The Sharing Table
Updated: May 23, 2018
Our monthly Cook the Book gatherings continue, though I am behind in sharing! I am really enjoying sharing this concept with all of our members. They're a group that really enjoy making, not to mention eating it too. This blog post covers our cooking adventures from April - get ready to head to South America...
April's book choice was Virgilio Martinez's cookbook Lima: The Cookbook, a culinary array of bright colours, unfamiliar tastes and unique ingredients from Peru.
Peruvian cooking is a cross-cultural cuisine that stems largely from the Incas and the Spanish, although it has fusions of other cultures too, such as Asian, African and Arabian.
The produce there is very bio-diverse, making their diet a vast range of super foods, such as quinoa, chia seeds and amaranth (kiwicha), and a selection of corn, cassava, potatoes (tubers), chillies as well as a fascinating history of cooking methods and techniques. If anything I gained respect for learning all about these various foods and flavours. For example, the dish I chose (Pachamanca) is known as the Earth Oven, where they traditionally heated rocks to a high heat and laid them in a hole in the ground to create a natural oven. Various vegetables and meat were layered up between more hot rocks according to their cooking time and covered in the earth to cook for many hours. The more modern rendition is to layer your ingredients in a stock pot with parchment paper under the lid to create essential steaming under a low heat. It was great with a mix of chicken, corn, cilantro, chili, baby potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Unfortunately, this book didn't win everyone's hearts as some of the techniques were either time consuming or used ingredients often hard to source here in the UK. No one likes a cupboard full of ingredients they may only use once!
You win some, you lose some. After all, the rules of Cookbook Club are we fail and succeed together. Still, we produced a pretty impressive lunch in true Peruvian style.
Pan de Cilantro y Cebolla Morada
Coriander & Red Onion Bread
Bonito, Habas y Pimiento Rojo Asado
Bonito (Tuna), Broad Beans and Roasted Red Pepper
Lechugas Salteadas, 'Tocino Vegetal' y Yoghurt
Sauteed Lettuce, 'Vegetarian Bacon' and Yoghurt - served with Homemade Potato Crisps
Pachamanca de Gallina y Papas
Chicken and Potato Pachamanca (Earth Oven)
Helado de Quinua con Chips de Papa
Quinoa Ice Cream with Potato Crisps
Kudos to everyone, because even though they were unsure of how their dishes would turn out, we had a pretty tasty lunch together. Sorry we ate all the dessert before I had a chance to photograph it! I'll take that as a win in bonding together through food and sharing.
See you next time as our May Cookbook Club heads to the Mediterranean.