We've recruited the duo of chefs responsible for last week's Peruvian sauces to help us concoct this week's Peruvian menu. Selena Ma (who we cooked with at AOC and Canele) and Ivan Godomar (who grew up in Piura, Peru) met while cooking in a New York restaurant (where he impressed her with his Peruvian snack.) They've since spent time in kitchens from LA to Lima and are excited to introduce us to the wonder that is Peruvian cuisine: roast chicken, rice & beans, marinated skirt steak, and pork & potato stew with unfamiliar names, hard-to-find ingredients that are all at once comforting yet exciting, and familiar yet foreign. 

The international house of spatchcockery is introducing a pollo a la brasa, Mel's version of the beloved Peruvian grilled chicken. This spatchcocked, local, free-range chicken is marinated in a blend of peppers, annatto, and cumin and is best grilled (but can also be roasted.) Clear skies and warmer days are finally forecasted for next week, and we can't wait to dust off the grill and cook outside again.

We also have marinated skirt steaks to flash on the grill or slice & pan fry for lomo saltado, a quintessential Peruvian dish of stir-fried beef with onions and tomatoes, traditionally served with fried potatoes (which will all be in the produce box.) Plan on making this Wednesday or Thursday night or freezing for a later day. And since we’re dreaming about cooking outside, we’ve also got Peads and Barnetts’s salt and pepper sausages and pork tenderloin to throw on the grill. 

I traveled to Peru over a decade ago and returned with a habit of making Tacu Tacu, Peruvian-style rice & beans. This mix of seasoned rice, mashed yellow Mayocoba beans, and sofrito is ready to heat (traditionally pan-fried like a hash) and eat. Serve it with a fried egg on top or with your lomo saltado, pollo a la brasa, or grilled pork. 

And to add some heat and complexity to your Tacu Tacu, pollo a la brasa, lomo saltado or pork tenderloin, get a jar of spicy aji amarillo, a chunky hot sauce made with Ivan’s painstaking yellow chili paste, fresh herbs, and queso fresco.

For another heat and serve meal, we have carapulcra, an ancient Peruvian stew made with pork and papas secas (potatoes sundried in the Andes) cooked for hours in a sofrito broth with ground peanuts and mild, warm spices. This is rich and filling, meat and potatoes fare that’s almost familiar (like chili or gravy), decidedly delicious, yet definitely different. 

Finally, we couldn’t offer a Peruvian menu without ceviche, so, of course, we have everything you need to make it with leche de tigre (tiger’s milk) and toasted cancha (puffed, toasted, addictively crunchy corn kernels). Add wild, local halibut or the freshest shrimp (harvested Wednesday morning for us) from TransparentSea, a sustainable shrimp farm right here in SoCal, sliced red onions, picked cilantro, and roasted orange sweet potatoes (veggies included in the produce box) and garnish with the cancha. Leche de tigre is not merely a marinade meant to season the fish and disappear in its flesh; in Peru, it’s drunk straight in shots, incorporated into cocktails, and when dressing ceviche, it should be enjoyed by the spoonful.

For something sweet, I recently tried the pionono from the Grand Casino Argentinian bakery in Culver City, intending to share it with Mel, but ate the entire thing before getting cross town. So now we’re getting more of it to share. Versions of this cake exist throughout South America, and this one is made of thin sponge cake rolled around dulce de leche filling, then dusted with powdered sugar. The entire cake serves 4-6, but we also have individual slices that show off the cake's pinwheel form. 

And for the sweet ones who mother you, we have a gorgeous, gift worthy set of chocolate bars from Moiré. These small-batch, single origin bars are sweetened with ripe dates and made in California. This is chocolate to savor and share with those you find dear. 

And last but not least, we have bright, stunning spring flower bouquets from Peads and Barnetts, our favorite hog and flower farmers.