Dishes from our
Peruvian flat party
to celebrate my cute landlady Aline finally
getting her PhD.
Now she'll have to find herself a real job!
We made some of the dishes Aline and friends remember most fondly from their time up Peruvian trees examining mosses,
with a little help from the interweb
Bryanna Clark Grogan's
vegan conversions of Peruvian dishes
and a pretty authentic-looking Peruvian cookbook
with handy translations.
The Peruvians eat everything with fat slices of sweet potato and chunks of corn on the side
(though their preferred variety
has massive white kernels and isn't particularly sweet).
So we did our best.
To make your :
Just boil up the sweet potatoes in their skins in a large pan of water.
Don't overcook them or they'll turn to mush -
you can tell when a potato is ready because a knife will slip right in and out without you feeling the flesh gripping it.
Drain them, then run under a little cold water and the skins will easily slide off.
Slice them into fat rounds, about 2" wide.
Use them to decorate your Ceviche, or serve with the adobo.
And to make :
It seems the Peruvians like a bit of garlic in their rice - about 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic per cup of rice.
Just follow a standard absorption rice
method using the garlic as your spice.
Thoroughly wash the rice and let it drain, fry the garlic in oil until it begins to colour, add the rice and coat with the garlicky oil,
then add 1⅓ times as much water or stock as you just added rice, season, simmer it up then cover and steam until it is ready.
Bob's your uncle.
starter side fowl fish
A Peruvian potato, avocado and chicken (or tuna) terrine
This Peruvian signature dish is a bit of an odd mixture really.
But the moistened potato really sticks together well to give the whole thing its shape
and the avocado works brilliantly too.
Ours looked a tad messy with the mayonnaise layer leaking out everywhere -
mixing the chicken/tuna or the onion with the mayonnaise first might keep things neater.
- 1½ kg yellow potatoes
- juice from 3 lemons
- 2 tablespoons ground yellow chilli
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1 chicken breast (cooked)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 avocado, sliced
- a tablespoon or two of oil
- salt to taste
- lettuce, black olives, red chillies, parsley to garnish
- hard boiled eggs
Boil the potatoes in a pot with water and salt.
Peel the potatoes and mash them.
Mix the potatoes with the oil, chilli powder ,
lemon juice and salt until a compact, smooth mixture is achieved.
Place half the mixture in a rectangular dish (lining the dish with clingfilm will make it easier to turn out).
Place strips of chicken breast (or tuna fish) on top of the mixture and cover it with the onion and avocado,
top it off with mayonnaise.
Cover the chicken, avocado and onions with the other half of the potato mixture.
Use a suitably sized board or plate and with judicious use of more cling film, turn out the causa.
Garnish the dish with the lettuce leaves, black olives, chopped parsley, boiled eggs and tomatoes.
Adobo de Chancho
main meat stew
Peruvian pork stew
Peruvian adobo recipes usually marinate the pork in either vinegar,
some sort of local hooch called chica de jora
made from fermenting maize,
or possibly a dark beer.
The recipe I was (mostly) following also wanted 2 tablespoons of ground annatto,
but I couldn't find any of that so I used a combination of saffron, paprika, beetroot powder and mango powder.
It did cross my mind that pomegranate might have been nice, but another time perhaps.
Adding the fruit juice (and, to be honest, the wine) is a bit of a departure from the norm too, but I had some spare red wine,
and I fancied a bit of fruity zing too.
- 4-5 lb pork, cubed
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- large pinch saffron
- 2 teaspoons mild chilli powder
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- teaspoon beetroot powder
- teaspoon amchoor
- 1/2 cup red wine
- juice 1 orange
- juice 1/2 lime
- dozen shallots, peeled
Peel the garlic and blend with the spices, saffron and a little vinegar to a paste, then add the remaining vinegar.
Cut the pork into generous 2" cubes.
Mix the meat with the spice mixture and leave to marinate for 12-36 hours.
Heat a layer of oil in a large frying pan or heavy shallow pot.
Drain the meat and fry in batches until browned then transfer to a casserole or slow cooker.
Peel the shallots or small onions, fry them too in oil until caramelising and add to the pork.
Add the remaining marinade, some red wine and the fruit juice to the casserole to just cover the meat
and cook slowly for a few hours until the meat is beautifully tender and the marinade has rendered to a thin stock.
Serve with peruvian rice turned out of a small bowl, and fat slices of boiled sweet potato.
Bryanna's Vegan Causa Rellena
side starter veg
A vegan version of a Peruvian potato, avocado and vegetable terrine
A vegan version of the traditional Peruvian Causa Rellena dish.
That manages to be a lot more complicated.
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- ½ cup oil
- 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 lb Russet potatoes
- 1 lb yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Golds
- 1 lb purple or blue potatoes
- 10½ Tbs Lemon Dressing
- 6 Tbs vegan mayonnaise
- ½ Tbs salt
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium bell peppers (yellow, orange, and/or red), in thin strips
- 10 pieces sundried tomatoes in oil, squeezed to eliminate as much oil as possible, and thinly sliced
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced thinly
- 2 Tbs pickled jalapeños minced
- the remaining Lemon Dressing
- salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste.
- 2 large cobs of corn, cooked and cut into 1½" rounds
- 1 large steamed or baked orange sweet potato, peeled and sliced in 6-8 pieces
- 18-24 Peruvian Alfonso olives (or Kalamata olives)
- Avocado cubes, tossed in lemon juice
- Roasted, pickled, or raw red bell peppers
- Pickled hot peppers
- Pretty lettuce leaves
With the back of a teaspoon in a small round-bottomed bowl (or use a medium-sized mortar and pestle),
mash together the salt and garlic until it is like a paste.
(The salt grains will help mash the garlic to a paste and the garlic juice will dissolve the salt.)
Whisk in the Oil Substitute, olive oil and lemon juice, with a fork or small wire whisk.
This method of mixing is easy and convenient for small amounts made just before dressing the salad.
Cook the three varieties of potatoes separately.
You can peel and simmer the russet and the yellow potatoes (cut into even-sized chunks) in water to cover until just tender,
but the purple or blue potatoes fall apart easily, so I steam or micro-steam them with the skins on.
I cut them into about 2" pieces first. I micro-steam them for about 10 minutes.
To remove the skins of the blue or purple potatoes, hold them under gently-running cold water and the skins should slip off easily.
Be careful not to saturate the potatoes with water.
Mash EACH separate batch of potatoes in its cooking pot or a bowl.
When mashed, add to EACH batch of potatoes 3½ Tbs. of the Lemon Dressing, 2 Tbs. of the mayonnaise,
and ½ tsp. of salt, and mash again until smooth.
Reserve the remaining lemon dressing for the Filling. Set the mashed potatoes aside, covered.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onions, garlic, and peppers and saute until they soften.
Add the sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, jalapeños remaining Lemon Dressing, mix well, and then taste for salt and pepper.
Line a 9x5" loaf pan, or a 10" round casserole with oiled plastic wrap, with an overlap.
Press the one of the mashed potato mixtures onto the bottom of the pan.
Add ½ of the filling, then another one of the potato mixtures, then the remaining filling, then the remaining potato mixture.
Smooth the top, fold the overlapping plastic wrap over, and refrigerate for several hours or days.
Fold back the plastic wrap covering the top of the terrine.
Unmold the terrine
onto a platter and garnish as desired.
starter main raw fish
Aline's friend Julia prepared this fishy ceviche.
She used haddock, which worked rather well I thought.
It's solid enough to hold together and has a strong enough flavour not to be overwhelmed by the marinade.
It's good to have the fish marinating for a couple of hours, but not for days - the fish starts to dissolve into the lime.
- 8 fillets of haddock, or any solid white fish
- juice of 15 limes
- 2 onions, chopped
- almost an entire head of garlic, minced
- 2 red chillies, minced
Cut the fish into cubes about 1" in size.
Cut the other ingredients as small as you like. Squeeze the limes, mix it all together and chill until required.
side main raw veg vegan
Tiger milk is what they call the ceviche marinade.
Presumably because it has a kick like a mule. Oh wait...
- 1 lb white mushrooms, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 Bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- 1 Limo pepper, seeded and chopped
- juice of 8-12 limes
- 1½ red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed (save the heart)
- ½ red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/4 Tsp ginger chopped
- 5 sweet potatoes, boiled, peeled and thickly sliced
- ½ lb corn, cut into pieces and boiled
Blend celery, ginger, garlic, chile , salt, pepper, red onion heart and lime juice.
In a large glass bowl mix mushrooms, red peppers, onions, coriander and Tiger Milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Serve the ceviche on top of lettuce leaves, with cold corn and sweet potatoes on the side.
You get the best pork crackling if you cut it off the pork joint and cook it separately,
that way you can get the oven hot enough without destroying your meat.
So first carefully peel the skin and most of the fat layer from the joint with a sharp boning or butcher's knife.
Now you can cut the skin into nice crackling slices - about ¾" wide and long enough to eat comfortably.
(If you're leaving the crackling on your joint
then score the pork skin at about 1" intervals in a diamond pattern, cutting through the skin, but not into the meat or completely through the fat.)
Serves a dinner party
I thought it might be nice to add a little vanilla flavouring to the crackling,
and since I hadn't prepared any vanilla salt
(apparently you can make it the same way you would vanilla sugar - by leaving a vanilla pod in your salt pot for a few weeks)
I just scraped out the seeds from a pod and mixed them with the salt before rubbing the pork.
It made no discernable difference :(
- the skin and fat from a nice pork joint
- salt - plenty of salt
Start working the day before you want your crackling -
say you need to salt the pork good and early.
Peel the skin and most of the fat layer off your pork joint as a big fat lardy slab.
Cut the skin into suitable crackling-sized pieces.
Rub your pork generously all over with a coarse sea salt
as if into the face of your worst enemy
as Fanny Cradock is reputed to have instructed.
Leave the pork overnight in the fridge on layers of kitchen paper or in a colander.
The salt will draw out quite a lot of moisture.
Next day take the pork out and pat it completely
dry. Supposedly you might even use a hairdryer for this,
though that seems like a pile of old pants to me.
I did, though, leave the pork sitting in a warming oven for a while before starting to roast it.
You can rub in more salt if you think it needs it ,
and you've patted off all the salt you added earlier, but be aware - you can
have too much salt!
Put the skin pieces on an oven tray - maybe on a rack in the tray so it doesn't wallow too much in it's own fat.
Now you're ready to start roasting - preheat the oven as hot as it will go, and stick in the crackling for 15 minutes,
until it has started to, well, crackle.
Now turn the oven down to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 or so and leave the crackling until it is toasty golden and snaps like a Biafran's shin bone,
another 30 minutes or so. Don't let it burn!
If your crackling still hasn't crackled you might be able to rescue it by grilling, or apparently even microwaving.
Unlikely as that may seem.
Peruvian Quinoa Stew
main veg stew
Apparently there is only one recipe in the world for Peruvian quinoa stew, and it's this one from the Moosewood cook book.
We know that because we looked at every single recipe in the webosphere answering to this description, and they were all the same. More or less.
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, cut on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup cubed zuchinni
- 2 cups undrained chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
- 1 cup water or vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch of cayenne (or more to taste)
- 2 teaspoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt to taste
- Chopped fresh coriander (optional)
- Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Rinse the quinoa well with cold water. Use a fine mesh filter or coffee filter or you'll lose quite a lot into the sink.
Quinoa is coated with a natural substance called saponin that protects the
grain by repelling insects and birds. Rinsing the quinoa is important to avoid a
raw or bitter taste. You can tell if there is saponin by the production of a soapy
looking suds when the seeds are swished in water.
Good news! If you are using Ancient Harvest Quinoa you can skip this step. It's
Place rinsed quinoa and water in pot (covered) and cook covered on medium-low
heat for about 15 minutes until soft.
While the quinoa is cooking place the onions, garlic and vegetable oil in
covered soup pot and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes.
And celery and carrots to the soup pot and cook an additional 5 minutes,
Add the bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, and one cup water or vegetable stock
to soup pot. Stir in cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne and oregano to
soup pot simmer covered for 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Stir in cooked quinoa and salt to taste.
Top with grated cheese (and optionally chopped coriander).
Apparently, according to the author, there are people who simply hate coriander, and (s)he urges caution in its use.
Fortunately I know of no such people.
Bryanna's Mazamorra Morada (Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding)
dessert veg vegan
Peruvian fruit and purple corn cold pudding
This pudding is traditionally made with purple corn and sweet potato starch.
Here Bryanna has ingeniously substituted blueberries for the colour and cornstarch for the thickener.
I can't speak to its authenticity, but somehow it had a South American quality to it.
Might be the fruity cinnamon.
Aline tells me this goes very nicely with rice pudding.
- 2 cups frozen small blueberries, defrosted
- 3 cups water
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- 12 dried prunes, chopped
- 6 dried apricots, chopped
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
- Grated zest and chopped flesh of 1 large organic orange
- Zest of 1 small organic lime and 1 small organic lemon
- 1 cup cold water
- 6 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 x 19 oz. can unsweetened pineapple chunks, well-drained
- 2 Tbs lime juice
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
Mix ingredients A in a large Pyrex bowl and microwave on high for 10 minutes.
Or, simmer the mixture in a large non-aluminum pot for 15 minutes.
(Wrap the cloves and cinnamon in a square of cheesecloth and tie with string.)
Remove the cheesecloth bag after cooking.
Mix ingredients B together well and stir into hot A mixture.
Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stir well, and cook 3 minutes more. It should be thick and clear.
Or, stir B into A briskly and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and clear.
Stir in ingredients C and spoon into serving dishes.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill until serving time. It should be cold and pudding-like.
Peruvian for doughnuts!
This classic Peruvian dessert is a supposedly highly addictive take on the American doughnut.
I didn't get around to making it yet, so I can't say, but anything made of deep-fried carbohydrates has my approval!
- 250g pumpkin
- 250g sweet potato
- 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons anise seeds, 1 teaspoon cloves
- ⅛ cup pisco
- 250g wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- ½ cup milk
- lard or oil for deep-frying
- 750g chancaca or unrefined cane sugar/molasses
- 2 cups water
- peel of 1 orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- peel of a couple of limes
- 1 dry red chilli
- a few cloves
Combine the chancaca or molasses with the water, peels and spices in a small pan.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly, like pancake syrup.
Strain to remove the spices, and set aside to cool (it will thicken more as it does so).
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and add the spices if using.
Peel the sweet potatoes and pumpkins and cut them into chunks.
Add them to the water and cook until soft. Remove and drain; the pumpkin first as it will cook faster.
Mix in a blender adding milk a little at a time.
Add the pisco if using.
Add the wheat and corn flour.
Add the yeast and sugar.
Make a consistent pastry and place it in a deep dish and knead for 5 minutes or so to a soft well-blended dough.
It should be stretchy and smooth, but sticky. Add more flour if it is very liquid.
Leave it to stand for a couple of hours or so until it doubles in volume.
When the dough has risen, heat the oil in a pot to 350°F.
Wet your fingers in salted water.
Form the doughnuts by grabbing a small handful of dough and stretching it into a ring around around a couple of fingers,
then tossing the dough quickly into the oil.
Cook briefly, 20 seconds or so, and then flip the doughnuts using the handle of a long wooden spoon.
Cook the doughnuts in the oil until they are golden brown (about 30 seconds longer), then remove them to a paper towel lined plate.
Serve immediately, drizzled with the warm syrup.
drink raw veg
Peruvian Pisco cocktail with whipped egg whites
is a Chilean/Peruvian grape brandy,
According to my egg-sacting interweb searches, the salmonella occasionally found in eggs is unlikely to grow in the whites,
preferring the meaty goodness of the yolks, so you should be pretty safe drinking these.
I'd probably still go for free-range certified
eggs if you can though.
- 2 oz peruvian pisco
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz syrup
- 1 egg white (which is about 1 fl oz)
- 3 ice cubes
- A dash of Angostura bitters or a sprinkle of cinnamon
Mix the pisco, lemon juice, syrup and ice cubes with the egg whites in a shaker or a blender.
Blend well and serve in a wine glass.
Decorate with 4 sprinkles of angostura bitters or cinnamon.