Tuesday, April 24, 2018

South American Stir Fry: Lomo Saltado

Just from Googling around I read that in the late 1800's and early 1900's, Peru experienced a wave of immigration from the area around the city of Guangzhou, China. These people brought soy sauce and woks; then they incorporated their cooking practices with ingredients native to their new home. This way of cooking came to be known as "chifa" and today is a common type of  Peru cuisine. 

Roy and I had this yummy "stir fry" several times this winter when we were in southwest Florida where Peruvian food is very popular. I was surprised to find out that it had soy sauce in it because it had such spicy Latin flavors. Authentic Lomo Saltado gets its kick from the yellow aji amarillo pepper, which I found as a bottled paste on Amazon. A good substitute is jalapeno or Thai chilies. "Lomo" translates to loin and this recipe can be made from beef tenderloin or, as I used, sirloin steak. Another cheat is using frozen french fries instead of making your own. It's festive enough for a weekend but easy enough for a week day meal.

Ingredients and Directions for Lomo Saltado - Serves Four

About 1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak (or beef tenderloin)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced or put through a press
2 tablespoons olive oil divided
1 1/2 bell pepper - any combination of colors, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper or 2 to 3 smaller Thai peppers, sliced w/seeds & membranes removed
3 small tomatoes, sliced in lengthwise strips
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnishing 

1 small bag of frozen french fries
2 medium russet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Trim all the fat from the steak, and slice it into thin strips.

Combine the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of oil in a bowl. Whisk well, add the meat and gently combine. Set aside.

Start making the french fries. Either follow the package directions for baking the frozen french fries or follow the steps below.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/4 inch wide strips by slicing them lengthwise every 1/4 inch and then cutting those pieces into 1/4 inch wide strips.

Rinse the strips and drain them. Then put them in a bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them sit for 10 minutes.

Drain them, rinse them again, then pat them dry with paper towels.

Spread the potato strips out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (best option!) or foil.  Toss them with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread them out again so they are in a single layer.

Bake for 30 minutes, gently flipping over every 10 minutes, until nicely browned.

(These are extra yummy tossed with Parmesan cheese, minced parsley, and a smidgen of truffle oil - especially when dipped in mayo mixed with lemon juice and garlic.) 

But wait - we are using these fries for Lomo Saltado!

To continue with Lomo Saltado:

While the french fries are cooking, place the sliced bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet. Saute over medium low heat, about 10 minutes or until tender. 

Add the tomato slices and saute  until softened about 3 to 4 more minutes.

Remove the cooked vegetables from pan and set aside, covered.

Place the meat mixture into the same pan.

Saute until the beef is brown on both sides.

Add the vegetables and gently toss.

To serve, divide french fries among 4 plates. Ladle the Lomo Saltado on top. To garnish sprinkle a bit of chopped cilantro on top of each serving.

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