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Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

Cherry Piscotini, Recipe Exclusively From Las Canteras Restaurant

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Cherry Piscotini by Las Canteras (Washington, DC)

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!

Cherry Piscotini
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.

Enjoy!

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Written by Catherine Castro

February 8, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Macadamia Crusted Salmon Filet with Pisco-Based Sauce, Exclusively From Taranta

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Macadamia Crusted Salmon Filet with Pisco-Based Sauce by Taranta Restaurant (Boston, MA)

Macadamia Crusted Salmon Filet with Pisco-Based Sauce by Taranta (Boston, MA)

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

Thyme

 

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.

 

Bon Apetit!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 8, 2009 at 9:31 am

The Origins of the Pisco

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piscoInstead 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.

Part 1

  • The history
  • The old cellars
  • The name
  • Pisco tourism

Part 2

  • Bar and Kitchen — includes commentary from Peruvian top chefs Isabel Alvarez, Gaston Acurio and Pedro Schiaffino
  • Cultural Heritage

Written by Catherine Castro

February 8, 2009 at 9:21 am

Calling Las Vegas, New York and Miami…Gaston Acurio’s Peruvian Cuisine is on the Way!

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Traditional Lomo Saltado

Traditional Lomo Saltado

According to today’s Associated Press story published in today’s Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper, Gaston Acurio – one of Peru’s top chefs and one of the leaders in Peruvian cuisine around the world – announced his empire will be opening more La Mar seafood restaurant locations in Las Vegas, New York and Miami.

As the article states,

“Acurio hopes to inundate the U.S. and European markets with his brands, from a mall-friendly stuffed potato franchise to microwavable Peruvian favorites and seasonings for grocers. Acurio says investors have been eager to back his projects.”

Acurio brings the best of Peruvian cuisine to the palate of the international gastronomy fans — also named “neo Peruvian cuisine” which is a bit different from what traditional native Peruvian cuisine is all about. So how do you know which one is which? Might be a bit tough if you are not Peruvian or you don’t have a Peruvian friend at your table. Let’s see…I will show you the difference from visuals that might help for one of Peruvian cuisine’s most traditional dishes, the Lomo Saltado. The photo above is the traditional-styled Lomo Saltado which is more home-y, more rustically served, this is how Peruvians eat it every day. Now check the picture in the AP story and you will see it is a bit more refined and styled up. Neither of them are right or wrong, just two different styles. If you want to have the authentic one, you might want to try the traditional style of course. That is how many Peruvians have enjoyed their cuisine for many generations.

There is no question about how Acurio’s efforts have benefited and promoted tremendously the Peruvian gastronomic art (yes, it is an art) around the world. And if you want to learn more about Gaston Acurio, get a refresher of the postings I did earlier, one on his new La Mar restaurant opening in California, and another posting about its ratings.

Look forward to trying the new locations! And if you are a local in any of these three cities, let us know how was your experience!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 5, 2009 at 8:37 am

“The Georgetowner” Names Peruvian Pisco Drink as Cocktail of the Week

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gt_coverOne of the many yummi things to try at Peruvian restaurant Las Canteras is its innovative ways of preparing pisco-based drinks. Located in the Adams Morgan area in Washington, DC, Las CanterasSour Haas was named Cocktail of the Week by The Georgetowner, and Gary Lee, one of its restaurant owners and former Washington Post travel writer, shares the recipe!

Gary begins by muddling fresh mint leaves in a glass. Next he carefully slices a portion of ripe avocado, which is added to the crushed mint. The ingredients are rounded out with a dash of simple syrup, pineapple juice and pisco. To properly merge the elements, Gary gives the components a good workout in a cocktail shaker. Because the drink consists of four distinctive ingredients, Gary notes that it is very important to shake it fully to make sure it is well blended. When he pours the combined mixture into the glass, the result is an opaque, pale green beverage.

Go ahead and try making it at home! But if you are in the Washington DC area, you can get a taste from its creator at Las Canteras restaurant located at 2307 18th Street NW, Washington, DC.

As you might recall, its executive chef Eddy Ancasi was our special guest revealing his Peruvian-style Christmas a few weeks ago. But most importantly, stay tuned to my upcoming post as I uncover the story behind Las Canteras and its chef, and other surprises coming up soon!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 10, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Where Can I Buy Peruvian Food Supplies in Virginia?

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anticuchos-cow-heartI have been getting questions on where to get Peruvian food supplies in the DC area, and here is the scoop. One of my favorite spots to do my Peruvian grocery shopping is in El Chaparral Meat Market located at 2719 Wilson Blvd in Arlington, VA. It is a small store right across a Wholefoods Market, and carries a pretty decent variety of authentic imported supplies from Peru, including:

  • Aji panca (great to make Lomo Saltado or Anticuchos, for example)
  • Aji amarillo (the “secret” flavor behind the Papa a la Huancaina or Cau Cau)
  • Yuca (comes already peeled, cut into blocks and frozen, great to make the yuca fries with the Huancaina sauce — for first-timers you can get a taste of it at Guarapo a few blocks away)
  • Packaged instant sauces (a big life savior if you cannot find all the Peruvian native ingredients)
  • Paneton (the Italian sweet bread on every Peruvian table around Christmas and New Year’s)
  • Chocolates I used to enjoy when I was a kid, including Cua Cua, Sublime, Princesa, Lentejas, etc.

And as we come closer to Spring and getting ready for BBQ season, El Chaparral is a great spot to get some fresh meat ideally prepared for Anticuchos. The great thing for those who aren’t Peruvian is that its employees are familiar with Anticuchos, and can guide you as to what is the best meat to use.

Writing this post is making me hungry and now craving for a Papa a la Huancaina. Getting a couple of potatoes and the Huancaina packaged sauce is a quick way to get my craving satisfied right away. Yum!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 9, 2009 at 11:38 am

Peruvian Jose Duarte’s “Taranta” Ranked Among Top 50 Restaurants by Boston Magazine

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boston_printIt is always great to hear whenever a Peruvian succeeds abroad. Boston Magazine’s latest Dining Features Article names Jose Duarte’s restaurant Taranta among the “50 Best Restaurants” in Boston!

If you have been following my postings, I am sure you might recall the note I did on Jose’s innovative efforts on implementing “green” initiatives in the restaurant business. Click here to read my post if you missed it.

Here is how Boston Magazine’s ranking worked:

What we’ve come up with is an unprecedented ranking of the top 50 restaurants in the city, as collectively judged by the Globe, the Herald, the Phoenix, Zagat, Yelp, the Phantom Gourmet, and select posters from the Boston board on Chowhound. And, of course, ourselves, in the persons of food editor Amy Traverso and features editor Jolyon Helterman (a Cook’s Illustrated alum), with help from our critic, Corby Kummer. We reviewed the reviews, standardized the scores, and, using a little statistical wizardry, calculated a hierarchy of culinary excellence.

Listed under # 34, Taranta is described as:

Peruvian cuisine is a dizzying fusion of Spanish, African, Asian, Italian, and French influences. At this North End spot, Peruvian meets southern Italian for an even headier mix. ORDER THIS: Pork chop with sugar cane–rocoto pepper glaze.

Congratulations to Jose, and keep up with the success!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm