Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

So I finally did it. I made this recipe (that I got in my inbox about 6 months ago from allrecipes.com) and almost made it in time for my husband’s birthday. We ended up hosting a game night for our house church. What do 12 Peruvians, 4 Gringos, Uno Attack, and a killer cheesecake equal? A really awesome time. It was a lot of fun, and this cheesecake hit the spot at the end of a fun time together. I definitely recommend this one for anyone looking to please a crowd. I was able to slice it into 16 equal parts, and the portions weren’t huge, but just right in my opinion. Here is the link and some pictures to this recipe:

Click here to view recipe

1. There are actual plops (I don’t know that that word sounds appetizing) of cookie dough all throughout the cheesecake. Absolute deliciousness!

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2. The topping is poured on top of the cheesecake right after it is pulled from the oven. You really only need to bake a cheesecake until the outer circle is firm and the middle still jiggles. This topping made me think I hadn’t baked it long enough, but it ended up being fine. If you overbake a cheesecake it will crack (just sayin’ if you didn’t already know that).

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3. Wah-lah! The beautiful finished product. Several commenters suggested using a different type of crust. I was a big fan of the oreo crust myself. I hope you can try this sometime!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

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

Aji de Gallina

This dish is one of my personal favorites. The creamy chicken sauce has a little spice and reminds us of enchilada sauce. The sauce is served over rice typically with a boiled potato and boiled egg on the side. We normally do without the potato and egg and add a green vegetable. Either way, it is delicious!

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Aji de Gallina

1. Place 5 peices of the “common bread” in water to soak. (common bread here is course and not sweetened)

2. Boil one large breast (bone-in) of chicken.

3. Boil 3 aji amarillos until soft.

4. Dice 2 large white onions very finely.

5. Remove bread from water.

6. Tear chicken into bite-sized pieces.

7. Squeeze water from bread using your hands.

8. in blender: blend bread and cream, place in separate bowl

in blender: blend aji and garlic and a little bit of cumin

9. Warm large pot with 1/4 c oil. Once it is very hot, cook onion until tender and translucent (add a little salt). Add aji mixture and bread mixture. Add pepper. Stir until creamy and thickened.

10. Add chicken. Add a little MSG for some added flavor. Serve over rice.

Aji de Gallina