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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!

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Written by Catherine Castro

February 8, 2009 at 9:31 am

Where to Celebrate “Pisco Day” in the U.S., by Macchu Pisco CEO and Owner Melanie Asher

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melanie3Our 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 New York: PDT (113 St. Marks Pl., in the East Village) or Yerba Buena (23 Avenue A)

In Washington, DC: The Gibson (2009 14th St. NW, in the U Street area), Bar Pilar (1833 14th St NW, in the U Street area) or Las Canteras (in Adams Morgan)

In Virginia: PX Lounge (in Alexandria) or The Majestic (in Alexandria)

In Maryland: Aroma (in Olney)

In Boston: The Four Seasons (200 Boylston Street) and Eastern Standard (528 Commonwealth Ave)

In Las Vegas: Sushi Samba (3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South)

And, to this list I’d also add:

In Boston: Taranta (North End) and Orinoco (22 Harvard Street in Brookline, or 477 Shawmut Avenue in downtown).

Happy Pisco Day, and thanks to Melanie for sharing these tips with Macchu Pisco fans!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm

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

Where to get Inca Kola in New England and in the Washington DC area?

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incaInca Kola is the Peruvian local soft drink (soda) and is also named “the Golden Kola”. It gets its yellow color from Hierba Luisa (Lemon Verbena in English), a natural ancestral herb. The uniqueness of the story behind it is that Peru is perhaps the only country in which a local soda beats Coca Cola and Pepsi in market share  – a case study that Harvard’s Business School has covered for more than a decade.

Some like it, some don’t mainly for its sweetness. But if you are in the first group, or you’d like to try it, you can get it in the International aisle of most (if not all) of the Stop and Shop grocery stores in New England (Boston, Connecticut, Rhode Island, etc.). It is available in 2 liter plastic bottles, and some stores carry smaller sizes of bottles and/or aluminium cans.

And if you are in the Greater Washington DC area (DC, MD, VA), you can get Inca Kola at the Giant stores in their International aisle.

If you’d like to read further about Inca Kola, a good place to read is at its Wikipedia entry by clicking here.

Want to share where you get Inca Kola at your local city? Post it in the comments section to share it with the world!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 4, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Boston: Two Traditional Peruvian Restaurants Just Across the Street From Each Other

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polloWhile in Boston, one of my last stops wondering around the city to search for Peruvian restaurants was at Machu Picchu restaurant. Located in Sommerville, MA, close by to the Cambridge neighborhood and accessible via bus (look for # 86 bus route), the restaurant ended up being a great option if you are looking for authentic Peruvian food. As soon as you arrive you are welcomed with toasted corn (Peruvians call it “cancha“) which is originally from the Andes region in Peru. Here is an overview of my experience.

As a good Peruvian, the dinner kicked-off with a Pisco Sour — wouldn’t recommend it at this restaurant. You could actually feel you were drinking alcohol versus tasting the mix of its ingredients.

For an appetizer, I enjoyed a Causa de Pollo which is a mashed potato-type of cake filled with layers of onions and chicken. It was good, but tried better ones. As an entree I liked the Aji de Gallina, a traditional entree with boiled potatoes, shredded chicken on a creamy sauce made with the Peruvian yellow aji (chili). For dessert I had the Combinado, a two-in-one serving consisting of Arroz con Leche (similar to a rice pudding) and Mazamorra Morada, a purple corn-based compote with pieces of fruit.

To get a glance of Machu Picchu restaurant’s menu, click here.

Although the restaurant is not at a fancy, downtown-ish location as Taranta (a great green-certified location to enjoy Italian food with a wonderful Peruvian kick) or Orinoco (for the best pisco sour I had in Boston), it is a good option to enjoy traditional Peruvian dishes if you are driving or don’t mind walking in the suburbs of Boston.

And the latest about this Machu Picchu restaurant…the spin-off of its Peruvian rottiserie chicken right across the street! This just-opened restaurant is named “Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken & Grill”. The menu looked pretty interesting, and the chicken looks pretty good and authentic. This type of chicken is perhaps Peru’s second flagship dish after the Ceviche. What is unique about this restaurant was the Quinoa side, as well as Peruvian-style beef kabobs we call “anticuchos”. Quinoa is originally from the Andes mountains of South America, with Peru at the center of the Inca Empire, and is a great source of protein that many generations have enjoyed. So if you are hungry, perhaps you might want to save some room after your meal at Machu Picchu to get some rottiserie chicken, or better yet anticuchos as an appetizer.

To get a glance of Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken & Grill restaurant’s menu, click here

TIP: And if you are a big beer fan, you might want to try the local Peruvian beers available at both restaurants, including Cuzquena (my favorite) and Cristal.

Machu Picchu Restaurant is located at 307 Somerville Avenue, Somerville,  Massachusetts 02143.

Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken & Grill is located at 25 Union SQ, Sommerville, Massachusetts 02143.

(PS – Although it doesn’t matter if you have in mind enjoying a great Peruvian meal, the one thing I was “nervous” about was the many typos the menu and marketing materials had. Sorry, must be the PR girl in me! Hahaha.)

Written by Catherine Castro

January 3, 2009 at 9:49 pm

America’s Green Cuisine Gem…and He’s Peruvian!

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joseWhile in Boston, I am getting to know great sites and restaurants, but I didn’t expect to learn about Peruvian-related green cuisine! Ladies and gentlemen…let me introduce you to Jose Duarte, a Peruvian successful chef and restaurant owner of Taranta. Jose’s gastronomic style brings the wonders of two of the best cuisines in the world: Italian and Peruvian. I tried a gnocchi made with a culantro-based sauce that clearly reminded me of the Peruvian “seco de cordero”. It was a taste that brought me back home.

Located at the North End in Boston, the entrance door welcomed me with a pair of opening curtains perhaps as a sign I was entering into something new…and it was. I was greeted by Jose who since the beginning was really nice and patient to walk me through his business, his background, and of course his culinary expertise which was very exciting.

According to the Green Restaurant Association, Boston is the second largest green city (after New York) and it was great to know one of its leaders is actually Jose. According to a recent Boston Globe article, here are some of his green achievements:

  • The wine list is biodynamic, sustainable, and organic
  • The restaurant is eliminating bottled water, putting in its own carbonation and bottling system
  • The straws are green – they’re made from a corn-based polymer
  • The business cards are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper and printed with soy ink
  • He wears an organic chef’s coat
  • Uses LED candles instead of wax

And particularly about bottled water, his Taranta “Going Green” blog on a December 4, 2008 post says:

“Just installed our own bottling and carbonation system for water, a very eco friendly alternative to bottled water with a carbon footprint. We will be filling and reusing our own bottles, this will reduce our storage space, less boxes being driven and less bottles to recycle. The flavor is excellent and we are continuing our funding program by donating $1 for each bottle sold to the City of Boston Green Energy Fund. We will also feature an aluminum portable bottle in our Peruvian Culinary Adventure to in March 2009 courtesy of Natura Water.”

Great, huh? But here’s what was also pretty interesting to me: I tried the Peruvian flagship drink Pisco Sour and Jose made me notice something peculiar about it: the foam. His pisco sours are made from powdered egg whites, which ensures health standards are met and avoid viruses such as the salmonella that most other restaurants don’t keep in mind. The taste and body of the pisco sour is great made out of a great quality pisco from Peru. With that excuse, I made sure I had one for dinner after my chat with Jose.

As a Peruvian, it is great to see how he is leading the way on green restaurants. And even more so if you can enjoy a great Italian delicatessen with a Peruvian kick (yum) and support environmental sustainability! Go Jose!

Taranta is located at 210 Hanover Street, Boston, MA.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 14, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Peruvian Minister Provides Update on Investment Road Show to US and Europe

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Following up from my earlier post on the Peruvian Minister of Economy Luis Valdivieso visiting New York, Boston, London and Spain, today he made a statement on how his “Non Deal Road Show” is progressing, according to a report from Andina.

Today Valdivieso is in London and stated investors in the U.S. and the U.K. are surprised that Peru continues growing and with a low inflation despite de international economic crisis.

Below are quotes from his declaration to the press (translated to English):

“They were all surprised that we keep growing with low inflation and are very interested to know which are our fiscal plans and monetary policy, as well as which are our investment plans. […] It is important to communicate to the market where we are and where we are headed to.”

Written by Catherine Castro

December 14, 2008 at 9:09 pm