To-die-for recipes from Peru

 

In a small, off-the-beaten-track hotel in Peru I made friends with chef Jorge Cuadros. He taught me a few dishes and I tested them several times in my kitchen so they were close to what Jorge had created. You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!

Ocopa sauce

Makes two cups

This yellow-green sauce works well as a dip and also as a side especially with baked potatoes. The ingredients are available in Latin American grocery stores.

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

2 salt-free crackers

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon black mint (huacatay)

2 teaspoons Aji Amarillo paste

1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend ingredients together in food processor and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Chicha Morado

Serves 8

This gorgeous sweet dessert soup with chunks of pineapple and apple is sure to woo kids and adults.

2 ears purple corn, kernels removed from cobs

1/2 pineapple

2 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

6 cups water

2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

2 apples, cut into 1-inch cubes

  1. Peel the pineapple and keep the skin aside. Cut the rest of the fruit into 1-inch cubes and refrigerate.
  2. Soak the corn with the pineapple skin, cloves, and cinnamon overnight in the water.
  3. The next morning place the soaked corn with the pineapple skin and spices in a large flameproof casserole with a lid. Remove the lid and bring the mixture to a boil on high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Work the mixture through a strainer to remove the corn, pineapple skin, cloves and cinnamon.
  5. Return the liquid to the casserole, add the diced pineapple, apple, sugar, and lemon juice. Simmer for another 8-10 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

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