Soul Cocina

Eco Chef Roger Feely

Ceviche Peruano

Well I missed the Peruvian Food Festival at Roccapulco last weekend. I waited in line for over an hour and the line barely moved. I walked home, a short walk up the hill, and returned a few hours later and the line was even longer! I was looking forward to the fest for a while, but all the people who drove from far away had more patience than I did on that sunny Sunday.

Tune: Toro Mata by Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco
Born forty years and twenty days before me, Johnny Pacheco was one of the first artists I used to listen to who played Charanga music. He was a champion of Charanga music with his group "Pacheco y su Charanga" and he introduced the Pachanga dance to the world. His Charanga had plenty of flute and violin along with piano, bass and horns with influences from Africa, Jazz, Cuba and his native Dominican Republic. JP played with the Alegre All Stars and he was the leader of the OG Fania All Stars. ODub recently featured some great Charanga tunes over at Musica Del Alma. I'll post some of my favorite Alegre All Star and Pacheco tracks in the future, today is about Peru. So why a tune by a Dominican and a Cubana, JP and Celia? Because they are playing a classic AfroPeruvian tune Toro Mata.

Tune: Woop! La Policia by Oro Solido

Tune: El Labio Hinchao by Oro Solido

Tune: La Soga also by Oro Solido
OK what's up with these modern day merengues from Oro Solido's Fantasia Urbana album on this Peru post? Well, JP was from DR and Oro Solido is playing next week at Roccapulco.

A friend of mine from Peru once told me that ceviche in Lima never has tomatoes, unlike the ceviche we used to eat at La Altena, the Mexican taqueria near our work. In Lima, you eat ceviche in proper cevicherias, cultural institutions in themselves. More on how to eat ceviche in Lima. My pal Habib shared a simple Ceviche Peruano recipe with my. He suggests using aji, a Peruvian chile pepper for the ceviche. Ironically, there is a produce store in the same building as La Altena that sells a pepper very similar to aji from time to time [same building is also home to a Peruvian restaurant called El Perol... great papas rellenas]. Unfortunately they were out when I went to shop last week. I used the seranos I had at home. Habib also suggests boiling some corn and sweet potatoes to go with the ceviche for an authentic touch. So I did! I just missed the lettuce from the recipe. I also fried a few strips of the sweet potato for a little crunch. One of my favorite ceviches ever was at the now defunct Platanos with fried plantains. Or at Nopalito with homemade corn tortilla chips. I like the crunch with my ceviche. Next time I make this ceviche, I'll serve it with cancha.
Habib says:
Nothings better on a hot summer day than a chilled, spicy Peruvian ceviche. Any firm white fish will do. I like halibut, but on a budget cod or sole will do. Make sure the fish is fresh and not previously frozen. Cut fish into 1/2 inch size cubes and put in a shallow bowl. Add enough lime and lemon juice to barely coverl the fish. If you can get it use Aji amarillo ( a spicy peruvian chile with lots of flavor ) or Roccoto ( also a peruvian chile that is similar to a habanero) you can get these chiles in either paste form or whole frozen at most latino markets. If you cannot find these simply use habanero (sparingly!) or serrano chiles. Dice the chiles fairly small, add minced fresh garlic, thinly sliced red onions and a good amount of salt. Let marinate for at least 2 hours or until the fish becomes opaque and fully "cooked". Traditionally it is served on lettuce, boiled potatoes or sweet potatoes and some sort of corn either toasted or thin wheels of corn on the cob.

Then habib continues:
A great way to upscale the presentation of this dish is to serve it in martini glasses and garnish with a slice of avocado a couple of cherry tomatoes and cilantro.
MUSICA PERUANA
Tune:
Kintos Jala Jala by Los Kintos from Tin Marin

Tune: Duelo by Sonora Nelson Ferreyra from Oye Mi Sonora

Tune: Goza Mi Guaguanco by Los Kintos from Tin Marin

Tune: El Milagro Verde by Los Mirlos

Tune: Sonido Amazonico also by Los Mirlos

Tune: Sacalo by Los Diablos Rojos

Tune: Tu no estás en nada by Lita Branda from Con Sabor
Lita Branda is Melcochita's sister. Melcochita is a Salsa don in Peru and a real character who still creates a lot of gossip and comotion at age 73. Although he's a TV personality and comedian, he is still a great singer.

Tune: Moreno Pintan a Cristo by Lita Branda y Melcochita

Tune: Pegaso by Melcochita



Tune: A Guarachar by Melcochita

Tune: Cuereando by Melcochita Y Karamanduka from Acabo Con Lima Huyo Pa' New York

Tune: Elvira Se Vira also by Melcochita Y Karamanduka from Acabo Con Lima Huyo Pa' New York

Tune: Candela by Melcochita Y Karamanduka from Acabo Con Lima Huyo Pa' New York
*LPs from my collection exzcept the Melcochita-Karamanduka [I wish]

Tune:
El Chacombo by Oscar Aviles y Arturo "Zambo" Cavero

Tune: Mis Cantares by Pancho Jimenez y Ariles from Fiesta Criolla

Tune: Muneca by Freddy Roland y su Orquesta Show Internacional on Discos Trebol