Friday, December 9 at 6:30pm. RSVP here!
1. Make new friends. Sometimes, all it takes is meeting new people for entire new worlds to open up. The dinner came about because I had the pleasure of meeting Monica Huayna Chirinos, who is Peruvian, through my dear friend Aimee Weiss.
2. But keep the old. As the song would have it, friends like Aimee are solid gold. Aimee and I are more than friends -- we're cooking buddies. When Aimee traveled in Peru, she kept a list of Peruvian delicacies, knowing that at some point we would recreate them. With Monica on board to lend her Peruvian know-how, the time is now!
3. Break out of your bubble. I feel so fortunate to live in New York City, where if you're not having eye-opening cultural exchanges, it's your own fault, for they are always just around the corner -- or at least in the next borough. Brian and I went to Jackson Heights, Queens to shop at Mi Tierra, a grocery store featuring an overwhelming variety of Mexican, Central and South American products (yes, this is what we do for fun). We had an intense experience in the Peruvian aisle, where we were assaulted by not just one, but at least five different brands of achiote paste, a brightly colored condiment made from red annatto seeds. We also found chicha, a beverage derived from maize; cancha, a popular snack akin to popcorn made from a variety of corn called maiz chulpe; and, critical to the production of Peruvian food: aji amarillo, a brilliantly yellow chili pepper native to the Andes. Oh, and a little dulce de leche never hurts.
Inspired to try some Peruvian food? Here is the full menu to further excite you!
Humitas with cheese (buttery corn cakes)
Salted fava beens and cancha (toasted corn)
Solterito de quinua (chopped salad with quinoa)
Parihuela (fisherman's stew)
Peruvian roast chicken
Papa a la Huancaina (potatoes with Huancayo cheese sauce)
Alfajores (dulce de leche confections)
Tea provided by RUNA, a socially conscious tea company whose mission is "to improve livelihoods for indigenous farmers in the Amazon. We believe people everywhere can benefit from the bounty of the rainforest without destroying it." www.runa.org
Space is limited -- RSVP Today!