Monday, 15 February 2010

Huanchaco, Peru: BBQ, Cabrito, Chocolate Bananas and Beef Heart!

On the way to some Incan ruins in Huanchaco, Northern Peru, we stopped at a typical restaurant serving the local specialities. I opted for Cabrito a la norteña (Northern-Style Baby Goat), which had been slowly braised and was beautifully tender.

Another speciality of the region was Pato (Wild Duck), which was also good, but nothing new - seared duck breast served with a typical spicy pickled salad and rice.

Cabrito a la Norteña 
Image Courtesy of Buen Provecho

That evening, back poolside at the hostel, we had a huge BBQ in honour of Lia's 25th Birthday. Sylvana, our Peruvian guide, made Beef Heart kebabs, which had been marinated in chilli, garlic and cumin. They were awesome, and surprisingly tender but few people would even try it - all the more for me! I also barbecued corn on the cob, sweet chilli chicken thighs, garlic prawns (not garlicky enough!), beef ribs, and "fish en papillote". The sweet chilli sauce/marinade I made myself, simply by dicing fresh chilli and simmering in a sugar syrup until sticky. So simple yet so good. The Ribs I just seasoned with salt and pepper, while the fish I steamed in a foil papillote with a splash of white wine, plenty of lime juice, fresh sliced chilli, some ginger and garlic. No idea what fish it was but it turned out pretty fantastically.

Everyone seemed happy enough although when I made chocolate stuffed bananas on the remaining embers, everyone was delighted - I was amazed at the amount of people that had never tried it before. Simply make a long incision halfway through an unpeeled banana, stuff as much chocolate as you can in there, and wrap tightly in foil. Throw it onto the cooling BBQ (or in a warm oven) until the flesh is soft and the chocolate melted.

 Image courtesy of On Food and Wine

As well as the masses of food, we were also drinking well - Sylvana making delicious Pisco Sours. Pisco is a distilled wine from the region, and is blended with lime juice, sugar syrup, egg whites, and ice for a delicious cocktail, similar in a way to Caipirinha. If you can get hold of Pisco, it's definitely worth trying - put three shots pisco, two shots lime juice, one shot sugar syrup, and one egg white in a blender with plenty of ice and blitz until frothy. Good Stuff. 

Image Courtesy of

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