Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Beef Stirfry)

We know a really nice Peruvian family that we enjoy our friendship with. They introduced us to "Lomo Saltado" it is delicous. The recipe varies from person to person because I have tried her mothers, her husbands, and her own "Lomo Saltado". I have seen her mother and her cook it. I ask questions and stuff to learn it.

She told me it varies how they make it depending on the region they come from if they are from North, South, etc. wherever. This recipe I am making is based on my observation of her mothers (which I could've sworn she used some ginger but her daughter doesn't recall it) and of course hers which she verbally explained and I also watched.

We love "Lomo Saltado" in my house, it is one of those things we eat so happily and enjoy it lots. I even dare say it is one of my favorite meat dishes.

I love the Peruvian foods I have tried from that family,they have a very unique flavorful style.

-2 lbs. tender quick cooking cut of beef thinly sliced, cut into strips (you can use "beef flap steak", "tenderloin", thin cut "beef loin sirloin" another cut I know but I don't know the english name "Bistec de Espaldilla")
-2 peruvian "Aji Amarillo", de-seeded, cut into thin long strips (you can substitute it for any medium sized spicy chili pepper if you can't get where your at I buy them frozen imported from Peru because they don't grow here)
-1 green bell pepper, de-seeded, cleaned cut into strips (julienned)
-1 red bell pepper, de seeded, cleaned cut into strips (julienned)
-1 purple onion, cut in half, cut into thick strips
-1 large or 2 small tomatoes, wedged into not to large not to small long slices
-6 cloves of garlic mashed (mortar or garlic press)
-Salt to taste (not to much your using soy sauce_
-Soy Sauce to taste
-1 large pinch of Monosodium Glutamine (MSG also known as "Ajinamoto")
-A couple drizzles of white vinegar
-6-12 potatoes peeled and julienned cut into long not to thick not to thin strips or even more (it depends how much you wanna eat, they are really tastey we love them)
-Oil to stirfry and extra-oil for deep frying potatoes.

(1)Heat enough oil in a pan on medium high to fry the potatoes, you may need to fry them in batches, have a plate with a paper towel ready. Fry them until golden brown you may need to flip em around to cook all around (I use enough oil to pan-fry not deep fry I don't like wasting oil life is getting expensive and economy sucks right now here in USA). Set aside. This takes like 20 minutes depends. Be patient you can do prep work while they are frying
(2)Put cut meat in a bowl and season with some salt, pepper, a little soy sauce and MSG.Prep ALL YOUR INGREDIENTS BEFORE STIRFRYING, make sure everything is chopped and everything is on hand.
(3)Now heat wok or skillet on really high heat, the highest possible. Add oil and make sure oil is really hot, like you can see a small whiff of smoke (not like smoking but a very light airy effect I don't know use common sense). Now add meat in one layer, do not touch for atleast 2-4 minutes. Layer over it the garlic. DO not mix it in because it may burn It may start releasing it juices THAT IS OKAY don't panic this dish is like that, stir it until the liquid evaporates mostly.

(4)Now add "aji amarillo" (chili pepper), red bell pepper, green bell pepper, purple onion and sautee/ stirfry until the the veggies are cooked through and getting more tender. Season with soy sauce to taste (be careful don't over salt, taste it, drizzle soy sauce little by little measure it spoonful by spoonful if you can't eyeball it)
(5)Now add tomato and stir until tomato starts releasing some juices. Add a couple splashes of vinegar (1 or 2 tablespoons maybe more maybe less) Stir well until incorporated.

(6)Now stir in fried potatoes until well incorporated, so they can soak up some of the sauce and stuff, now turn off.
(7)Serve over a mountain of rice.

I only used 6 medium potatoes I think it needed more, I like equal potatotoes to everything else in it, so I like lots last time we made this at my Peruvian friends house we used 5 pounds of fried potatoes for 3 pounds of meat haha.

Also some people do not like to mix the fried potatoes with the stirfry. Some serve the potatoes as a side dish, others use the potatoes as a bed for the stirfry with rice on side.


You can do this with any meat you want usually beef is used and it's typical to use beef for this.

You may use chicken or pork instead, prepared the same way as the beef, some people add less bell pepper like 1 or 1/2 a bell pepper but we don't.

Sardinas En Salsa Criolla (Sardines in Cuban Creole Sauce)

This is one of those dishes my grandmother make if she feels like making something quick and fast, it only needs rice on the side and it's a complete meal, if you wish to make it more "elaborate" you can serve with a raw salad, or serve someone a cuban black bean soup you might have leftover in the fridge haha. You get what I mean :)

I love this I make it often atleast once a week because I love sardines and anything fishy.

1 can of sardines packed in tomato sauce
-1/2 a bell pepper julien
-1/2 onion julien
-4 cloves garlic mashed (in a mortar or with a garlic press)
-1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce
-1/2- 1 cup water
-1 bay leaf
-1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
-1/2 tsp. oregano
-salt to taste if needed (I didn't use any because the canned fish has enough salt)
-2 tablespoon to 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1/2 bunch minced cilantro or parsley

(1)In a medium to large pan heat olive oil, sautee bell pepper, garlic, and onion on medium high or medium until everything is fragrant and onion is kind of translucent. Add tomato sauce some water, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, stir well, bring to a boil reduce a bit.
(2)Add sardines, along with the sauce it has in the can, you can cut break each one in half if you wish. Don't move it around to much or it will destroy it, spoon sauce over to coat. Cover and simmer on low 5-10 minutes.
(3)Add some minced cilantro to garnish, sink a bit into sauce.
(4)Serve with some rice

Ensalda de Avas (Butter Bean/ Lima Bean Salad)

My grandmother makes this simple yet delicous bean based salad. She uses Lima Beans which she calls "Avas" to make this salad they have a buttery texture I love it.

This recipe is flexible and can have some variations that I will list at the end. Read the end or you will be missing out and if you read it you'll see a easier way to make this.

1 pound dry large lima beans
-9 cups water to boil lima beans
-1-2 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
-1 small purple onion, cut in half thinly sliced (julienned)
-2 cloves garlic peeled and mashed to a paste with some salt (you can use mortar and pestle or garlic press)
-1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-juice of 3 large limes (more or less to taste I love acidity)
-1/2 bunch of cilantro or parsley finely minced (optional my grandma doesn't usually add it but it makes it look so beautiful)

(1)Rinse beans well, put in a pot with water and bring to boil cover and simmer for about 1 hour and 30 minutes until tender.
(2)Drain beans well make sure no liquid is left, let them cool or shock them in ice cold water (I shock them to speed up the process)
(3)Once cooled add with purple onions, garlic and cilantro, drizzle with olive oil, then squeeze lime juice, then add salt, mix well carefully without breaking beans down. (you may use your hands haha)

(1)To make your life easier you may buy frozen or canned ready to eat lima beans and use in place of the boiled lima beans. (if using canned drain and rinse well before use)

(2)You can also use Chickpeas/ Garbanzos you can buy them canned, drain and rinse and replace them for the limas

(3)I've never done it and this is out of my imagination but Im pretty sure canned drained black beans would look pretty, except I would just mince the purple onion if using the black beans I don't know why I think minced would just look nice with black beans as opposed to sliced don't ask.