Over the past year, I've been fortunate enough to dine at some of the most wonderful restaurants in
A little while back I had the chance to dive into a type of cuisine that is just starting to emerge into mainstream (with much thanks to Chef Ricardo Zarate), which is Peruvian food. Having only become familiar with this cuisine after pausing on an Anthony Bourdain special with channel surfing, I was quite intrigued when I received an invitation to dine at Paiche in Marina del Rey's recently renovated Marina Marketplace.
The atmosphere of Paiche is cool and coastal with sleek lines that are reminiscent of the rolling tide, but who really cares about that... let's talk about the stellar food!
Paiche is Peruvian Food with a Japanese twist. So think, "Ceviche meets Sushi"! I was fortunate enough to have Chef Ricardo join me during my tasting and let's just say, we are now best friends.
In between chatting... being dared to eat a shrimp head... and being put in a death grip, I enjoyed one of the most exquisite meals, simply, ever. Take a scroll through my delicious journey that included sashimi, ceviche, and some knock-out cocktails.
We started off with a funny sounding dish called "Spatchcocked" which was tender cubes of grilled chicken garnished with a Panca Moro miso sauce.
One of my favorite dishes of the night was the "Yuquitas". These (not so) little puffs of yuca flour were packed with Manchego cheese and opened up into this light, fluffy, steamy, cheesy, goodness of a bite. Can you tell they were my favorite? I just had to wipe the drool off the key board!
Another dish we tried was actually the restaurant's namesake, the Paiche fish. This Amazonian fish is enrobed in a
You can't have Peruvian food without ceviche! We had a variety including yellowtail, albacore, and blue prawn. And yes, that's the shrimp head that Chef Ricardo dared me to eat.
Another stand out for me was the Wagyu Beef. This thin sliced, seared beef was served over the most scrumptious Parmesan sauce and topped with black truffle. Each bite of this dish was more decadent than the last. Truly stellar.
To see more of my amazing dinner, check out the Facebook Album here!
A special thanks to Chef Ricardo and Mixologist Deysi Alvarez for hosting me for such a memorable meal! Can't wait to come back for more!
1. Add peanut butter to a bowl of Top Ramen!
2. Grill your PB&J
3. Sprinkle salt on your watermelon!
4. Add Nutella to your oatmeal.
5. Add onion soup mix to your hamburger meat. #bombdotcom
6. Add lemonade in your beer
Wassail is a traditional mulled cider that dates back to Medieval times, though the recipes have evolved over the years. This is one of our favorites for its use of Christmas spices and the incredible aroma it produces.
Step 1. Cloving the Orange
Credit: flickr / free range jace
This is really the only time-consuming (and painful if you’re not careful!) part of the recipe, but the end result is well worth the effort. Using whole cloves, take a small orange and pierce it with the sharp end of the clove so that it sticks through the peel. Continue to do this in whatever pattern you like until you’ve completely covered the orange. The more densely you cover the orange, the more clove flavor you will get, but as long as you have decent coverage you should get the desired effect.
Credit: flickr / Bill Rogers
Now for a warning - cloves can be sharp little buggers! Be careful when puncturing the orange peel, as the other side of the clove can stick you.
Step 2. The Mix
Pour the cider, cranberry juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks and allspice into a slow cooker, and mix gently so the sugar dissolves. Place the cloved orange into the mixture so it floats at the top.
Step 3. Heat!
On low setting, heat for 6 - 8 hours. On high, 3 - 4 hours. The lower and longer approach will infuse the wassail with even more of the spices and has the added bonus of filling your home with an amazing, holiday aroma.
Step 4. Serve!
Simply ladle into your favorite coffee mugs and enjoy this delicious, warming holiday treat! Feel free to add a candy cane or cinnamon stick as a garnish.
Step 4a. Spike!
If you want an equally delicious adult version, simply add 2.5 cups of your favorite spiced rum roughly 30-45 minutes before serving. This will give the rum just enough time to heat up and infuse some of its own unique flavor into the mix.