Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenged us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra.
My mouth started watering when I found out about this month’s Daring Cooks challenge. Although I’ve never knowingly had Peruvian cuisine, I have had ceviche and, like pretty much any dish featuring raw fish, I adore it. It was also very easy to make: just cut up fresh fish (tilapia, in my case) to your liking, add seasonings and lemon juice, and let the citrus do its job. Indeed, lemon juice cooks fish, which is one of the reasons it’s recommended to avoid using it in tartare. It was refreshing and delicate, served with a salad of corn, red pepper, and goat cheese (it was supposed to be queso fresco, but I couldn’t find any).
The mere concept of papas rellenas made me hungry: meal-sized mashed potato “croquettes,” stuffed with a meat filling. Croquettes are always welcome on my table, but I particularly loved the filling in this recipe: with ground beef, black olives, raisins, and cumin, it was a lovely combination of flavours. I made a large batch of the pappas and froze the excess ones (prior to frying), for a busy night.
What I loved about this month’s challenge is that both dishes are something I had never made at home, and am now seriously considering adding to my regular recipe roaster. Not that this hasn’t happened before with the Daring Cooks, but this month’s recipes were just very fun and accessible. Thank you, Kathlyn!