¡Buen apetito! – Peru

Peru: Ceviche, Arroz con Pollo, Pionono


So, it’s been almost an entire YEAR since I posted on this blog. In that time I moved to a new city and started a new job, and I will now stop making excuses 🙂

Happily, I’m attempting to start up this project again, with the goal of still completing 50 meals from 50 countries. Also, happily, I now have friends in my new city for whom I can cook! So, I give you Peru.

Ceviche is a classic Peruvian dish, though I was too nervous to do it the real way of using uncooked fish and adding acid (citrus) to cook it. So, I used pre-cooked shrimp. I also made a black bean version (same ingredients, just substituted the black beans for the shrimp) to provide a non-seafood option. Here’s the recipe I used. I didn’t do a great job of taking pictures of all the steps in this meal, but here are the two versions of ceviche.

DSCN2078 DSCN2079 DSCN2081

A great light and refreshing appetizer! I loved the combo of ginger, cilantro and lime juice.

Next was Arroz con Pollo, which is a dish common in multiple countries, with different twists on it depending on the region. From what I understand, what makes this dish Peruvian is the “green” Arroz con Pollo as well as the Peruvian chili peppers (aji), which I could not find and therefore did not use. So this was semi-Peruvian. Here’s the recipe.


DSCN2072 DSCN2070 DSCN2073 DSCN2074Since I couldn’t find aji peppers, I bought a variety of other peppers trying to decide which to use. One variety I bought is ghost peppers, which is one of the hottest (if not THE hottest) peppers in the world, but I just couldn’t bring myself to use it when I was having company for dinner and had no idea how much, or little, to use. I ended up going with jalapeno as a substitute.


I also added a packet of this seasoning, which I had seen in another arroz con pollo recipe.

DSCN2086 So yummy! The recipe made a hug pot of arroz con pollo and we gobbled it up (get it? wait, do chickens gobble? or is that only turkeys? I think it may only be turkeys. oh, well, I tried).


I served the arroz con pollo with salsa criolla.


For dessert I made pionono, which is like a cake jelly roll with dulce de leche filling. I’ve never made a jelly roll, so I was nervous to make it. Also, I did not make homemade dulce de leche, though I did that before for Argentina.

DSCN2058 DSCN2059 DSCN2067 DSCN2068 DSCN2085 DSCN2088 DSCN2089 DSCN2094I got such a kick out of making the pionono! It turned out really well (though I realized after making it that I used almost TWICE the amount of dulce de leche called for in the recipe. Ooops. Although, really, can you ever have TOO much dulce de leche? I would argue no, no you cannot).

These are the lovely friends I shared the meal with: Adena (my neighbor!), Erin and Lauren.

DSCN2091 It was a really fun evening and I was so happy to cook and host a meal again.

Notes for Next Time:

I’d love to try to find aji amarillo peppers to use in the arroz con pollo. The ceviche turned out great, and I think I should try to be adventurous enough to use raw fish next time.

About couchcuisine

I like traveling, cooking and eating...especially with friends.
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3 Responses to ¡Buen apetito! – Peru

  1. Wow, everything looks terrific! It’s so funny, I haven’t even attempted my hand at making arroz con pollo even though I used to have it all the time back home. Need to make it soon! Aji amarillo peppers can be somewhat tricky to find. I usually am able to track them down at my local Latin American market but they are also available online in jarred and powdered varieties. The whole frozen kinds are optimal but the other options work just fine too. 🙂 I’m glad the pionono worked out for you– it truly IS fun to make! And no, never too much dulce de leche. 🙂

  2. Dar says:

    OK, here’e the deal – you finished your post on this Wonderful Dish – and ended saying “when” you make it again – peppers etc – l want to be in on the “next” cus me and arroz con pollo are great friends (maybe you can try a mole’ with it too????? :)) love you

  3. elizabeth says:

    Yay! Welcome back! Looks like a wonderful meal with wonderful friends.

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