Food of Peru and Recipes of Peru
Peruvian Cuisine incorporates some wonderful flavours and ingredients.
Quinoa, an ancient grain known as the “Mother Grain” to the Incas, is a delightful ingredient that is used in drinks, desserts, salads, and soups, to name just a few. Eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this Andes-grown grain is the most protein-packed of all the grains.
Potatoes also feature heavily in Peruvian food and there are more than 100 varieties grown throughout the country, including the purple potato which has recently become a gourmet food in North America. It’s believed that the potato actually originated in Peru.
Meats and fish figure prominently in the Peru menu and Ceviche, a lemon or lime marinated raw fish dish is considered by many to be the national dish.
Other foods that are prominent in the Peruvian diet include corn and maize, sweet potatoes, peppers, and rice.
Try a couple of the following recipes and enjoy the delicious cuisine of Peru. For more unusual ingredients (quinoa in particular), check small ethnic grocery stores, or natural food stores.
Salsa Criolla, Zarza - Creole Onion Condiment
This is one of the most common table condiments throughout Peru.
1 large red onion chopped
4 tbsp. fresh lime juice
¼ tsp while vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
Mix all ingredients together and serve immediately.
Ceviche is traditionally served with cold slices of sweet potatoes or corn on the cob in Peru. It is a common and traditional dish that is considered the specialty of the nation. It is important to note that only fresh fish should be used (if fresh fish is only a dream for inlanders, substitute canned tuna and shrimp for the real thing – it won’t be as good, but it will be much better than previously frozen fish and there will be less left to chance health-wise).
1 pound fresh white fish, cut into small pieces
½ Cup of fresh lime juice (key limes are the traditional ingredient)
1 fresh jalapeno chili, minced
1-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into strips
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Marinate the fish in the lime juice for 4-6 hours in the fridge. This “cooks” the fish and makes it safe to eat. After about 2 hours of marinating, add the garlic, jalapeno, salt and pepper and stir well. Serve on a bed of lettuce with onion, tomato, cilantro, and olive oil arranged on top. For a traditional serving, arrange cold pieces of sweet potato and slices of corn on the cob around the dish. Enjoy!
4 cups cooked quinoa (cook in ratio of 1 part quinoa: 2 parts water, 2 cups raw will yield about the right amount)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely chopped
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
¼ Cup fresh lime juice
1/3 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp sea salt
jalapeno pepper, tomato, cucumber and mint with cooled quinoa.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil
and salt and pepper until creamy. Pour over quinoa mixture
and toss again. Serve with a flourish.
Peruvian Causa -
(Layered chilled potato salad.)
adapted from NUEVO LATINO BY Douglas Rodriguez
2 yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 blue potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces (if you cannot find blue potatoes, use another variety)
2 white potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
Pinch of saffron
4 ½ Tbsp butter or margarine
1/3 cup of finely chopped kalamata olives
1/3 cup finely chopped green olives
3 cloves of minced garlic
11/2 Tbsp. minced capers
2 Tbsps. Finely chopped parsley
1 roasted red bell pepper, peeled & chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
Boil each of the 3 types of potatoes in separate pots. Add saffron to the yellow potatoes. Cook all potatoes until tender (about 20 mins.) Drain the potatoes, and mash each type separately adding 11/2 TBsp butter or margarine and sea salt to each.
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the olive mixture..
Line a 9X4 loaf pan with plastic wrap, extending the wrap over the edges of the pan. Layer one variety of mashed potatoes in the bottom of the pan and spread evenly. Spread ½ of the olive mixture on tope ot the potatoe layer and add a layer of another variety of potato, another layer of olive mixture and finish with a potato layer. Fold the plastic wrap over to cover the top and chill in refrigerator overnight. Lift the plastic wrap carefully onto a serving platter, remove plastic wrap. Slice the causa. Serve with Huancaina Sauce.
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
1 can evaporated milk (or soy milk)
3 ounces goat cheese or feta cheese
3 ounces cream cheese
½ cup ground almonds
Heat oil in a pan, add onions, garlic, & eggs. Saute over medium heat until the onions are transparent, approximately 5 mins. Add the tumeric and continue to simmer for an additional 1 to 2 mins. Stir in the milk and simmer for another 3 mins. Add mixture to food processor and process until smooth. Add cheeses and almonds. Chill in the refrigerator.
Frijal Colado - Sweet Black Bean Puree Dessert
2 cups dried black beans
Soak overnight in cold water
Drain, Place beans in saucepan, cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer over low heat until tender (1/2 to ¾ of an hour. Drain the beans , saving 1 cup of the liquid.
Put beans into food processor and puree until smooth.
1 tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground cloves
3 cups brown sugar (can use maple syrup) 3 Tbsp. ground sesame seeds
1 cup evaporated milk or 1 cup soy milk or 1 cup cocoanut milk
Bring the reserved liquid to a boil, add cinnamon, cloves and sugar and mix well. Add the pureed beans, milk and the ground sesame seeds, simmer, stirring continuously until thickened. Let cool to room temperature.