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.
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.
Since 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.
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.
I 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.
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.