The Colors in the Rainbow

Baked Trout

Baked trout with huacatay and aji amarillo

The water from the glaciers of the Andes in Peru were the perfect place to raise trout. Introduced by the United States and Canada in the early 1930’s, trout became popular right away due the lack of fish in the mountain regions.  So here again, due to memories of childhood and a love of trout above any other fish, I present today a very simple dish that combines some Peruvian ingredients like aji amarillo and huacatay and an Argentinian sauce called chimichurri, which is becoming more and more popular these days everywhere in the world.

Baked Trout with Huacatay and Aji Amarillo, Rosemary Potatoes and Onion and Tomato Garnish

Ingredients (4 servings):

4 rainbow trout fillets

4 lemons sliced

2 limes

1 tsp of aji amarillo paste

1 tbsp of huacatay paste

4 rosemary sprigs (optional)

2 tbsp of rosemary chopped

8 small red potatoes

1 medium red onion juilenned

1 small roma tomato diced

4 tbsp of garlic (divided in two)

1 cup of fresh cilantro chopped

1 tbsp of fresh oregano chopped

1tbsp of butter

1/2 cup of olive oil

1 tbsp of red vinegar

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

Preparation

For the garnish: simply mix the onions, tomatoes and the juice of two limes, salt and pepper to taste, then set aside

For the chimichurri: Place the oregano, cilantro and 2 Tbsp of garlic in a bowl.  Mix well then add the olive oil, pepper flakes, red vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, then set aside

For the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Cut the potatoes in fourths,  keeping the skin on.  Season them with salt, pepper, and the rosemary. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the skin turns a golden color.

For the trout:  Turn down the oven to 325 F.  Coat a baking pan with the Tbsp of canola oil, then place the trout fillets in the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Next rub the rest of the garlic, hucatay, and aji marillo paste inside the trout.  Finally, place the sliced lemon inside of the trout along with the rosemary sprigs (one on top of each lemon slice), then bake for about 17 to 20 minutes.  Add the butter half way through to keep the meat moist if needed.

Serve and enjoy. Buen provecho!

Baked Trout

Baked Trout , just out of the oven

Baked Trout
Baked Trout , close up

The Most Beloved Peruvian Starch

Peruvian Stuffed Yucca and Potato

Peruvian stuffed yucca and potato

If we are going to talk about Peruvian cuisine, we have to talk about potatoes.  After all they are the most common and popular side dish/starch around the world, and thanks to the old Peruvians who domesticated this plant over 8,000 years ago, we are able to enjoy it in so many ways.  However little is known about the huge variety that  can be found.  Just in Peru alone there are over 3,800 types of potatoes!  In some cases, certain varieties are only found in very specific regions and towns,  so you can just imagine all the colors, shapes, and flavors that this special tuber has to offer.

So today I’m presenting a very popular Peruvian dish, which is often found with the street vendors and is usually served with a side of steamed white rice.   However in restaurants you might find a more delicate version of this dish served as an appetizer with creole salsa.  And as usual, I’m making a little variation to make it a bit more interesting by adding  yucca.

Papa con yuca rellena (stuffed potatoes and yucca)

2 white potatoes (about 18 Oz)

2 medium size yuccas (about 17 Oz)

3/4 lb ground beef

4 quail eggs

8 olives (Botija or Calamata, sliced)

2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 Tbsp of golden raisins

1 large red onion

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 Tbsp oregano (fresh, not dried)

1 1/2 Tbsp aji amarillo paste

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup of canola oil

1/2 cup flour (for dusting)

2 beaten eggs

2 limes

1/4 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

For the dough:  first, boil the potatoes (with the skin) and the yucca (without the skin) in water for about 20 to 30 minutes.  To make sure they are ready, test the potatoes/yucca with a fork;  they should offer no resistance through the middle.  After it is done, peel the potatoes and mash together with the yucca.  Add salt, pepper, and the juice of one lime.  Set aside.

For the stuffing: in a large saute pan on medium high heat, cook half of the onion and garlic with a Tbsp of oil for about a minute or until it is brown.  Add the tomato and cook for two minutes or until half of the liquid part is gone, then add the meat and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring until it is cooked.  Add the olives and the quail eggs,  then 1/2 Tbsp of oregano and 1/2 cup of cilantro. Add the cumin , salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

For the garnish:  Julienne the other half of the onion, then add the other half of the cilantro, the juice of one lime, 1/2 Tbsp of aji amarillo paste, and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

To assemble:  take the mashed potato mixture and using your hands (if it gets sticky, wet hands with a bit of  water) grab enough to make a small ball that fits between your hands, then add 2 Tbsp of the stuffing.  Cover and shape like a big egg,  then roll the ball through the flour, making  sure there are not spots without flour.  Quickly run the ball through the beaten eggs and put directly into a pan with  oil on medium high heat.  Sautee until all sides are an even golden brown.  Serve with the onion garnish.  Buen provecho!

Peruvian stuffed yucca and potato2

Peruvian stuffed yucca and potato2