Tag Archives: beef

Taste Testing

My friend Elizabeth is a brilliant chef in the making. And as it is her dream to one day open her own Peruvian restaurant, she’s decided to hold monthly dinners to test-run dishes and drinks for friends. Taste testing? I’m happy to lend my taste-buds to the cause! (^_^)

Last week was the first of the dinners. My favorite (surprise, surprise) was the lucuma cheesecake. Elizabeth gave me the recipe, which I hope to try soon (lucuma’s already in the freezer šŸ˜› )!

The Menu

Steamed Mussles with Pico de Gallo

Fried Potato Croquette Filled with Sweet Ground Beef and

Topped with an Onion Salsa and Fresh Yellow Chili Sauce

Peruvian-style Creamy Seafood Chowder

Lucuma Cheesecake Topped with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce and Served with Lucuma Ice Cream


Delicious Peru

I’m back.

Ten glorious days of stuffing my face with as many Peruvian culinary delights as possible—now that is my idea of vacation. My body is a little mad at me (and was really pissed on the flight back home) for being such a glutton, but I don’t care. It was worth it.

I’ve posted pics of my favorite food memories. (Photo-quality was not my main priority when I took these—obviously.)

Papa a la Huancaina (Potatoes with Aji Amarillo Cheese Sauce)


Pollo Relleno


Ceviche Mixto


Arroz con Mariscos


Ceviche de Pejarreyes


Tamal Verde




Choncholi y Rachi Rachi


Lomo Saltado



(I realize that this post is REALLY LONG because of the photos, but I couldn’t get the pictures to appear next to each other. (Does anyone know how to do this???)

Pistachio Kofta Kebabs

These are awesome! I was watching an episode of Jamie Oliver At Home when he started preparing this dish. The original recipe calls for lamb and is served in a spicy veggie wrap of sorts. Though this sounds lovely, it was really theĀ MediterraneanĀ meatballs which caught my attention.

The kofta are juicy and oh so flavorful, the the cumin, thyme and lemon zest adding an herby kick. And the pistachios–my favorite ingredient used here–give such a pleasing texture and really make this recipe unique.

When I prepare this, I use ground beef (because that’s what I usually have) and make only the meatballs. For the sake of convenience, I also usually just pan-fry the kofta.

Actually, this was the main that went along with the feta yogurt dip for my indoor anniversary picnic. I served it with homemade flatbread (using Jamie’s pizza dough recipe) and a Mediterranean-themed salad.

Pistachio Kofta Kebabs (adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe)

Serves 2.


250 g extra lean ground beef (the original calls for lamb)

1 heaping tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)

1 tsp chile powder

1 tsp ground cumin

grated zest of 1/2 a lemon

sea salt and pepper

1 handful pistachio nuts, roughly chopped


  1. Mix the lamb with most of the thyme, chile, cumin and sumac (reserving a little of each for sprinkling over later), a little salt and pepper and all the pistachios. Combine well.
  2. Divide the meat into four equal pieces and get yourself four skewers. With damp hands, push and shape the meat around and along each skewer. Press little indents in the meat with your fingers as you go – this will give it a better texture when cooked.
  3. In a hot pan, fry the meatballs in a little olive oil. Turn every minute to get color on each side.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover to allow the cooking process to complete.
  5. Serve with warm flatbread, lemon slices and a mixed salad.