Independence Day and a Dish for the Ocassion
So, Patriot Party (that's what we call today and tomorrow). Streets are decorated with the red and white flag -and not just streets, cars, houses, workstations-, people carry the red and white badges, and some trade their usual playlists for some Criollan music to get into the mood.
And of course, you can't have a real Patriot Party without Peruvian food. That's right. Starting breakfast with a traditional panetón you can expect a variety of traditional dishes to grace your palate. Anticuchos? Tequeños? Sounds really good. Something sweet? How about some Mazamorra? And take with you a glass of chicha while you're at it.
Yes, lots of traditional stuff out there. I'va had the chance to introduce these to you along the way. But this is Patriot Party! Time for the big guns. Time for the mother of all Peruvian dishes.
You guessed it. Gather around for a great Ceviche!
Ceviche is the Peruvian dish by excellence. Unique in the world (yeah, there have been attempts to make it in other places, but the real ceviche is as Peruvian as the flag) ceviche as you might know is fish based. But the key ingredient, the one that makes it Peruvian, is our lemon. I had the chance to talk to you about our lemons: small in size, extremely sour. Our lemon is so strong that it can "cook" the raw fish in a matter of hours, and charge it with a powerful taste. To this you add onions and for the commando-type aji and rocoto for a tongue-burning version. You then serve with an assortment of ingredients that make it more than a side-dish: lettuce, camote (sweet potato), choclo (maize), yuca, cancha and cilantro.
Of course, ceviche has many variations. You can have the simple one, the traditional black clam ceviche, or the Mixed Ceviche which includes an assortment of seafood.
And if you're feeling adventurous, try a glass of Tiger Milk. Tiger Milk is basically the pure juice of the ceviche, served as a drink. Strong, spicy and sour, this is what some people call "a beverage to arise the dead". Not only that, but it's a proven afrodisiac.
So now I bring you a simple ceviche recipe, but not without a necessary disclaimer: without Peruvian lemon, you'll only get an approximation. If you want to taste the real thing, come to Peru on your next vacation, visit one of our many seafood restaurants and ask for a nice, big ceviche tray. You'll remember it forever.
200gr fresh white fish
1/2 onion, cut in long thin slices (juliene)
1/2 tbsp salt
5 fresh Peruvian lemons (you'll squeeze them only when needed, not before)
Boiled maize (Choclo)
1. On a chopping board, clean the fish by removing all bones and dark parts. Chop it in small cubes and put those in a glass or ceramic bowl (**NOT plastic or aluminum**).
2. Peel and chop the onion and add to the fish. Add the aji and salt.
3. Squeeze the lemons over the fish. Mix with a steel spoon (**NOT wood**).
4. Let the fish rest. The lemon juice will "cook" the fish. This should happen over 3 or 4 hours. Stir every now and then.
5. When ready, serve with a bed of lettuce and choclo and camote slices.
And while you're at it, grab your glass of Pisco Sour! Happy 28th!