Peru. This can also be served as a light lunch, served on crusty French or Italian rolls. (Spirit of the Earth, Cox, Jacobs)
Cebiche De Atun ( Peruvian Canned Tuna Ceviche)
one 6-oz can solid white tuna in water
1 fresh jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and fleshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Drain the tuna invert it onto a small platter. Sprinkle the chile and onion over the tuna and allow it to stand for a few minutes. Then add the tomato, chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste, and gently mix together. Sprinkle the lime juice over all, and drizzle with the oil. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro and serve.
AJI (Andean-Style Chile Paste)
makes 1/2 cup
Chile pastes, made with fresh or dried chiles, are used in soups, stews, and sauces. Many Andean cooks keep containers of different aji pastes on hand in the refrigerator or freezer.
1 to 3 fresh or dried aji rocoto or 6 fresh or dried aji amarillo or rojo, aji mirasol, or aji ponca
3 to 4 tablespoons mild salad oil (canola or corn) or water
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
If you are using fresh chiles, peel them (if desired), seed them, and remove the ribs. You may either blanch the chiles in boiling water or roast them for easier peeling. Coarsely chop the fresh chiles. Combine the chopped chiles, oil, and salt in a blender, and puree. If you have chosen not to peel the chiles, press the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl for a smoother paste.
lf you are using dried chiles, soak them in hot water to cover for 30 minutes. Then drain, peel (if desired), seed them, and remove the ribs. Coarsely chop the reconstituted chiles. Combine the chopped chiles, oil, and salt in a blender, and puree. If you have chosen not to peel the chiles, press the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl for a smoother paste. The paste may be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for several months.
NOTES: If none of these chiles, or their substitutes, is available, we suggest using Asian chile-garlic sauce, which you can find in jars in the specialty food section of most supermarkets, as a substitute for the red or yellow aji paste or sauce. The sauce contains garlic, so you may want to reduce the amount of garlic called for in the recipe. Some brands are very hot, so proceed with caution. The commercially available ground aji powder-such as ground aji mirasol-is convenient, but it tends to be hotter than the paste because the chiles are often ground with the seeds and ribs intact. lf a recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of aji paste, substitute 1 1/2, to 3 teaspoons powder, depending on the heat of the particular chile.
Pisco Sour (national drink of Peru)
To make the sugar syrup:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp water
For the drink:
- 7 1/2 oz (225 ml) Pisco
- 2 1/2 oz (75 ml) key lime juice
- 1 egg white
- Angostura Bitters
To prepare the sugar syrup:
Put 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan with 3 tablespoons of water, just enough to moisten the
sugar. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and while stirring, cook until all the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
To make the sour:
Pour the key lime juice and the Pisco into the warm sugar syrup and stir thoroughly to blend the
ingredients completely. Pour the mix into a blender jar and add just enough ice to double the
volume of liquid in the glass.
Blend on high for an additional 30 seconds to crush the ice. Add one egg white and blend on high
for one minute. Transfer to a pitcher and serve immediately in either old-fashioned or white wine
glasses. Traditionally, a drop of Angostura Bitters is placed in the middle of the foam in each glass.
The essential mix is 3 parts Pisco to 1 part key lime juice and 1 part sugar syrup: you can use this
proportion to increase the recipe to produce any number of drinks.
A fourth measure of pisco may be added for a stronger drink. If you like, the edge can be
taken off this stronger version by adding a touch more sugar syrup.
(Potato Rolls) from the Kitchen Table Cooking School
Ingredients: Serves 2
For the puree:
2 Ea. Potatoes
1 Ea. Shallot, finely chopped
2 Ea. Yellow peppers
1/4 cup Sugar
1/8 Cup White wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
For the filling:
2 Tbsp Vegetable oil
1 Ea. Chicken breast (can use crab or tuna)
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 Cup Chicken stock or water
1 Ea. Avocado, thinly sliced
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Cup Corn kernels, cooked and drained
2 Tbsp.Cilantro , chopped
1 Tbsp.Orange juice
1 Ea. Lime, juiced
Lettuce, hard boiled egg and black olives for garnish
Salt & Pepper
Method and Technique:
For the Potato Puree:
1. Place potatoes in a large pot of cold-salted water. Boil and cook until fork tender
2. Wash, stem, seed and de-vein the yellow peppers. Place in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until soft.
3. Chop shallot finely and marinate in vinegar and salt
4. Stain and place in a blender. Add sugar, vinegar and oil.
5. Peel and mash potatoes
6. Add vegetable oil, lime juice, yellow pepper puree and salt
7. Mix well until all ingredients are completely incorporated
8. Mix corn kernels, cilantro and orange juice. Season with salt and pepper
For the filling:
1. Sear chicken breast in a skillet lightly oiled
2. Add chicken stock and spices
3. Cover and cook until tender
4. Shred or place in food processor
5. Season with salt and pepper
1. lightly oil and line a ring mold
2. Spread a layer of the potato mixture, pressing down lightly and leveling with the back of a spoon
3. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on top
4. Spoon in the corn kernel mixture, pressing down lightly
5. Spread another layer of potato, followed by mayonaise
6. Layer the avocado slices on top and cover with another layer of potatoes
7. Cover with chicken mixture, spread with a fine layer of mayonnaise and finally top with another layer of potato
8. Chill in the refrigerator for a least 1 hour
9. To serve invert onto a bed of lettuce leaves, unmold and top with hard-boiled egg and black olives
Cultural Expeditions Peru offers:
Customized luxury group tours to experience the cuisine of Peru, its wines, the infamous Pisco Sour, and visit the colorful markets.
Travel to Peru's Spanish and Andean history, culinary arts, fine restaurants, as well as experience the traditional foods of Peru.
We hope you enjoy these fine recipes from Peru.