This recipe comes to us courtesy of chef Victor Albisu of Taco Bamba and Poca Madre in Washington, DC. Victor first tasted it out of a bucket in a street in Peru and has never forgotten it. It’s now a regular part of his holiday table. The soup is simple and surprisingly sophisticated. Victor showed us his technique in our 2018 holiday episode "How Chefs Holiday at Home." The dish is reminiscent of making a risotto with slow additions of liquid and lots of stirring. The silky texture and nuance of peppers make the extra attention well worth it.
Peruvian dish prepared quinotto-style (like a risotto but with quinoa), only creamier and more indulgent thanks in part to a generous topping of cheese. You can eat it just as it is, or as a side for a stew.
To create a flavorful yet balanced “cooking” liquid for our Peruvian fish ceviche, we made what's known as a leche de tigre by blending lime juice, aji amarillo chile paste, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and a small amount of fish. Once strained, the liquid was an intensely flavorful and silky-textured emulsion. We then soaked thinly sliced and briefly salted fish (red snapper, sea bass, halibut, and grouper were all good options) in the leche for 30 to 40 minutes until it was just opaque and slightly firm. To complete the dish, we added sweet oranges; crisp, peppery radishes; and chopped cilantro. We served the ceviche with corn nuts and popcorn, which provided salty crunch.
This version of perfect cold weather food incorporates ground annatto seeds to perfume the soup with a musky aroma and splash the potatoes with a sunny disposition.
1. Scald the milk in a small saucepan while constantly stirring. Remove from the heat, add the sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and the butter and mix well until the sugar and salt have dissolved and the butter has melted. Transfer to a bowl.
The word “chaufa” is derived from the Chinese and means “eating rice.” This is Chinese-style fried rice with a Peruvian twist.