Archive for February 2009
I’m excited to share some great news: our friends from MiamiPeru.com have posted a “Connect to Peru” link in their website!
MiamiPeru.com is a leading portal that keeps its readers informed about the latest Peruvian news, events, restaurants, nightlife and art in the Greater Miami, Florida area. Its editorial team is led by Marino del Varco, former reporter at The Miami Herald, Washington, DC’s El Pregonero and El Latino, Peruvian newspaper Expreso, among others.
With this link, we look forward to keeping the many Peruvians and Americans living in the Greater Miami, FL area informed about the latest Peruvian news.
Well, it’s been some crazy busy February work weeks and an awful flu I finally battled and went through before getting back on track to writing again.
I’m sure more than one reading this post has been working or somehow thinking on how they could be affected by the Economic Stimulus Package – the main reason for my several nights of insomnia and long hours working in my main job as a publicist in the Washington, DC area.
Also, I want to thank my BFF the Nyquil bottle for helping me successfully battle the worst point of a week and a half long flu working (whenever I wasn’t drowsy) from my bed.
Anyways, “Connect to Peru” and this humble writer of yours is back on track and ready to continue giving you the most exciting and fun things about what Peru can offer for your next big trip to my beloved South American hometown.
Thanks for all the wonderful feedback and comments, and for coming back every day to read our daily updates! It has just been three months since launched, and a wonderful journey!
Cheers to you all, and let’s get back to the show!
Just as the white wine, the red wine, the champagne, etc. have their own glass design to correctly appreciate and savor their kindness to the taste, the pisco has its own specially designed glass designed and produced by the world renowned Austria house Riedel.
Chosen among 29 final prototypes, the exclusively designed crystal glass for Peruvian pisco was presented in Vienna on May 11, 2006, and shipped to Peru on July 24, 2006. It is a tulip-shaped glass.
Click here top watch a video that walks you through the Riedel headquarters in Vienna, Austria and how they produce their unique designs, including the pisco glass. Although the video is in Spanish, it includes an interview in English with the Riedel’s House President George Riedel at the beginning of the video, and then further comments on minute 6:50.
If you want to learn more about pisco, click here for a great website in English (click each of the yellow icons on the bottom of the site). Click the icon with the glass image in the middle bottom row to get the specs/measurements of the Riedel glass.
Washington-DC based Las Canteras co-owner Gary Lee shares with us another one of his innovative pisco-based drink recipes exclusively with “Connect to Peru” in celebration of “Pisco Day”.
So here is the recipe, and hope you have fun trying it at home!
Ingredients (1 serving): Two and a half ounces of cherry-infused Pisco, one half ounce of blackberry schnapps, a half ounce of cherry juice, juice from 1/2 lime, a splash of soda, a scoop of ice.
To make the drink, mix all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well until nicely chilled. Serve in a chilled martini glass.
Optional decoration: sugar around the rim of the glass.Garnish with a cherry.
So today we are kicking off Day 2 of our “Pisco Day” Special Weekend Edition! And it’s great to do it with a wonderful recipe exclusively from Taranta‘s owner Jose Duarte, a Peruvian top chef and one of America’s leaders in “green” restaurants. Taranta is one of the very few restaurants in the U.S. to be a Certified Green Restaurant. In fact, Taranta was recently named among the “50 Best Restaurants in Boston” by Boston Magazine.
And if you are in the Boston, MA area, you might want to stop by Taranta this weekend. Taranta will be offering a Pisco Sour tasting to all its customers in celebration of “Pisco Day”!
So here it is….today, chef Duarte shares with us his recipe for a Macadamia Crusted Salmon Filet with a Pisco-based sauce….YUM! Thanks to chef Duarte for sharing this great recipe with us!
MACADAMIA CRUSTED SALMON FILET
By: Chef Jose Duarte, Taranta (Boston, MA)
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
4 pieces of salmon 8 oz each
1/2 cup Crushed macadamia nuts
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 spoon lemon zest
1 cup of Sicilian Blood Orange Juice
1/4 cup of Peruvian Pisco
1/2 cup of heavy cream
Bunch of Asparagus, grilled
2 cups of Arborio Rice
To make the risotto cake:
Make rice following a standard risotto recipe, expand in a sheet pan and let it cool, place in a mixing bowl and add, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of cream and sprinkle some thyme, make muffin shape pieces and cook until the sides are crispy.
To make the crust:
Mix breadcrumbs with macadamia, lemon zest, add salt and pepper to taste.
To make the sauce:
In a medium sautee pan bring the juice o a boling point then add pisco and cook for 2 minutes, reduce flame and gradually add 1/2 cup of heavy cream mixing with a wisk. Salt Pepper to taste.
Cooking the Salmon:
Season salmon pieces, then sear on high heat on a large pan, Remove and crust with macadamia mix, place in preheated oven at 350 for 10 – 15 minutes until crust is golden color. Do not overcook the fish otherwise it will dry.
Serve by placing the risotto cake on the bottom of the dish, then the asparagus, then the crusted salmon and finalize with the sauce.
Instead of writing a post about pisco and its origins, here is a two-part video named “Pisco, cultural heritage of Peru” that walks you through the origins of pisco, including locations where it is produced in the south coast of Peru, official documents from centuries ago proving pisco is authentic from Peru (and nowhere else — others claimed to be pisco are really a totally different liqueur not 100% from grapes — a key characteristic of the authentic pisco), as well as interesting recipes you can make with pisco. You might also want to take note of the locations mentioned in this video which are great places where you can visit and see how pisco is produced.
- The history
- The old cellars
- The name
- Pisco tourism
- Bar and Kitchen — includes commentary from Peruvian top chefs Isabel Alvarez, Gaston Acurio and Pedro Schiaffino
- Cultural Heritage
The Pisco Sour, the most symbolic beverage of Peru and considerd a “national cultural patrimony”, will be starring this weekend’s crowded festivals in Peru, with thousands of free tastings, contests and dances throughout the country, as the largest Peruvian newspaper El Comercio reports.
Many activities, such as free tastings, competitions and dances are taking place in the capital city of Lima, and throughout the nation since Thursday, February 5 thru tomorrow Sunday, February 8.
In Lima, the Municipality of Surco, Peru’s Ministry of Production and the National Commission of Pisco (Conapisco) will host the 6th National Pisco Sour Festival at the Parque de la Amistad in Surco district.
Andina news reports:
Visitors will have the opportunity to sample Peru’s flagship drink and enjoy a series of artistic and cultural activities. The festival will open at 12:00 (local time) with a Pisco Sour toast and thereafter local authorities will unveil a bust of Victor Morris, creator of the original Pisco Sour recipe.
At 15:00, several young students will participate in a Pisco Sour contest; while at 18:00, the “Pisco Sour: History and Tradition” book by Guillermo Díaz Vera will be presented.
Afterwards, Peruvian historian Luis Repetto, journalist Raul Vargas and deputy foreign minister Gonzalo Gutiérrez will comment on certain particulars of this book.
The Pisco Sour contest will continue on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 15:00 with the professional category and then Creole singer Cecilia Barraza will perform for the audience at 21:30.
The celebrations will end on Sunday, Feb 8, at 15:00 with the final of the Pisco Sour contest in the champions category. All these shows and activities are free.
The Parque de la Amistad (Friendship Park) is located in the Limean district of Surco, a block from the intersection of Benavides and Caminos del Inca Avenues.
In the provinces of Peru, many free demonstrations will take place this weekend, as well as dances and all kinds of activities to promote the Pisco Sour.
In the southern region of Ica, where the pisco originated, visitors will receive 3,000 free Pisco Sour drinks, and the Pisco Producers Association will elect its “Queen of the Pisco”.
Contests will take place where bartenders, chefs, students or fans will prepare their own recipes and look to win the prize for the “Best Pisco Sour”.
Our friend and owner of Macchu Pisco Melanie Asher provides a list of the hottest places in the main U.S. cities to celebrate “Pisco Day” this weekend. Here is the list and a link to their websites to get more information!
In Maryland: Aroma (in Olney)
In Las Vegas: Sushi Samba (3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South)
And, to this list I’d also add:
Happy Pisco Day, and thanks to Melanie for sharing these tips with Macchu Pisco fans!
“Pisco Day” Special Weekend Edition: Sour Haas Pisco Drink Recipe Exclusively From Las Canteras Restaurant
It’s finally here! Every first Saturday in February, Pisco Day is celebrated in Peru and around the world to commemorate such a delicious liqueur, and the basis for preparing what people are claiming to be the hottest drink in 2009: the Pisco Sour.
Throughout this weekend, we will be publishing several pisco-related posts to celebrate this special day, including pisco recipes exclusively from Gary Lee – the co-owner of Washington, DC-based Peruvian restaurant Las Canteras – who is an expert on creating innovative pisco-based drink recipes, exclusive interviews, as well as tips on where to get good pisco sours, among other fun things.
This morning, we are kicking off the Pisco Day Special Edition with a recipe for Sour Haas, named after Hass avocados, one of the key ingredients. It’s designed to be a delicate balance between avocado, mint, pineapple juice and Pisco. Thanks to Gary for sharing this recipe with us! DO try it at home…or stop by tonight at Las Canteras restaurant to get it straight from Gary!
Sour Haas Recipe (1 serving)
We just got a message from our Argentinean blogger friend Seba as he is back in Argentina after a couple of weeks vacation in Peru — a trip he just did following our posting about a northern Peruvian beach called Cabo Blanco where Ernest Hemingway got inspiration from to write his book “The Old Man and the Sea”.
Here is a translation of his comment posted this morning:
“Well, I am back in Argentina since yesterday, will be a week of reaccomodating myself to work but I promise a super post next week. Your country (Peru) is really beautiful, with things to discover in every single corner, and, as an extra gift, with prices really but really cheap. Hugs and thanks for everything!”
Looking forward to reading all the details about his experience in Peru next week!