lundi, juillet 21, 2008

Bon Voyage and Peruvian Grub

Well, today was a continuation of the bon-voyage festivities for our roommate, although this time we didn’t stay up until 2pm the next day dancing. She had to catch a plane early the next day, so the plan was for friends to come over for drinks, and I would cook some Peruvian food.

So I went out early in the afternoon and got the necessary ingredients to make a few Peruvian dishes, although I couldn’t find the ají Amarillo that is the foundation of anything spicy in Peruvian food. Instead, I improvised with a combination of locally-available hot peppers and some roasted sweet peppers.

As soon as I got home, I busied myself making Ocopa, Huancaína sauce and some Tzatziki (not Peruvian, obviously). After slinging all of that in the fridge, I shredded the meat from a roast chicken I had bought (as a shortcut for making ají de gallina later), and then sat down and spent the next few hours working on my notes for Saturday night.

At around 18h00, the guests started arriving, so I boiled the potatoes and then started making the ají de gallina. As the guests arrived, I finished the ají (answering lots of puzzled questions as I dumped milk-soaked bread into the pot and blended the whole thing) and made a quick rice. Alas, I totally fucked up the rice, as I didn’t wash it out enough and I forgot that I wasn’t working with basmati rice. In other words, the result was a gelatinous mess of sticky rice. Yech.

For those of you who weren’t reading my blog back in the Paris days, you might not know that I’ve posted recipes for some of these dishes. You can click on the “Recipes” label to review all of the recipes I’ve posted in the past, but here’s the direct links for Ají de gallina and Papas a la Huancaína. I haven’t posted an Ocopa recipe quite yet, as I’m still experimenting with the recipe myself.

Anyway, I sorta spent the night in the kitchen, finishing the dishes and then chatting with whatever of my roommates friends that came through there. There were a few previous roommates that were also in attendance, so we spent some time chatting about the neighborhood and where one can get good food, etc. Good times.

By 1am or so, things wound down and we all slugged off to bed, full of food and beer.

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