Beyond Ceviche: Exploring Peruvian Cuisine

Beyond Ceviche: Exploring Peruvian Cuisine

From street foods to the daily table, traditional Peruvian foods are appearing on the menus of many upscale restaurants and are moving into our global palate.  We happen to be lucky enough to have a Peruvian native as our Executive Chef!  Catersource Magazine & the International Caterer’s Association have teamed up to bring you The Art of Catering Food Conference in Denver, CO.

Executive Chef Elgin Woodman will be teaching at this year’s conference, discussing the cultural and regional influences of Peru during her course entitled, “Beyond Ceviche: Exploring Peruvian Cuisine”.  Elgin will identify key ingredients in the Peruvian kitchen, showcase Peruvian foods on catering menus, and demonstrate Peruvian ingredients that you can sell in your market.

As a sneak peek, Elgin share’s her special recipe for the Classic Peruvian Dish, Lomo Saltado:

Ingredients (Serves Five):


1 TSP Minced Garlic

2 LBS Tenderloin Tips

1 Red Onion Wedge

1/2 LBS Plum Tomatoes, Quartered

2 LBS Yukon Fries

3 Aji Amarillo, Cut in Strips

6 TBS Soy Sauce

2 TBS Cilantro

1 Bunch Green Onion

1 Pinch of Cumin

Red Wine Vinegar

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Oil to Fry



– Season the meat with the garlic, then coat a sauté pan or wok with oil.

– Sear the beef on high heat, season with salt, pepper and cumin.  Remove from the heat.

– Add more oil to the sauté pan/wok, then sauté  and the onions.  Add a dash of the red wine vinegar until it evaporates, ensuring the onion keeps its texture.  Remove from the heat and reserve.

– Repeat the same process with the tomato as you did with the onions.

– Return all ingredients to the wok, including the seared beef.  Add the Aji Amarillo and Soy Sauce to incorporate all the flavors.  Toss in the cilantro and green onions, then add in the fries.

– Serve immediately with Rice & Peruvian Corn, Tacu Tacu or Noodles.


Lomo Saltado

Food & Fete: Alfajores

Food & Fete: Alfajores

Your Coffee Looks Lonely!

If you have a child in the Miami school district, you more than likely have some kind of themed homework assignment when Hispanic Heritage Month rolls around.  Somehow I wasn’t too surprised when I wound up teaching a cooking class for my daughter Matisse and her friends at school.

I chose to make Alfajores, a classic Peruvian treat. It has been my favorite bite size dessert since I was a little girl. My daughter was the perfect assistant, so I guess she’s actually been learning something while watching me in the kitchen at home! Kids at this age LOVE using their hands to create, which made this ideal for them.  They had a blast putting their Play-Doh skills to work!  The process may seem a little time consuming, but I promise you, it’s worth every second for the melt in you mouth results.  Let’s get started!


Yield: 50 small Alfajores


4 cups Flour

6 tbsp Powdered Sugar

1 ½ cup Butter, Diced

Zest of 1 lemon

Powdered Sugar for garnish

1 can Condensed Milk (For Filling)


1. In a large bowl, mix the Flour, Sugar, Butter and Lemon Zest until all ingredients incorporate.  As a tip, it’s easier to work with the dough if it is slightly chilled after mixing.  I suggest you throw it in the fridge for a few minutes.

2. The Filling can be store bought, just look for Manjar Blanco, (also called Dulce de Leche or Arequipe) at your local grocery store.  But try making your own first!  Fill a pot with water, and bring to a boil on the stove.  Place the can of Condensed Milk  inside the pot simmer for about 2 hours.

3. Back to the Cookies!  Roll the dough with a rolling pin until it is 1/4 of an inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the Cookies and place them on a cookie sheet.  They are traditionally a round shape, but in this case I used a mini heart shape cutter.  A pumpkin shape would be cute as well for Halloween!  Bake at 350 degrees until they are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove Cookies and allow them to cool.


If you purchased you’re Filling, you’re ready to move on and assemble the Cookies.  If you made your Filling, you may have to start the kitchen clean up while you wait for the simmering to finish. 🙂  Once it it is ready, it’s VERY IMPORTANT that you chill the Filling in the refrigerator before opening the can, if not you can get seriously burned!

Assemble the Cookies by flipping one Cookie over (flat side up) and use a small knife, squeeze bottle or piping bag, add a little of the Filling.  Top with another Cookie (flat side down). Dust with Powdered Sugar.  You’ve officially made your first batch of Alfajores!

Hope this adds a little Latin flare to your dessert repertoire.  But be warned, once you taste them, it’s hard to stop eating! They’re great with a nice cup of coffee as well.

Below are a few photos of the class for you to enjoy.  The cute Hello Kitty blonde is my little princess.

Happy Halloween!  IMG_8697