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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!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 8, 2009 at 9:31 am

“Pisco Day” Special Weekend Edition: Sour Haas Pisco Drink Recipe Exclusively From Las Canteras Restaurant

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Sour Haas

"Sour Haas" by Las Canteras Restaurant (Washington, DC)

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)

Ingredients: four teaspoons of ripe avocado, eight leaves of mint, two and a half ounces of Pisco, two ounces of pineapple juice, two teaspons of simple syrup, and a scoop of ice.
 
Muddle the mint gently in a cocktail shaker. Mash the avocado into the mint with the muddler. Add the Pisco,  juice, simple syrup and ice and shake very well. The avocado and mint should be blended nicely together. 
 
Serve in a highball glass, garnished with a sprig of mint.

Enjoy!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 6, 2009 at 11:04 pm

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

Lima Named “Gastronomic Capital of South America” by Bon Appetit Magazine in January 2009 Issue

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peru2Bon Appetit magazine’s January 2009 issue includes an amazing feature story on Peru’s capital city gastronomy with a great background on the origins of its cuisine, naming it the “Gastronomic Capital of South America”!!

Here is a great excerpt to summarize the richness of Lima’s cuisine:

“Peru really is blessed with an almost ludicrous variety of natural resources, from the great seafood of the Pacific coast to the vegetables of the temperate highlands of the Andes to the wild tropical abundance of herbs and fish from the Amazon. And the country has one of the world’s most interesting natural culinary fusions […] Perhaps most importantly, Peru is in the midst of a nationwide awakening about its own cuisine…”

And this story is a great source for those who are planning to visit Lima to make sure you try the restaurants named, including:

  • Malabar
  • Restaurant Huaca Pucllana
  • Costanera 700
  • Toshiro’s Sushi Bar
  • Chifa Kam Men
  • La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

And it is even with greater pleasure to share this story after reading how a dear friend from high school has grown so much. Well done, Pedro! Very proud to see your gastronomic success around the world!

Written by Catherine Castro

December 24, 2008 at 12:14 am

Where to Get a Good Pisco Sour in Boston

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pisco-sourIn search for a nice place to grab dinner in Boston, my sister took me to this restaurant called “Orinoco”.

Despite not having Peruvian dishes (more of a Venezuelan/Latin American cuisine style), to my surprise they made this great pisco sour. Spoke with the bar tender who isn’t Peruvian, and he pretty much gave me the original Peruvian recipe which explains why it was so good!

I went to one of their two locations in 22 Harvard Street in the Brookline area (off the train – or “T” as they call it here – stop). Their other location is in 477 Shawmut Avenue in the Boston area.

You should check it out if you are in the Boston area. Click here to go to their website.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 12, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Food & Wine Magazine: Top 5 Places to Eat in Lima, Peru

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The November 2008 issue of Food & Wine magazine listed the top five “must-go” restaurants.

These are great restaurants but typically pricey. In a later posting I will compile some smaller-scale restaurants which still give you the great Peruvian cuisine for a lower price. Tough times, tight budgets!

In the meantime, here are the top five:

Astrid Y Gastón: Gastón Acurio’s modern Peruvian spot offers remarkable dishes, like lacquered goat cooked with chicha (corn beer).

Chez Wong: Javier Wong’s restaurant, inside his house, has no menu. Meals start with simple sole ceviche; the next course depends on the chef’s whim and the day’s catch.

El Rincón Que No Conoces: Chef-owner Teresa Izquierdo is a champion of African- and Spanish-influenced Criollo cooking, notable for endless pots of great beans and tripe.

Fiesta: A sophisticated spot serving distinctive dishes from north Peru’s Moche civilization, like quickly grilled cured grouper.

La Mar: Acurio’s ceviche restaurant, which has a San Francisco outpost, serves dozens of versions of cured fish, including a delicate sea urchin. [Check out my earlier posts on the San Francisco La Mar here, and its ratings here]

If you go to each of them in the article, it will give you more information about each restaurant, including exact location in Lima.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 12, 2008 at 11:46 am