In 2015, we went to South America for 2 months (April/May) finalising our journey in Lima, Capital of Peru, where we celebrated Tony’s birthday at the world renowned restaurant, Central Restaurant. When we booked, months in advance, it had been voted about No 20 in the world and by the time we were there it had moved up to No. 5. A similar restaurant in NY, London or Paris would have been double the price so…while still expensive, it was an experience we thoroughly enjoyed. We were able to get a table with a great view of the kitchen too. See photos below:

Photo below: LIMA…a beautifully designed shopping/dining complex

Pork lomo saltado: a simple stir fry…there’s a strong Chinese influence in parts of Peru 🇵🇪

2-3 tablespoons of high heat resistant oil

• 2 medium sized red onions, cut into thick slices or wedges

• 1-2 bell peppers, assorted colors – cut into thick slices

• 1-2 garlic cloves, sliced into thin strips

• 1 small red chili pepper or aji amarillo hot pepper, seeded and cut into small strips (can also replace with 1-2 tsp chili powder) – adjust to taste and spice preference

• 2-3 large tomatoes, cut into thick slices or wedges

• 2 teaspoons of cumin powder

• 3-4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

• 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

• 2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro

• 2 tablespoons of sliced green onions or scallions, about 2-3 stalks

• Salt and pepper to taste

My note: We added a can of pineapple pieces (could be fresh but it’s winter here in Australia) to give it that Sweet/Sour Pork flavour but without the high fat/deep fried ie. not too healthy😉…we try to avoid in our every day meals.

Method: 2. In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat, add the strips of pork tenderloin and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently.

3. Remove the pork pieces from the pan and keep aside on a warm plate.

4. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and chili pepper or aji slices to the same wok where the pork was browned, add an additional tablespoon of oil if needed.

5. Cook the onions and peppers over high heat for about 5-7 minutes or until browned and softened, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

6. Stir in the tomatoes and mix well.

7. Add the reserved cooked pork tenderloin pieces, the ground cumin, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir and continue cooking over high heat for about 2 minutes.

8. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

9. Remove from the heat and mix in the chopped cilantro (coriander) and green onions.

Serve with either steamed rice (as in picture) or like we did with potatoes…Tony prefers potatoes.

The following photo and recipe are from the Net:

copypasteimage-60 “This dish is a perfect blend of Asian Latin fusion that mixes traditional Asian ingredients like soy sauce with Latin spices like cumin, hot peppers and cilantro. Lomo saltado is typically made with beef, usually sirloin strips, but this variation is made with strips of pork tenderloin. The classic Peruvian version of this dish usually includes a hot pepper called aji Amarillo and doesn’t typically have bell peppers. I decided to use bell peppers since I love them in stir fries and also wanted to make a milder version, though I did use a mild red chili pepper to give it a light amount of heat. Based on your preference you can leave out the bell peppers and/or increase the amount of chili or aji peppers.”

The above Paragraph of text is from the Net. While travelling in Peru, it was very interesting to hear about the history of Chinese immigration in South American and influence on Peruvian cuisine. Very similar to our homeland, Australia, in some ways. In Peru, there are many Alpaca farms so traditionally, that’s what many Peruvian families would use. However, we’ve rarely seen Alpaca at our local butcher or supermarket (my guess is that it would be v expensive if it can be found?) so we decided on Pork. We cooked this dish at a cooking class in Peru (more details in another post) and the chef also said that Pork would work well.

Warning: Vegetarians might find the photo below disturbing😉

Photo above: the Chef at this cooking class in Arequipa, Peru, asked Tony if he was ever a chef 👨‍🍳- of course he didn’t ask me and you can see why in this photo😂

Photo below: after the cooking class, the four of us sat down to what we had cooked ourselves. A big surprise to us was that the other 2 people doing the course with us were a mother and daughter from Canberra, Australia! The daughter had been studying Spanish at Bogota University…Bogota is the Capital of Columbia. Lovely people and a wonderfully memorable day.

Ceviche dish – as can be seen in this photo – was beautiful. The recipe is in another food post on South America I did a year or so ago. Tony has just headed off to our local fresh food market as I’ve just inspired him to make this tonight. I’m one lucky woman to be going through rehab after 2 spinal surgeries (1 where I basically had a vertebra replaced!) and to be able to return to my home instead of a rehab facility…which many people do after similar surgery. I’m also lucky that medical science has come so far in very recent times. I’m looking forward to many more walking/cooking/eating adventures! Fortunately, the pain meds aren’t affecting my appetite like they did while I was in hospital for last few weeks.

Photos below: Highlights of Peru including the famous cliff top walk (I’ll check our journals for more details to note here later)

One of the salads we recently loved…I don’t think the Fetta is a common thing in Peru (perhaps in Lima with so many restaurants there) but the corn certainly is a common South American food so I’ll file it here for family/friends to find😉:

CHARRED CORN SALAD WITH FETTA-CORIANDER – Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:
8 corn
ks and silks removed); 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1/3 cup mayonnaise; 1.5 tablespoon sour cream; 65 g fetta, finely crumbled (Coles has a Danish Fetta that works well + good price); 3 limes (zest finely grated, juiced); 1/2 cup coriander leaves (finely chopped); 3 spring onions (thinly sliced); 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika.

METHOD:
1 Have
medium-high heat. Coat corn with oil and season with salt and pepper. Barbecue corn, turning occasionally, for 18 min or until well charred. Cut corn kernels from cobs into large bowl.

2 In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, fetta, lime zest and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

3 Spoon half of corn kernels over a serving platter. Spoon half the creamy sauce over corn. Sprinkle with half the spring onion, half the coriander; and half the paprika. Repeat with remaining corn kernels, cream sauce, coriander, spring onions and paprika.

Serve at room temperature.