Friday, March 8, 2013

Cooking like Peru


I ran over for a quick visit with my friend Mila.  She's in the middle of getting dinner ready for her men.  And then it happened.

Ok, so I have to preface this.  About 95% of the time I spend with Mila is happenstance cooking.  What I mean is, we just end up cooking together- unplanned, food comes out, we share recipes, food, and talk about food. Like the time she dropped her son off at my house, and came in to find me making enchiladas.  She rolled up her sleeves and showed me a better way.  A real Peruvian enchilada that was heaven.  My brother-in-law, who lived in Spain, said they were the best enchiladas he'd ever seen.  I vaguely remember him licking the casserole dish.  Nummy!

So today when I walked in her door, unsuspecting what she was doing at that moment, wasn't shocked when Mila lured my into her laire and I ended up learning how to make this amazing soup and loving it!  In fact, I ran to the store to get some ingredients to make it for my family.

First, let's take a rather general tour of Peru.  Since all the explorers found Peru, it became a natural hotspot and resting point on the trade routes because the west of  South America was midway between Europe and China.  So the native Peruvian foods were influenced by Chinese, Japanese, and European foods, and whomever else came through the place.  I didn't know this at all.  Did you?!

This recipe reflects Japanese and European cooking.  What a mash-up!  Really it's a fabulous dish and so satisfying.  My kids lapped it up.  Oh, and it's called Soupa la Minuta.  Not because it takes a minute to make, but because you'll eat it all in 1 minute! 

Ingredients:

ground beef tip steak
1 red onion, diced
1-2 tsp. oregano
3-4 diced tomatoes, or 1 can
1 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper
5-6 cups water
3-4 cubed potatoes
1/2 cup dry pasta, penne works great
5-6 eggs
1 can evaporated milk

Directions:

Brown meat.  When done, add onions til clear, then add seasonings and tomatoes.
When well cooked together on medium heat, add water.  Bring to a boil, then add potatoes.  For about 10 min.  boil until potatoes are translucent and starting to get soft, with cover on.  Add pasta with cover on for 10 min.  Remove from heat.  Crack eggs in a bowl, use a fork to gently stir and break the yoke.  Do not stir too much.  Take the lid of the pot and slowly pour eggs into the soup, while gently stirring and bringing soup up from the bottom of the pot.  The eggs will cook into 'strings'.  Once the eggs have cooked and no 'slime' from the uncooked egg is left, pour in the entire can of evaporated milk.  Gently stir it around until mix. 

Serves 8-13.  Serve with french bread.

Thanks to Mila for a great lesson ( sorry I don't have a picture.  It was eaten up before I got the camera out)

In harmony,
Leslie