June 10, 2015

Peruvian Ingredients: Purple Corn


Unique taste and a intense dark purple tone. This variety of corn grows in the Andean region of South America, and it's been used in Peruvian cuisine for more than two thousand years. In fact, it was called "moro sara" in the Inca Empire. Today is still one of the most iconic ingredients in Perú. Purple corn is the main ingredient of the refreshing "Chicha Morada" and the traditional "Mazamorra".

Purple corn (Zea Mays) is rich in anthocyanins and therefore has some nutritional benefits that are worth mentioning. It' has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, and it also helps controlling hypertension.

7 Facts About Purple Corn:

1. "Chicha Morada" is the most traditional drink in the country, and it's made with Purple Corn, sugar, water, pineapple and cinnamon.

2.  Some ancient cultures in South America - before the Incas - were already preparing drinks with Purple Corn.

3. It's also used as colorant by many industries.

4. It inspired the creation of Chicha Sour, a sweet twist of Pisco Sour.

5. The are more than six variants in Peru.

6. Some researches suggest it could help treat colon cancer.

7. Coca Cola Company attempted to create a chica flavored soda in Peru, with negative results.


June 03, 2015

Recipe: "Arroz Con Pollo" (Green Rice With Chicken)


Green and unique. Everybody loves "Arroz con Pollo" in Peru. Sure, the obvious combination of chicken and rice is not tied exclusively to this country. Actually it has mediterranean roots. But this version is quite different and certainly delicious.

People in Lima prepare this dish really often every week, because it's simple, tastes really good and the ingredients are easy to get anywhere in the country. Adding corn or even dress the rice with the popular "huancaina" sauce are even greater variations.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken in pieces
  • 1 onion diced in really small parts
  • 1 smashed garlic
  • 1 spoon of aji amarillo
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 1 cup of coriander
  • 3 cups of rice
  • 1 portion of beans
  • 1 sliced pepper

Preparation:

Remove the skin and marinate the chicken with salt, garlic and aji amarillo for 50 minutes. Brown the chicken with oil for three minutes, using a pot. Put the chicken aside for a while, and use the same pot to cook the onion, carrot, aji amarillo and coriander. Cook the mix for ten minutes under moderate heat, and then add pepper and beans and the chicken again, for 25 minutes.

Finally, add the rice to the pot and cook it all for 15 more minutes. Add some water if necessary. You can serve with onion and tomato salad.

May 27, 2015

14 Ways To Cook Chicken In Peru

14. Coca-Cola Chicken

Creative meal with a super-secret ingredient that contributes a sweet flavor (we're talking about Coke). Easy to cook and always served with white rice.

13. Salpicón

Peruvian Salpicon is inspired in the European dish but with a local twist. Uses a lot of vegetables and shredded chicken. Makes a great entry for lunch time.

12. Peanut Sauce Chicken

This dish has a tasteful mixture of spicy and sweet flavors. Peanut and other ingredients are easy to find at any supermarket around the world. Goes great with yellow potatoes and rice.

11. Chicken Diet

A popular soup in Peru, this light meal has no spicy condiments. It contains mostly noodles, chicken and vegetables.

10. Aguadito

with a slightly thick consistency, Aguadito is maybe the most traditional soup in Peru. Basic ingredients are chicken, rice (yes, rice in a soup) and coriander.

9. Peruvian Escabeche

Another dish with european heritage, peruvian escabeche contains chicken - or sometimes fish - lots of onion, tomatoes, eggs and the key peruvian ingredient: "aji amarillo".

8. Chicken Ceviche

Yes, it's called "ceviche" but it has nothing to do with fish or any sea product. This is a hot dish made with onions, chicken and "aji amarillo". Delicious and under appreciated, this ceviche is worth a bite.

7. Peruvian Chicken Sandwich

Mix celery, shredded chicken, creamy cheese and mayonnaise, add some potato sticks. You'll get one of the most popular sandwiches in the country. Warning: extremely addictive.

6. Chicken Brochette

Simple appetizer made with chicken, pepper and onion on the grill. You can find them at the finest restaurants and people make them at home too.

5. Oven-Roasted Chicken

It's name sounds indeed really common and simple. So, what's special about this dish? Garlic, lemon and butter. You'd be surprised.

4. Estofado

Another meal for everyday lunch. Potatoes, peas and carrots are important ingredients but the real secrets is the bay laurel leaves.

3. Aji De Gallina

Classic and iconic dish. The proper translation would be something like "spicy cream of hen". But reality is, peruvians use chicken to prepare it and it's delicious. Once again, the "aji amarillo" is the star of the cooking.

2. Green Rice With Chicken

The most popular dish among house moms. It's common in many parts of Latin America, but this peruvian version is quite special. Virtually every person in Peru has "Arroz con Pollo" for lunch at least once a week. That's a lot, considering the diversity of their cuisine. The chicken is served with green rice, spiced up with culantro and many other vegetables.

1. "Pollo a la Brasa" (Peruvian Blackened Chicken)

This is without a doubt the most popular chicken dish in Peru. You can have in virtually every city across the country and in thousands of peruvian restaurants around the world. The rotisserie preparation is done in special ovens called "rotombos". Usually served with french fries and salad, it's simplicity and yet memorable taste makes it one of the most valuable creations of peruvian cuisine.


May 23, 2015

Recipe: Chicha Sour



Peruvian dishes and drinks are mostly result of unlikely fusions that turned out to be delicious. Chicha Sour is an uncanny drink that combines two of the most iconic products in Peru: purple corn and pisco. This is the sweet sister of the widely known "Pisco Sour" and a must in fancy bars of every city in the peruvian coast. The unique taste of this Pisco Sour Chicha and it's cold preparation - which includes ice and lemon - makes it the perfect cocktail for the summer.

Ingredients:

6 ounces Pisco
2 ounces chicha syrup
1 ounce lemon juice
7 ice cubes
4 drops Angostura bitters
3 spoons egg white


Preparation:

To prepare chicha syrup, boil chicha morada and add sugar until it gets syrup texture. When its ready and cold, put the syrup in a cocktail shaker, alongside the ice, pisco, lemon and egg white. Shake it for 30 seconds and serve. Add two cups of Angostura bitters on each cup. And enjoy!