Friday, August 15, 2008

Ensalada Fresca with Frozen Peas

The first thing I had to have when I got back to the states was salad. Going a month without those fresh, leafy, crunchy, and crisp fibery shoots of ruffage was pretty hard. So after I got my salad fix by opening my fridge and crunching on whole plain lettuce leaves like a rabbit, I eased my leafy woes and began a more creative route to salad satisfaction. I used lettuce, radicchio, green peppers, and yes, frozen peas in this salad. If you're wondering why I threw in frozen peas, you're right if you guessed that I was too lazy to defrost them. However, the frozen peas added a surprisingly nice cool surprise to the salad. I used a dressing of lemon juice, a small amount of dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. The salad was easy to throw together, and had a nice chill temp due to the frozen peas. I would test out the frozen pea tactic if you're a skeptic, it makes for a great summer salad

La Comida de Perú

For the month of July I volunteered in Perú, lived with a Peruvian family, and learned a lot about Peruvian culture. I worked at a medical clinic and became very familiar with Peruvian intestinal parasites. One rule about life in Perú, don't drink the water. I only drank boiled and bottled water, but still managed to get Giardia and an amoeba. But intestinal troubles aside, I got to experience a new genre of South American food. Peruvian cuisine is rustic and hearty, and the Peruvians take advantage of their fresh peppers and bountiful potatoes to make some really delicious dishes. The market in Perú is amazing, and while I steered clear of leafy greens and ceviche (to avoid more intestinal friends) I got to experience some great culinary novelties and learn how the Pereuvians work in the kitchen. My host mom Marta was a master on the "estufa" (stove) and made a mean aji de gallina. I got some great photos of the food we ate, and some market treats I'm glad we didn't eat. Here is a little taste of what I saw:
rocoto relleno, papas al horno, el horno crudo, more rocoto relleno, taroe con carne, pisco sours, sopa de moraya, trucha, beet salad, the market, the queso fresco lady, crazy good popcorn, sopa de cow balls, aji de gallina