My older son Evann came home with a piece of paper and the header screamed “House MasterChef” at his school. Along with it the rules of combat and the ingredients that need to be used. So we spent a weekend chatting, Bhanu, Evann and myself.

We looked back upon our many journeys to Guadalope, Pacasmayo, Trujillo and realised that we never ever wrote in this blog about our journeys in Lima, the local cuisine is highly influenced by the Incas and the cuisines from Europe (mostly Spain, Germany and Italy), Asian (predominantly China & Japan). Peru’s staple food is Corn, Potatoes, Tubers and Quinoa. They still use many ancient grains and beans in their food. Peruvian food has become more popular in the recent years. It is a very interesting country simply for the produce you find there like prickly pear, guanabana, or the dragon fruit to name a few. I have always been intrigued on my many journeys, and the time spent with locals cooking fresh fish with Aji Peppers would remind me of humble an origin this cuisine has. It is simple but tasteful purely because of the local produce and cooking traditions.

I would need an entire year to write of the Peruvian culture and food. This blog today we present a dish influenced by the Peruvian cuisine and the extensive use of Corn. To keep with the brief that my son brought home we made a Ceviche using butternut squash, and you will be surprised that it does not require to be cooked, the ceviche dressing will slowly mature the squash, and its presented in a fun way way that kids love to eat – a Taco. We then gave the dish a Mexican twist by using Pico De Gallo, Guacamole and a Lemon Mayonnaise and of course with a shot of Virgin Mojito. Buen Provecho !!

Butternut Squash Ceviche Taco.

Ingredients:

Butternut Squash Ceviche:

Ceviche Dressing –

  1. Lime – 2 Lime, with the juices squeezed
  2. Garlic – 1/2 teaspoon, finely chopped
  3. Red Onion – 1 teaspoon, finely chopped
  4. Coriander – 1 teaspoon, finely chopped
  5. Red Chilli – 1/2 teaspoon, finely chopped
  6. Salt – to taste

Butternut Squash:

  1. Virgin MojitoSugar – 2 tablespoons
  2. Hot Water – 1 teaspoon
  3. Lime – Juice of 1 lime
  4. Mint – 4 Leaves
  5. Ice Cold Water – 2 tablespoons
  6. Put hot water into the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add the lime juice and mint and bruise the mint with a spoon, add cold water and strain through a fine strainer and store chilled in a shot glass rimmed with salt.

Pico de Gallo:

  1. Baby Plum Tomato – 50gm, diced small
  2. Red Onion – 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  3. Red Chilli – 1 teaspoon, finely chopped
  4. Coriander – 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  5. Lime – juice of 1/2 lime
  6. Salt – to taste
  7. Mix together all the chopped ingredients add seasoning.

Guacamole:

  1. Avocado – 1/2, skin removed
  2. Garlic – 1/2 tsp, finely chopped
  3. Coriander – 1 tsp, finely chopped
  4. Red Pepper – 1/2 tsp, finely diced
  5. Red Onion – 1 tsp, finely chopped
  6. Salt – to taste

Garnish:

  1. Iceberg – 30gm finely shredded
  2. Red Radish – 3 thinly sliced rounds
  3. Red Pepper – 1 tsp, finely chopped
  4. Lime Mayo
  5. Mini Tortilla Crisps
  6. Coriander Leaves

Method:

Taco :

  1. 10″ Corn Tortilla – Cut into a 7cm x 7cm and using the back of a muffin tray lay it with the curved side at the bottom in between the mould and cook at 165c for about 6-7minutes, ensure you don’t burn it. Leave aside to cool.

Butternut Squash Prep:

  1. Peel and chop finely, 60gm of Butternut Squash.
  2. Then add 1/4 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Rest for ten minutes then add Ceviche Dressing for 20 minutes, strain and leave aside.
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