Archive for the ‘Peruvian’ category

Spiced Turkey Stuffed with Cranberries, Raisins, Garbanzos, Black Olives and Feta

November 30, 2007


This was the trial run for Christmas – we can now rest assured that this recipe (adapted from typical Chiclayano home cooking) is scrumptious enough to serve up to family and friends with the utmost confidence.  The three and a half kilo turkey we procured was far from enormous, but as there’s two of us it has lasted all week.  This has been just great as the flavours mature with time and become even more delicious… 

You will need: 

1 Organic turkey – 3 ½ kilos (if your turkey weighs more or less, adjust the other ingredients accordingly)
Olive oil for basting
8 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon each of: aji amarillo, aji panca (if you can’t get South American condiments you can substitute paprika), cumin, salt and pepper
6 or 7 cloves of garlic – crushed
3 cans of garbanzos – drained
200 grams of mixed raisins and cranberries
100 grams of dried, salted black olives
1 packet feta – diced 

Total cooking time: 2½ hours

Marinading time: 24 hours 

Marinade the turkey in cider vinegar, crushed garlic, pepper, salt, aji amarillo, aji panca and cumin for 24 hours.  Pierce the turkey and rub the marinade well into the skin. Turn the oven to 220ºF, and cook in a large roasting dish, covered with foil for one hour and a half. 

Mix the garbanzos, raisins, cranberries, olives and feta in a large bowl.  Remove the turkey from the oven and stuff with the mixture.  Baste generously with olive oil. Turn the temperature down to 180ºF. Put the turkey back in, with the foil removed, and cook for a further hour. 

Enjoy this as a meal in itself.  In Peru, on Christmas Eve, it’s served with wonderful, homemade cinnamon-infused hot chocolate.  The spicy, sweet, savoury and salty flavours are an adventure for your palate.  I just love it, and we’ll definitely be preparing this wonderful meal at Tito’s brother Arturo’s place in Barcelona this Christmas (less than a month away now!).


Lomo Saltado

October 9, 2007


Finally, Dan, here’s the recipe for lomo saltado – hope you enjoy experimenting!  This dish is a real crowd pleaser, and very easy to throw together.  It’s essentially just Peruvian fast food – but if you are a carnivore, it’s difficult not to like steak and chips; this is steak and chips with an added, tasty twist… 

Lomo Saltado

Meat – beef, turkey or chicken, sliced thinly

Red onions, sliced thickly

Large, juicy tomatoes, skinned and sliced into large wedges


Aji – chilli, in any form you like (powdered, fresh or paste)


Salt and pepper

Cumin (optional)

Chips – from the chip shop, obviously!

Chop the onions and cover them with vinegar, leaving them to soak until you need them.  Skin the tomatoes by immersing them in boiling water for two minutes, then plunging them into cold water.  You should be able to run a knife around them, just piercing the skin, and then pop them out of their skins.  Note: this doesn’t work if they are rock-hard orange-coloured supermarket tomatoes!  Chop the meat and tomatoes, and then begin to fry the meat at a high temperature, moving constantly (the meat, not you).  When the meat is browned, add a shake of salt and pepper, chilli and paprika according to taste (you can always add more later!).  If you are using meat with a mild flavour, such as turkey or chicken breast, add a sprinkle of cumin too, for extra flavour.  Keeping on a high heat, add the tomatoes for a minute or two, until they are getting juicy, then pop in the onions and vinegar.  Fry until the onions are beginning to soften, then add the chips and stir thoroughly.  Check the seasoning, and serve.  Enjoy with ketchup, mustard and mayo, if you feel so inclined.

Chicharrones: this fried pork will not contribute to your moral decline.

October 1, 2007

Decadent Chicharrones

I have got to tell you about another one of Tito’s fantastic recipes that we had for breakfast on Sunday.  Any other day of the week it would be far too decadent, but chicharrones for breakfast on Sunday is perfectly in order – they are traditional Peruvian breakfast fare.  Speaking of decadent: in Spanish the word has none of the favourable connotations it has acquired in English; indeed, those undertones of sumptuous and delectably naughty self- indulgence are entirely missing.  Hence, I found Tito to be rightly indignant when I went so far as to suggest his tasty breakfast was corrupt, and debased, and causing us to fall into general moral decline.  But, I digress.  So, chicharrones are pieces of very, very crunchy pork.  They can be as crunchy as you like, but we think they are best when they turn a rich brown all over, concentrating the flavour into the dense meat.  This dish avoids dryness with a zingy lemon and onion salsa, which should be applied liberally.  


How much pork would you, and those for whom you are cooking, like to eat?  Use that amount, in the form of ribs or chops.

Fill a large pan with enough water to approximately half cover the meat.  Bring to a boil, add a pinch of salt, and drop in the pork.  Cover with a lid and reduce the heat slightly, so the pork simmers merrily away in the water.  Make the salsa while you wait.  When the water has all evaporated, after approximately 10-15 minutes, you will find the pork is greasy and partially cooked.  At this point, turn up the heat and begin to fry the meat in its own oil.  You might find you need more oil, if this is the case, add some.  If you prefer not to add any more oil, ensure you turn the meat constantly to ensure it doesn’t burn.  Fry the pork until it reaches the desired crunchiness… 

For the salsa:

Red onion – sliced thinly
Juice of a lemon
Salt and pepper
Aji  (dried chilli flakes work well – though a little fresh rocoto or Spanish bonnet pepper would be tastiest) 

Mix the above ingredients together and serve with the meat. Serve the chicharrones with fresh-from-the oven bread, and / or yuccas or sweet potato.  Be sure to have a hot drink during or after noshing to aid digestion.  If you feel at all debauched, take a nice long walk.

Tito’s Peruvian Beans with Gammon

September 27, 2007


On Saturday evening Tito and I decided to have a civilised evening in, drink some nicely oaked red wine and have a warm and comforting roast. Gammon and root vegetables… a wonderful autumnal selection of parsnips, sweet potatoes, yuccas and carrots… the sweetness of the vegetables would harmonise with the sweet, yet also salty, taste of the gammon.  We trotted down to the kitchen, cranked the cronky, unreliable oven up to max to pre-heat, and started to chop the vegetables.  A moment later, our housemate, crazy Captain K, slammed in the front door carrying his shopping.  He came in to our shared kitchen and unpacked his frozen meal, rice and tortillas.  Putting the ready meal of curry in the oven, he found it to be conveniently ready warmed!  Shortly after, we popped the lovely chunk of pink meat surrounded by colourful veggies in next to the curry, and came upstairs to relax.  About hour later, I went down to turn the vegetables, and generally prod the roast a bit.  I noted the Captain had deemed it necessary to relocate our meal to the bottom of the oven – clearly his curry had been in there first.  As I poured some more wine, he came in with can of Guiness clamped in hand, and thrust open the oven door as far as it would go.  He then proceeded to laboriously stir the curry with a chopping knife, licking the sauce from the tip of the knife to test the temperature.  An hour and a half later, I went down again to check on the gammon, but sadly found it to be far from ready.  We had invited a friend to eat with us at nine; yet the vegetables were still crunchy.  It slowly dawned on us that Captain K had likely been opening the oven door approximately every three minutes for the past two hours, and would continue to do so for an indeterminate period.  This most challenging situation called for drastic action.  It demanded fast thinking and great innovation.  Thus, this hearty yet exquisite dish was born.  

Tito’s Peruvian Beans with Gammon  

About 200g of gammon for each person2 cans of beans – drained and rinsed (any type is fine – but a can of butter beans and another mixed is particularly recommended)

2 or 3 cloves of garlic – finely sliced

An onion – finely sliced

Aji Limo – a pinch to taste

Aji Amarillo – a pinch to taste




Serves 2-3, cooking time 20 minutes.  

Fry the gammon in a deep pan.  Remove this, and then fry the onion and garlic until soft in the juices from the gammon, adding a splash of water if needed.  Add the Aji Limo and Aji Amarillo to taste.  If these Peruvian condiments are not available (I buy them in Wholefoods on High Street Kensington) use a little chilli, for heat, and cumin and paprika for flavour.  After this initial fry, return the gammon and add the beans.  Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the beans are hot and a little creamy.  Season to taste and add a sprinkle of oregano (por las gases – a veces las frijoles producen gases – dice Tito).  Throw in another can of beans if you want to have leftovers! On Sunday, when we finally had our proper roast vegetables and succulent gammon for lunch, we realised what a good misfortune had occurred the night before.  We had the rest of the spicy beans with the meal, and they lent a fabulous creamy texture and deeply savoury flavour to the roast… which it would have otherwise gone without!