Menu de Lima
The city’s humid climate streets have certainly inspired Lima’s cuisine: many of its classic dishes feature light, bright, and spicy flavors that we crave on sticky days. The wealth of Peruvian cooking lies in the balance between assertive spices, native ingredients, and citrus that temper the wide range of meat, seafood, and starch. Our menu is a user-friendly mix of the greatest hits from the traditional Peruvian kitchen.
This Peruvian national cocktail is famous for a reason – it goes down smooth and disappears before you know it. It’s so popular, in fact, that both Chile and Peru claim ownership of its origin. We love it for its perfect balance of sweet, sour, and bitter, and can’t think of a more refreshing cocktail on a humid summer day.
Chill to 6 oz cocktail glasses in freezer. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add egg whites, simple syrup, Pisco, and lemon juice. Shake forcefully for 30 seconds. Add a teaspoon of bitters to a glass, swirl it around, and dump excess into second glass. Strain cocktail and divide evenly between two glasses.
Ceviche is simple, healthy, and delicious, but many are hesitant to make it at home. As long as you use the freshest fish you can find and keep it well refrigerated, there’s nothing to fear. Just be sure the onions and chiles are diced small, and don’t skimp on the citrus juice or salt.
Serves: 4 appetizer servings
In a medium bowl, add chiles, onion, garlic, lime and lemon juice. Mix well. Add snapper and season with salt. Refrigerate, allowing mixture to marinate, for 30 minutes. Add cilantro and oil to bowl and mix well. Divide mixture evenly between 4 lettuce cups and serve immediately.
This traditional dish is popular for its taste, of course, but also for its versatility. Think of the mashed potato base as a blank canvas; its layers can be stuffed with any number of fillings, like a quiche, and be altered to suit your personal preferences.
In a medium stockpot, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, 30 minutes. Drain and pass through a ricer. Season with salt. Mix in aji amarillo paste and vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and tuna and mix well. Add onions and black olives. Mix and season with salt. In a separate bowl, gently mix avocado, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon lime juice.
Brush the inside of a springform pan with oil. Spread half of potatoes evenly on the bottom of the pan. Add all the tuna mixture in an even layer. Top with avocado mixture. Add another layer of potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Top with eggs and garnish with 1 tablespoon cilantro, if desired. To serve: remove springform pan and cut into even wedges.
This fish dish, which is fried then soaked in a light pickle of onion and chile, is surprisingly light and perfect for a hot summer day. Like ceviche, escabeche takes many different forms throughout South America and can be made with a wide range of ingredients. Serve it with grilled corn or baked sweet potato wedges.
Pat filets dry and season with salt and pepper. Dredge with flour. Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high and add vegetable oil. When oil is shimmering, add filets. Cook on either side for 3 minutes. Remove filets from pan and place in non-reactive dish.
Wipe pan clean and heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add onions and oregano and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomato and sauté 1 minute. Add red wine vinegar and simmer until reduced by half. Allow to cool, then spoon over fish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2–3 hours.
Forget what you know about rice pudding – and don’t even think about comparing this to what’s sold in supermarkets or your local deli. Orange zest, real vanilla bean, and a whole cinnamon stick are the stars of the dish and can turn plain rice into a distinctive dessert.
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water and cinnamon stick to a boil. Add rice and boil for 1 minute. Scrape seeds from bean and add seeds and bean to rice. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low, and cook for 25–30 minutes until rice is tender and just a small amount of water remains. Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Add orange zest and milks. Simmer, stirring frequently so bottom does not burn, until milk has reduced and mixture is creamy with liquid still remaining. Serve warm or chilled.
We like to think of this traditional dish as the Peruvian version of upscale cheese fries. Though it’s typically served cold as an appetizer course, we prefer to eat it as soon as it’s made, especially since potatoes drenched in spicy cheese are hard to resist.
In a stockpot, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and season with salt.
In a medium sauté pan, heat oil on medium. Add oil and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Then, add onion mixture to a food processor with queso fresco. Puree and add enough milk until mixture is smooth but still thick.
Evenly distribute lettuce on serving platter. Top with potatoes. Cover potatoes with cheese sauce. Garnish with eggs and black olives. Chill or serve warm.
This satisfying and filling side dish pairs well with almost any meat or seafood. If your children aren’t wild about spices or exotic flavors, then forget about the cilantro and go easy on the chili paste. If you’re in a rush or looking for a healthier option, don’t sauté the rice and beans in oil – the dish won’t be crispy, which is one of our favorite parts, but it will still taste great.
In a large saucepan, bring beans and 2 quarts of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until very tender, about 70–80 minutes. Drain beans and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add to a large bowl.
in a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add rice and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Boil for 1 minute and stir. Cover tightly and simmer for 35 minutes, until cooked through. Add to bowl.
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium. Season with salt and sauté for 4 minutes. Add aji amarillo paste and sauté and additional 2-3 minutes. Add onion mixture and cilantro to bowl. Mix well.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil to sauté pan and heat on medium. Add rice and beans, flatten, and sauté until entire mixture is crispy, about 5–7 minutes.