August 8, 2011

Peruvian Lomo Saltado

Did you know July 28th is Peruvian Independence Day??
And we celebrate with what else??
Good food. 
Food I grew up with. 
Comfort food. 
Food that makes my tummy say, "Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!!".

And you know what I'm talkin about today??
Lomo Saltado and Camotes Fritos (fried yams)...& bread rolls. 
For breakfast.

Lomo Saltado is a Peruvian dish made up of strips of sirloin marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and spices, then stir fried with onions, cilantro and tomatoes.  It is usually served with french fries over white rice when eaten as a main dish for dinner.  

An excerpt from a fabulous cookbook called, "The Art of Peruvian Cuisine", best explains the background of this Peruvian/Asian-inspired dish:
"The arrival of Chinese indentured servants to work the coastal plantations and the railroads in the mid 19th century had a profound effect on Peruvian eating habits. Lomo Saltado is probably the modern day dish that best symbolizes Peruvians' enthusiasm for the stir fry technique. With its traditional ají flavoring, and a soy sauce twist, this meat and potato dish is a family favorite all over Peru."

My family has turned this savory dish into a breakfast meal by removing the french fries and rice and replacing it with fried yams cut into rounds (camotes fritos) and french rolls (bolillos). 
Good God, this is why I'll never be a size 2.  
But who cares?
I have a table surrounded by family & laughter & an awesome pair of "stretchy pants".
I win :)

 Traditional Lomo Saltado recipes call for aji amarillo (peruvian yellow peppers).  Those are hard to come by 'round these parts so we use bell pepper. 
Plus, we don't burn the taste buds off my nephews, so that's a bonus.

Camotes Fritos (fried yams) are a staple in Peru.  They cut them into rounds, fry them up and put them on everything.  Even the hamburgers at Burger King in Lima get the camote treatment.  
I thought I was a weirdo until I went to Peru and saw this. 
Instantly, I knew I was right where I belong :)

Fried yams are sweet and crunchy and taste abso-freakin-lutely wonderful in a butter sandwich. I know, I know, but trust me: It's legit.

 This is the final product.  Juicy, meaty, full of goodness...yeah, it's Peruvian breakfast time!

Mmmm...put me in bread, I'm done.

My family is a little nuts. We talk shiz, we laugh, and most of all we pose for dumb pictures like this when we get together and cook. 
We are awesome.

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