Hello, Food Lovers!
Hope you’re staying dry on this, once again, rainy Monday in the Mile High City! Luckily, we had a very pleasant weekend of adventures: gardening, soccer, wine with friends, music and midnight pizza… I was sad to see the weekend come to a close. I actually have to confess, this weather makes me want to stay indoors and snuggle with some coffee, so I naturally I can’t say that I hate it. It’s sort of lovely.
THE DINNER: We tackled Peru this week for our fifty-first Sunday adventure! Turns out, that Ceviche is considered a dish of National Heritage and even has its own state holiday. That’s right. A fish dish has its own day of celebration where people pay tribute to it… and what have you done lately? So what happens on National Ceviche day, you ask? I was curious too, so naturally I did some digging. The day has grown in popularity with each passing year, particularly along the Peruvian coast. If you’re curious to celebrate, it falls on June 28th every year. Evidently, Lima and Callao are two of the best places to spend this day. Of particular note is the annual Festival Gastronómico “Ceviche Perú,” which normally runs from June 27 to July 1. Now that is a holiday, I can get on board with.
The classic Peruvian ceviche is composed of chunks of raw fish soaked in citrus juice (typically lime, lemon or occasionally orange). To this, the Peruvians add onions or chilies and sometimes corn. There are regional specific parts of the country that use shark or shrimp as their main meat, but any seafood can, in theory be used. Cebo (sea bass) is the fish traditionally used for it’s texture and ability to stand up to the acidity without turning pithy. The mix is left to get “happy” at room temp for up to several hours and is usually served at room temperature, but can be served cold per taste pallet. We also hit up our sweet tooth by making traditional shortbread cookies with dulce de leche filling, called alfajores. I’m going to be honest, everyone loves shortbread, so we were stoked about these.
Sweet and Salty Alfajores Cookie Recipe: http://urbanbakes.com/sweet-and-salty-alfajores/
Ceviche Recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/simple-peruvian-ceviche-111154?soc=socialsharingpinterest
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: HALF STAR out of five this Dinner! THREE STARS for Dessert!
As far as the ceviche is concerned, it’s really just a matter of chopping the ingredients and then combining them. That’s basically as easy as it gets where cooking is concerned, apart from pouring milk onto cereal, it can’t get any more basic. All the ingredients were readily available at our local grocers, so there was not even a need to venture to a specialty market. The cookies get a little more star power for difficulty this week, basically because shortbread is finicky and once it becomes room temp, it’s wicked to deal with. Also, more stars were awarded because many people, though awesome cooks, find baking daunting.
Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for Dinner and for Dessert!!
Overall, this was a five star weekend for food. The ceviche was really fresh and light– something about fish and lime juice is just really dependable and crisp. Ceviche at it’s roots is a clean meal, simple and satisfying. I loved the habaneros and could have gone for some more heat, but it was certainly worth all five stars. Cilantro is also something I find very refreshing and always plays well with lime and citrus components. We served it with some blue corn tortilla chips and avocado slices….which was brilliant, if I do say so, because the avocado’s creamy, basic acidity went blow for blow with the harshness of the ceviche. The cookies were wonderful, as anticipated. Buttery and carmel-y and were the best compliment to the ceviche. I could definitely get used to this country. I’m ready to jet set to Manchu Pichu 🙂
AW195S has come up on week #52 which means that a whole calendar year has passed since we started!! For this week we will be showcasing food from Tunisia!!
Looking forward to a 3 day weekend!
– L & K