Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado is one of the most popular dishes in all of Peru. It is very similar to a beef stir-fry, and honestly, I used to not think a whole lot of it. I liked it, but I have had plenty of good beef stir-fry in my life. Until… I ate Manuela’s. You may be sick of me saying this, but she really is a superb cook, and I have definitely been learning from the best. The flavor if her Lomo Saltado is out of this world, and I learned today that it is the easiest, quickest, and easiest-to-make-in-the-states Peruvian dish I have come across. Because it is beef steak, Peruvians usually serve it for special occasions–visitors, holidays.

Lomo Saltado (for 6-7 people)

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Ingredients:

2 lbs thin beef steak, cut into short strips (like fajita meat)
6 large Roma tomatoes, julienned
2 large red onions, julienned
1/2 cup vegetable oil
one piece “tooth” of garlic
a mixture of 2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp MSG, 1 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp of sugar
one large spoonful of red vinegar
one large spoonful of soy sauce
a generous handful of chopped cilantro, optional
3 cups prepared rice
2 lbs of potatoes for french fries

1. Prepare steak, tomatoes, and onion. Keep separated.

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2. In a large pot, heat oil until very hot. Add minced garlic and allow to turn golden. When garlic turns golden, add the steak strips and 2 tsp of salt. Put on lid to conserve the juices. Cook and stir after 3-5 minutes.

3. Blend the spices (pepper, MSG, and salt–you can add more salt later if it is lacking).

4. Allow beef to brown on all sides. While browning, prepare the rice.

5. Add onion and spice blend to the pot. Also add vinegar and soy sauce. Cook and continue to stir every so often. After about 10 minutes, add 1 heaping tsp of sugar (Manuela says that any recipe with vinegar and tomatoes needs a little sugar).

6. Continue cooking for 5 minutes more and add the tomatoes.

7. Finely chop the cilantro (one of the big reasons I love Manuela’s recipe).

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8. Allow the pot to simmer for about 10 minutes. When you are ready to serve, add the cilantro and turn off the heat. Meanwhile, you should have been preparing the french fries (I have already explained Manuela’s technique for this in the Atomatada recipe).

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9. Serve Lomo Saltado over rice with a heaping serving of french fries, and if you grew up with green veges like me, serve with a side of beautiful Peruvian steamed asparagus (doesn’t that look good?!).

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Lomo Saltado

GUESS WHAT?!?…

Both of my girls are going to be BIG SISTERS!!!
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I am just shy of completing my first trimester. That’s right. I am 3 months pregnant. It is pretty easy to keep that kind of secret when I live in another country. However, it isn’t because I could hide it. I started showing with this one at 2 months. I will definitely be Preggo-Meggo for furlough, but that’s okay. My biggest worry was morning sickness, and most of those symptoms are over with now. I DID NOT want to take my trip to the states and not feel like eating. I do think this baby either (1) takes after its Daddy or (2) knows furlough is soon, because I have never craved a grilled-stuffed burrito so badly. I also think I could scarf down a thin-crust pepperoni and jalepeño pizza from Pizza Hut right now (which is definitely a Greg fave).

I want to record that my worst morning sickness moment with this one was when I went to a library event, and our sweet hosts of the library thought it would be nice to share their birthday meal with me. I was getting ready to leave and she brought out a huge plate of the Peruvian delicacy cuy… guninea pig. Try to eat that with politeness when you feel like hurling!

Anyway, the due date is May 5. We are super excited. This was planned, and we told Ana for the first time today. She told me she thinks I am having a little brother for her. We shall see. I have an appointment scheduled for the day before we leave. My doctor told me today that she really thinks she will be able to tell the gender. We have our girl name and boy name picked. We will reveal it when we know. Can’t wait!
Sorry these are blurry, but I wanted family members to see my first pictures. 🙂

crawl position
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that sweet little hand. I told my doctor that I could have a 100 babies and still be amazed at these ultrasounds.
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GUESS WHAT?!?…

Adobo de Arequipa

Adobo is traditionally served on Sunday mornings around 7 am. Most of the women prepare the Adobo the night before and wake up very early to allow it to simmer. It is always served with the common bread (you need lots to dip). Typically, the Peruvians don’t drink anything during the meal. After the meal they drink hot tea with a variety of spices and a little bit of Anisado (a type of whiskey) added to it. The pork is so heavy, they say that they need just a little bit of Anisado to “kill the pork.” If you travel to other cities in Peru, restaurants will claim to serve Arequipan Adobo. It is a recipe and dish of our beloved city.

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Adobo
1 2-liter bottle of concho (I learned to make this but markets here sell it pre-made)
2 rocotos (1 green, 1 red)
2 red onions
I small group of the following fresh herbs: oregano, parsley, and spearmint (tie them together)
salt
red vinegar
MSG
soy sauce
peppercorns
aji colorado (recipe on Atomatada)
2 lbs. red onion
4 lbs thickly cut pork chops (usually around 8)

1. Place one big (ladle sized) spoonful of aji colorado into large pot.
2. Rinse off the pork and layer in the pot.
3. Rinse off onions. Cut onion like apples. Pour on top of pork.
4. In a blender, blend 2 pieces of white bread, 2 onions, the green rocoto (without the seeds), a little water, and 2 1/2 c concho. Blend really well.
5. Add to the pot.
6. Add strained concho until pot is almost full. Place group of herbs on top.
7. Add 1/2 big spoonful of salt, 1 1/2 spoonfuls of vinegar, 1/2 spoonful of soy sauce, 1 tsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp MSG, and 8-10 peppercorns.
8. When ready to cook, add whole rocoto and bring to a strong boil for 30 minutes. Turn down to medium heat and allow to rapidly simmer 1 1/2 hours.

Fun (and kind of gross) fact that I learned from making Adobo:

It is tradition to add the pig tail to the adobo pot. Whoever ends up with the pig tail in their bowl has good luck. Manuela earned all the luck the day I served it. None of were interested in the luck. Doesn’t that pig tail look so appetizing?! 🙂

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Adobo de Arequipa