Peruvian Cooking Experience
It is no secret that my favorite thing about traveling is the food. I love the markets with fresh ingredients, walking food tours, cooking classes, and of course trying new dishes. You can find all these options in most every city!
While traveling I always try to really immerse myself into the culture. What is the point of traveling if you aren’t going to learn from others? My favorite way to do this: a cooking class. Not only do I learn more about the culture, I take home a memory and a recipe to share with others. My first cooking class while traveling was in Arequipa, Peru at the Peruvian Cooking Experience. The cooking class included ceviche, chorrillana style fish, and a pisco sour drink.
Ceviche involves immersing raw fish in citrus juice to marinate. I am sure most of you that haven't tried ceviche are thinking, "Raw fish in citrus juice? Gross." Let me tell you, there is nothing raw about this dish. The limón juice cooks the fish as it marinates, which is why you must serve it within in 10-15 minutes of making. Waiting too long to serve ceviche gives you a a chewy fish that no one enjoys. Along with fish and limón juice (I used the juice of 4 or 5 limón) this dish has salt, red peppers, garlic sauce, and red onions. We made a traditional ceviche and then a spicy ceviche by adding hot pepper sauce to half the dish. We plated the dish with some fried corn and roasted sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes here are 100 times sweeter than the ones we have in the United States.
Chorrillana sauce is a tomato based spicy sauce used to top breaded and fried fish. This is was my favorite dish of the day. It was spicy and had flames! The white fish was seasoned with garlic paste and dredged in corn flour (looked like cornstarch to me) and fried. We then threw together chili paste, tomato paste, tomatoes, onions, spices and 2 shots of pisco liquor (this is where the flames come in) and a little milk to take down the heat if needed. We plated the dish with a pyramid of rice, which took a few attempts to get perfect.
After we were sufficiently full we did some "shaking" and learned about Pisco Sours, the most popular drink in Peru. Pisco sours kind of tastes like a margarita.
Recipe for Pisco Sour:
Shaker with ice
1 ounce Pisco liquor
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce limón juice
1 ounce egg whites
bitters for a garnish
Overall we both had a great time in this class. Both of our instructors were amazing and did a wonderful job of getting each of involved and shaking it. The best part was enjoying each dish.
What country would you like to take a cooking class? What dishes are a must cook?