Quinoa Croquettes



Serves: 20

  • 1.5 cups mixed red and white quinoa

  • 3 cups vegetable stock or water

  • 3 eggs

  • ¼ cup corn starch

  • 2 cloves minced garlic

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil



1. Wash the quinoa and strain on fine mesh.

2. Place on medium pot and add stock or water. Once starts boiling, wait 10 min,, then cover and shut off stove.

3. Put quinoa on a bowl and let it cool.

4. Once cool, season with salt and pepper, add garlic, cumin and eggs.

5. Add  cornstarch and mix until you get a thick batter.

6. In a pan, place oil and with a spoon make rounds of quinoa croquettes. Fry until crispy on both sides. Drain excess oil on paper towel.

7. Top with tomato avocado salsa


Papa a la Huancaina



Papa a la Huancaína is a traditional Peruvian dish of sliced potatoes covered in a spicy cheese sauce, made out of Aji Amarillo, a staple of Peruvian cuisine. Usually served as an appetizer. At my cooking classes in France, we served it family style.




Serves: 4 - 6

  • 6 white potatoes

  • 4 Aji Amarillo peppers (fresh, frozen, canned or jarred), seeded, de-veined and soaked in cold water overnight (to reduce the heat of the pepper)

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced



  • 4 saltine crackers, crushed

  • 2 cups fresh white cheese, crumbled (feta or other)

  • 1 cup fresh milk or evaporated milk

    Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Lettuce leaves

  • Hard boiled egg slices

  • Botija olives (found at any Latin store) or black olives




1. Wash the potatoes and cook in a pot until done. Once cooked, peel and let cool. Slice and set aside.

2. Rinse the soaked Aji Amarillo and chop roughly.

3. Heat the oil in a medium pan and sauté onion, garlic and Aji Amarillo until soft about 2 - 3 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Remove from heat and while mixture is still hot, place in a blender and mix for 2 minutes, or until smooth. Add the crackers, cheese and milk and keep blending to form a thick, smooth and creamy sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste.

5. Divide lettuce leaves between plates, arrange the cold potatoes on the plates, pour the sauce over the potatoes and garnish with hard boiled eggs and sliced olives. The sauce can be served chilled or at room temperature.




Potato Gnocchi



This dish brings back childhood memories when I was growing up in Peru, my mom used to make gnocchis all the time, most of the time with marinara sauce.

I made it for the first time and they were delicious, I used my tallarines verdes or green noodles sauce and sauteed wild mushrooms and tomatoes.



Serves: 2 - 4

  • 2.5 Russet Potatoes

  • 1 egg

  • 2 yolk

  • ½ cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • Salt to taste




1. Wash the potatoes. In a medium pot place the potatoes with water and boil for 30 minutes or until tender. Once cook, drain the water and peel the potatoes, discard the skin and put the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes or puree with a fork. Add salt. Let it cool for 3 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and incorporate into the potatoes and add the flour. Mix until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky.

3. Turn the dough into a floured flat surface, lightly knead and add more flour if needed. Roll the dough into ½-inch thick logs and cut in to ½-inch pieces. Roll each piece over the back of a floured fork to make the traditional shape.

4. Cook them over boiling water, when they rise to the top, let them cook for a minute or two and then remove them with a slotted spoon. Drain well and toss with the green sauce



Tallarines Verdes - Green Spaghetti



This week I bought such fresh with a beautiful fragrance basil. I thought immediately of making tallarines verdes, my kids favorite meal. Everytime they get asked what is their favorite Peruvian dish, they will say “green noodles or tallarines verdes.

This Peruvian version of Pasta al Pesto, one of the recipes we inherited when the Italian community came to Peru in the late 1800’s. The Peruvian version includes spinach, queso fresco, basil and milk, and it is usually topped with steak.

I have made the sauce, and in one occasion I used spaghetti pasta and topped with  steak and yesterday I was vegetarian, I made potato gnocchi. I also bought at the market beautiful mushrooms and local Jersey tomatoes, so they were part of the dish too.

This recipe was inherited from my mom.




Serves: 2 - 4

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 garlic clove

  • ⅓ cup red onion

  • 12oz. Fresh basil

  • 1lb fresh spinach

  • 14oz queso fresco or Feta cheese


  • 3 oz parmesan cheese

  • ⅓ cup pecans

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tbs butter

  • 1lb spaghetti pasta or potato gnocchi



1. In a medium pot, pour 1.5 gallon of water to boil over high heat. When water is boiling cook the pasta or gnocchi.  In the meantime, in a pan, pour the oil and saute the garlic and red onion until translucent.

2. In a blender, put milk, add spinach, basil, cheese, blend for 3 minutes and add the cheeses and pecans, until create a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Once pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and leave aside in drainer for 2 minutes. In the same pot, add the butter and the green sauce, let it cook for 3 minutes until turns into a bright green. Return the pasta or gnocchi to pot with sauce and mix.

4. As you can see in the pictures, I used the sauce two ways, with spaghetti pasta topped with steak and potato gnocchi with sauteed wild mushrooms and Jersey tomatoes. You can make the gnocchi or but it at any store.


Peruvian Ceviche



Oh ceviche, how I love you! “The National Dish of Peru,” ceviche is not only delicious, but also perfect for the summer. It’s healthy – fresh, natural, low fat, low carb and gluten free. I would eat it every day if I could.

In Peru, you can find a Cevicheria, which specializes in ceviche and other seafood, on almost every corner in seaside neighborhoods as well as throughout Lima. Classic ceviche consists of pieces of fish marinated in key lime or lime that gets served with thinly julienned red onion, sweet potato (great to counteract the acidity of the lime), corn, toasted corn “cancha,” rocoto aji or aji limo, and, if available, a seaweed called “Yuyo.” “Leche de Tigre” is the marinade of the ceviche, which is normally drunk in a shot glass with a touch of Pisco (though that is not necessary). Some people say it’s great for hangovers as well as an aphrodisiac.

The key to a good ceviche is the freshness of the fish, which should be a firm, white-fleshed fish. There are many variations of ceviche, all seafood with shrimp, calamari, scallops, mussels and any other sea-dwelling creature you can think of; tuna ceviche, Japanese style; even mushroom ceviche, which is great for vegans!



Serves: 4

1 2/4lb Mahi Mahi or any firm flesh fish

1 red onion in very fine slices (Julienne)

1 Habanero Pepper, seeded and chopped finely

1 garlic clove crushed and finely chopped

1 Tbsp Rocoto Pepper puree (available at any Latin American store)

Juice of 10 limes (squeezed right before preparation)


Chopped Cilantro

Corn kernel (could be the Peruvian type available frozen in Latin American stores)

Boiled or Roasted Sweet Potato

Lettuce leave



1. Cut fish into bite size pieces.



2. Rinse cut onions and let drain well.


3. In a large bowl, mix together fish with onion, season with salt and add chopped cilantro and habanero. Add the lime juice of two limes and toss.


4. In a blender add the rest of lime juice, the Rocoto, and garlic, pour over fish mix.

5. Serve Ceviche immediately garnish by sweet potato, fresh cook corn and leaves of lettuce.



Minestrone Soup

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You must be thinking “minestrone soup”? In Peru? Yes, the soup shows some of the many influences of Italian cuisine in Peru, brought by Italians who migrated to Lima as far back as 1530s. The base color of the soup is green from the combination of spinach and basil. But there is so much more to it than just soup – it’s a meal in itself. Filled with meat, beans, legumes and vegetables, and served with rice, one large bowl of Sopa Menestron will be enough to fill you up for the rest of the day.

My mom cooked minestrone soup on Sundays and it always came accompanied with a side of white rice, even though it had ziti-style noodles in it since my dad wanted noodles in the soup. This is how she served the soup: she’d put it in a large bowl with a piece of meat, potato, corn and vegetables. We’d get a small plate of white rice on the side and you could either transfer the white rice into the bowl or place your meat, potato and corn on the plate and eat it with the rice. Whichever way you eat it, this soup is delicious – let me know what you think of this Peruvian version of minestrone.



Serves: 6 - 8

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup basil leaves

1 cup spinach leaves

1 garlic clove

2 qts water

2 qts natural beef stock

2 lb of cubed beef loin (preferable with the bone)

2 celery leaves

½ cup leek, small diced

½ cup pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cubed


3 medium white potatoes, quartered

2 oz white beans

2 oz lima beans

3 corn on the cob, husk removed and cut into three pieces

½ cup green beans, medium diced

2 carrots, medium diced

1 ½ cup ziti noodles

1 small green cabbage, cut into six wedges

Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese to taste

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Place the olive oil, basil, spinach and garlic clove in a blender and blend for 3 minutes or until a puree forms – if needed, you can add two tablespoons of water to help it emulsify. Pour the mix in a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a large pot over medium high heat, pour the water and beef stock then add the beef, celery leaves, leek and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and lower the heat to medium and let simmer for 1 hour.

3. Then add the white potato, white beans, lima beans, corn, green beans and carrots. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add the noodles, cabbage and the spinach/basil mixture. Cook for about 10 more minutes until the noodles are al dente.

4. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve. Enjoy!

Quinoa Bowl with Seasonal Vegetables

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Yield: 4 people

2 cups quinoa

1/3 cup Olive Oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 Avocado from Peru

½ tsp aji mirasol paste (found at Latin American markets or online)


½  cup green asparagus, cooked and cut into ½” pieces

½  cup roasted peppers, diced

½ cup sundried tomatoes, julienned

1/3 cup lime juice

½ tsp yellow mustard

1 tsp cumin seeds


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1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a fine meshed strainer to remove any dirt or impurities.

2. In a medium-sized pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook until translucent, then add crushed garlic and annatto powder. Stir then add aji mirasol and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the quinoa and hot water, mix all the ingredients together well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, leave uncovered and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa looks fluffy. Place the quinoa in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and separate it by running a fork through it. Once the quinoa cools down, add vegetables.

4. In a separate bowl, combine lime juice, mustard, cumin seeds and olive oil and mix well. Pour the mixture over the quinoa and add chopped cilantro. Adjust seasoning if necessary and enjoy!

Cooking Tip: Always season quinoa after it is cooked because adding salt from the beginning will prevent it from cooking and becoming fluffy.


Peruvian Roasted Chicken






Yield: 4 people

1 whole chicken (about 2 -3 ½ lbs) without giblets

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

1 tbsp aji panca paste

3 tbsp garlic paste

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp huacatay (black mint) (you can buy it as a frozen paste at any Latin American store)

1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped

1 tsp oregano

1 tbsp soy sauce

¼ cup dark beer

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper to taste



1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

2. Mix the rest of the ingredients thoroughly to form a paste, adding more beer if you would like it thinner. Taste the paste and adjust seasoning as needed.

3.Rub it on the chicken inside and out, under the skin if possible, making sure it does not get cut or broken.

4. Place chicken in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

5. Place chicken in roasting pan and put it in the oven for 2 hours on 350 degrees Fahrenheit


Peruvian Locro



Potatoes, Buttercup Squash, Autumn Cup Squash, Butternut Squash – all these ingredients are ideal for Locro, a delicious Peruvian dish perfect for fall. Locro, or “Quechua Ruqru” in the Incan language, is a thick, hearty stew originating in the Andes, but popular in every region of Peru. It can be made with different types of squash or pumpkin.

My mom always made sure we had very nutritious meals at home and Locro definitely fits the bill. Its main components, squash or pumpkin, are great sources of potassium, niacin and iron as well as beta-carotene.

Locro is a simple, healthy and economical everyday dish and it’s great for vegetarians. You can serve it with rice but it also goes well with a piece of fried fish or just a simple salsa criolla (pickled onions in lime)




Yields 6 servings

  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 medium spanish onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp aji amarillo paste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 lb buttercup squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed (or pumpkin)
  • 1 lb autumn squash, peeled and cubed
  • 4 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup fresh peas
  • ½ cup corn kernels, removed from the cob
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ½ cup fresh white cheese or mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
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1. In a round, shallow pot, heat the oil over a medium flame and sauté the chopped onion until translucent.

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2. Add the garlic, aji amarillo paste, salt, pepper and cumin and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the buttercup squash, butternut squash, the autumn squash, potatoes, peas and corn.

3. Pour in half the vegetable stock, cover and reduce the heat to low.

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4. Simmer for about 30 minutes, adding remaining stock as necessary.

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5. Once all the ingredients are cooked, add the cheese and heavy cream and season to taste. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.