Sunday, April 4, 2010

What We're Eating is now My Life In Peru

Ready to say 'Goodbye'Image by Klearchos Kapoutsis via Flickr

This is the last post to What We're Eating (and More)

It's been a good little blog, but I want more! So, I've moved it all over to

(drum roll please!!)

My Life in Peru

If you've been a regular reader here, you'll want to re-set your bookmarks and start heading over there now... go on now... Enjoy the pretty flowers I posted!!

And seriously, thanks to the people that have been coming here and reading what I write. It means a lot to me, and I look forward to seeing y'all over on the new site.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Good Friday

The father in law's house.Image by fnnkybutt via Flickr

I'm guessing a lot of you are out making the most of your long weekend. I know the streets here in Miraflores are all but empty of cars.

The lack of traffic (and work) has got us thinking it's a good day for us to get out too, so we're getting ready to take a trip up to Puente Piedra to visit my father in law - that's a picture of his house-in-progress from a few years ago.

My mom hasn't been up to the Cono Norte (Northern Cone) of Lima yet, so it will be an interesting trip for her, and a nice change of pace for all of us. We've been looking for an excuse to get out of the house, so this will be fun. And we'll take a bunch of pics to show the rest of y'all what it's like in that part of Lima.

Hint: Dry, dusty, and developing too quickly, yet not in the right ways.

Also - Big News! This is the last post on this blog. As of Monday, we'll be moving over to our new server AND web address - It's a bit of a work in progress right now, but I expect to have it up and running full force (minus a few kinks that may need to be worked out) by Monday. See you there!

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Garlic Quick and Simple - Ajo Molido

Garlic BulbsImage via Wikipedia

Back in the US, I used to buy that garlic in a jar. You know, it's already peeled, chopped and ready to use in cooking. It's almost as good as fresh garlic, and miles more convenient. Well, I've not seen it here in Lima, but it's easy enough to do yourself.

Start with 2 heads of garlic, peeled. (Not 2 cloves - 2 entire heads. Yes, I know that's going to be a lot of garlic peeling)

Drop them in the blender, and add a quarter cup of whatever vegetable oil you usually use for cooking. I like to use half soy/half olive.

Use the pulse on your blender to get it all chopped up real fine. You don't want to liquefy it... just get it blended.

When you're done, dump it into a glass jar. I save all my glass jars from everything I buy, and like to use the little jars from Kraft Mayo - I love that wide top.

Add enough oil to cover the top of the garlic. The oil will keep the air from spoiling the garlic. This will stay good in the refrigerator for about a week. One head of garlic will give you about 2 tablespoons of ajo molido.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rock in Lima

Franz FerdinandFranz Ferdinand via

Over the last couple of years, Lima has started seeing a lot more concerts than it has in past years. It started with people like Roger Waters, the Cranberries... You know, people that are popular, but no 'A list' types of acts. But that's changed, especially recently.

My favorite band, Cafe Tacuba, has been here twice in the last year. Faith No More was here recently, as was Metallica. Depeche Mode played a great show, and Guns n Roses was here this past week, which of course stirred a controversy as the show started hours late. Aerosmith and Muse both have shows coming up.

Something that's got my attention lately is the group Franz Ferdinand. They're here in Lima now, and are playing a show tonight*. The reason it got my attention is because for two weeks or so, I've been seeing news item after news item about the band. Just little blurbs about how they love Peruvian music, or Peruvian food, or just in general about how they can't wait to sight-see while they're here. For some reason, I never thought about FF being a band that would be well known in Lima, so it's been a surprise to see how much press they've gotten. They went out sightseeing and shopping yesterday, and we got a daily update on their music buying while in Lima Cercado. As a fan of the band, it's been fun seeing how they're getting more press than a lot of the big, 'super bands' that have been here.

I'm excited to see what more is on the horizon for rock music in Lima, and look forward to hitting a few shows myself in the future.

*edited - oops! had the dates mixed up, the Franz Ferdinand show was last night. And apparently, it was great!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Free Cook Books!

First Sun-Maid packaging to feature a likeness...Image via Wikipedia

I was surfing the web for recipes (because that's what I do) and came across this pretty cool page from Sun-Maid Raisins. They've been sharing recipes using raisins and other dried fruits for almost 100 years, and in celebration have posted this collection of cookbooks dating back to 1915. It's really interesting to read the recipes and cooking tips from back then, and see how much - and how little - has changed in cooking.

Check it out!

100 Years of Recipes

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Angel Hair in Garlic Butter

A garlic press, with pressed garlic.Image via Wikipedia

I'm a nut for garlic. I'll eat it in just about anything. For a long time, the only way I'd eat spaghetti was with butter and a bit of garlic salt sprinkled on top - it's still a favorite snack for me.

Well, I made a stir fry the other night, and cooked up too much pasta, so I'm going to use up the rest of the noodles today for my lunch. I've got spaghetti noodles, but angel hair is perfect for this recipe.

This makes 6-8 servings.

1 kg (2 lbs) angel hair pasta
4 tbsp butter
4 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp limon juice
2 tbsp chopped parsley
6 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

1) In a large pot, boil three liters (3 quarts) of water, add the pasta, stir to separate and let cook for about 5 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan on medium heat and add the garlic. Cook until golden, then add the lemon juice, stir, and set aside, off the heat.
3) When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander, then add it to the frying pan with the parsley. Mix it all well, and serve topped with the Parmesan.

If you'd like something a little more, add sliced mushrooms with the garlic. Add a little olive oil to the butter for more flavor. Serve with Italian Sausage, or a Parmesan fish main course.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Making Chicken Stock

The most amazing chicken stock batch yet!Image by Librarianguish via Flickr

I use chicken stock for a lot of things... well, not a lot of things, but a couple important things. Chicken soup and aji de gallina. In Peru, people seem to take their chicken soup very seriously, and if you want a good soup, you need to start with a good stock. This is how I do it.

Start with a pollo a la braza. If you're in the US, a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store will do.

Pick all the meat off - we usually eat the legs/thighs, then use the breast to make something else. Save all your bones!

Put the carcass minus the meat in a large stock pot. Add a whole onion, a carrot or two and a couple sticks of celery if you like that sort of stuff. (I do NOT like celery and never use it for anything.) Add a bay leaf and I like to add about 1/2 teaspoon of basil.

And a teaspoon of salt. I'd rather not add too much now, because I might use this for soup, and I might use it for aji de gallina, or ... who knows what else. I just want to have the salt content under control before I use it for something else.

Cover it with water, and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for a couple hours.

Let it cool, then strain it to get all bones, veggies etc out of it.

What you've got now is a couple liters of super tasty chicken stock.

Why is it stock, and not broth? Generally, stock is made from boiling the bones. Broth is made from boiling meat. Stock gets gelatin from the bones, so it's better for using in sauces and stuff, dontcha know. Broth tends to have a richer flavor, and tastes more like a finished product that stock.

Speaking of stock and gelatin - If you have the feet from your chicken, clean them well, cut off the toe tips, and throw them in with the carcass. They give the stock a really nice texture - and you can just strain them out later and toss them if the idea of chicken feet in your soup grosses you out. ;)
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