Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Marrying A Peruvian

My almost husband, Mike, is Peruvian.  And not just a tiny bit Peruvian, but his mother was actually born and raised in Lima, Peru.  I have loved learning about Mike's Peruvian heritage, which is so different from my own. 

When Mike and I first started dating, he kept telling me about this tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant that was right by my apartment that him and his mom loved going to because they served authentic Peruvian cuisine.  When we finally went, Mike ordered his favorite Peruvian dinner, Lomo Saltado.  He raved about this dish and would talk about his mom and grandma made this for him when he was a kid.  I always knew that to be the best wife to Mike, I had to learn how to make a mean lomo saltado.  Partially to be able to prepare his favorite dinner and also to pass on his Peruvian heritage to our children.

Mike's mom helped me a bit with putting together a recipe and the other night I whipped it up.  Voila!  It was actually pretty simple and Mike said it was near perfect.  Win!  Here's a real Peruvian lomo saltado recipe:

Ingredients (this is approximate to what I used and it made 4 portions)
-flank steak (you can use a cheap steak) cut into thin strips
-about 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 red onion
-2 large tomatoes
-french fries (I used about 1/2 bag of the frozen french fries and prepared them per package instructions, Mike's mom said that she sometimes uses McDonald's french fries, or you could fry your own potatoes)
-about 1 tbsp. ketchup

First I cut up the steak into thin strips.  I would actually cut them more thinly than you see in the picture above, that was one of the corrections Mike asked me to make next time.  Put the steak strips into a large bowl with the red wine vinegar and the garlic.  I used about 2 tbsp. of vinegar, but eyeballed it so that all of the steak was sitting in vinegar, but not drowning in it.

I let the steak sit for a bit in the vinegar while I cut up the onion and tomatoes and prepared the fries.  If you are using frozen fries, you want them to get a bit crispier in the oven so they don't get soggy when mixed with everything else.  Cut the onions and tomatoes into strips (DO NOT chop up into tiny pieces, they should be the same shape as the french fries).  Also finely chop the cilantro.

Heat a large wok skillet on high heat.  If you don't have a wok, use your largest frying pan, but you might have to work the steak in a couple of batches.  Once the heat is high, put the steak in and pour the vinegar mixture over it.  You want to use all of the vinegar in the pan.  Cook the meat through.

When the steak is cooked, take that out of the pan and put it on a clean plate.  Leave the juices in the bottom of the pan and throw in the onions.  Once the onions start to turn translucent, put in the tomatoes and french fries.  You want to cook these for a bit, tossing them in the pan juices and then put the steak back in the pan. Mix everything together (do this gently as you don't want anything to break).  

Once everything is mixed, do a couple turns of the pan with ketchup.  It's probably about a tbsp.  Then you want to mix that all together.  The ketchup and remaining juices thicken to make a sauce.

Serve it up on your cutest plates and put some cilantro on top.  

I think traditionally this would be served with rice.  If you haven't tried lomo saltado, try it.  It's so good and a different meal for your loved ones.  Plus, who doesn't love steak and potatoes? 

No comments: