Though not a comprehensive list by any means, the recipes below are for three of the best loved ‘dishes’ in Peru. Ceviche is a delicious and healthy savoury dish. Followed by Suspiro Limeno sweeter than almost any other substance known to man. Wash it all down with pisco sour and you won’t remember a thing so best go easy and just have one or two before dinner.
Ingredients to serve four people.
– 200 grams of fresh white fish, cut into 3cm cubes
– ½ teaspoon of finely chopped garlic
– 1 teaspoon of blended aji verde pepper (aji amarillo or escabeche aji pepper)
– ½ teaspoon of aji limo pepper, finely chopped, (to taste)
– 5 or 6 key limes, juiced
– 1 handful of red onions, thinly sliced
– Salt and pepper
– ½ ear of corn, stripped
– 1 sweet potato, boiled
No sprig of parsley here – proper garnish. Garnish that is more filling than the dish itself.
First, place the fish in a bowl and season with the garlic, salt, pepper, aji verde pepper and aji limo pepper.
Mix thoroughly in order for the fish to be well seasoned.
Next, add the juice of freshly squeezed and strained key limes. Mix for a minute. You will see the fish turn white as it ‘cooks’ in the lime juice. Just before serving, add the onion.
Lastly, serve the cebiche with the sweet potato and the kernels of corn.
If you do not have key limes then you can use normal limes but bear in mind that a normal lime is nowhere near as potent as it’s smaller cousin.
This means that you will need to leave the fish to steep for some time in order to achieve the same effect – perhaps up to an hour.
The fish used must be freshly caught from that day, never frozen.
You can also make ceviche with prawns.
If you aren’t familiar with the peppers mentioned above, have a look at the excellent Chow.com for a guide to chillis.
Suspiro a la Limeña recipe
Basically a form of sweet custard covered with a mixture of meringue, port and a touch of cinnamon.
– 1 can of sweetened, condensed milk
– 1 can of evaporated milk
– 3 egg yolks
– 3 egg whites
– ¼ cup of port
– ¾ cup of sugar
– Cinnamon powder
– Vanilla essence
To make manjarblanco (caramelized milk paste), empty both the evaporated and condensed milk into a saucepan. Put on medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat and add in the egg yolks, stirring constantly.
Add vanilla essence to your taste – usually about 1/2 tsp will do. That’s your base done. This can be spooned into glasses and chilled.
Moving onto the topping…
Make syrup with the sugar and the port, i.e. combine the two of them and heat until the port reduces and the sugar dissolves completely. Keep heating on a medium flame until the syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir constantly.
Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and form peaks. Pour a very thin stream of the hot syrup into the stiffened egg whites, beating all the while. Keep beating the mixture until it is cool.
Pop some of the meringue mixture on top of the manjarblanco and sprinkle with cinnamon powder.
Don’t forget to brush your teeth.
Peruvian Pisco Sour recipe
The national drink. Fantastic. Not to be underestimated. Best served pre-dinner in small glasses.
– 4 measures of pure Quebranta pisco
– 1 measure of gum syrup
– 1 measure of freshly squeezed key lime juice (or 2-3 measures of normal lime)
– 1/8 of a measure of an egg white
– Angostura Bitters
Place all the ingredients, except for the bitters, into a cocktail shaker – in the order listed above. Shake for 15 seconds. Strain and serve in a chilled, 8 oz. cocktail glass. Decorate the top with a couple of drops of Angostura Bitters.
Serve cold. If you have any left in your shaker, put it in the freezer until round two.