Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
This week we find ourselves in the South American country of Peru. Peru is home to deserts, rainforests, snow-capped mountains, and one of the new seven wonders of the world. I’ve yet to visit this country and witness its marvels, but Linds hiked the Inca Trail in the Andes a few years ago and ended her excursion at Machu Picchu. Check out her posts about that incredible trip:
The national dish of Peru is Ceviche, which I typically enjoy, but we ran out of fresh cod from Newfoundland and I don’t trust grocery store fish enough to consume it raw. So, I did some research on other well-known and traditional Peruvian dishes and we knew we had to try Lomo Saltado. This dish appeared on every article we read about Peruvian cuisine and almost always topped the charts. Lomo Saltado is featured on this list by BBC Good Food, this article by Machu Travel Peru, this list by Eat Peru, this list by Living Out Lau, this list by Serious Eats, this list by Raising Miro, this list by Project Cordellira, this list by PeruForLess, this list by Culture Trip, this list by Chef’s Pencil, this list by Amigo Foods, this list by Llama Tours, this list by Matador Network, this list by Travel Food Atlas, and this list by PeruHop. Throughout some of these lists, I noticed a dreamy-looking dessert called Suspiro Limeño that I knew I had to try as well. As often as we can, we enjoy having multiple courses for our country meals!
Just a note on our Country Challenge rules: we always try to link to the sites we use for research for a few reasons. First, we want to credit our research sources. Secondly, we want to be able to come back to these sites if we ever decide to repeat a country or want to learn more. Thirdly, we hope our readers will take this challenge on and try foods from these lists as well. Finally, we’ve noticed other bloggers with similar ambitions and if anybody else out there decides to try meals from other countries, it can be tough to find recipes and ideas, so we want to provide as many resources as possible to others.
We used recipes from Eat Peru for both our main course and dessert:
The recipes were very easy to follow. I prepared the Suspiro Limeño the night before to give it plenty of time to set and thicken up. It was a simple recipe but just a heads up: it’s so easy to burn the Port/Pisco syrup (I speak from experience!). The Lomo Saltado was also really quick and simple– perfect for a weeknight meal. To hasten up the process even more, we cooked the potatoes in a separate pan at the same time as we cooked the stir fry.
We listened to this playlist while we cooked:
Altogether, the Lomo Saltado only took about 30 minutes to prepare and you know it was worth it. This dish easily falls in our top 10 so far in this challenge! The marinade for the steak was delicious, the veggies were cooked perfectly, the potatoes were a hearty touch, and the cilantro tied everything together. Plus, it’s super healthy. We couldn’t get enough. Thank goodness we have leftovers! We’d make Lomo Saltado again in a heartbeat.
Our Suspiro Limeño was a dream. Oh my gosh. I wouldn’t expect any less from anything with sweetened condensed milk in it. That said, our portion sizes were way too big. We only had a few bites before it became too rich and we were finished.
We watched this on YouTube while we ate:
Stay tuned for next week!