Well, Hello Peru.
It’s been almost three years since Tomato, Lettuce and I hiked the Inca Trail. In some ways it seems like twenty, but then I look at pictures and it seems like yesterday.
Unfortunately, I was only in Peru for the week it took us to hike the Trail. It’s a shame, but that’s usually how it goes with these adventure trips. Both trips to Nepal had me in and out with time to do little else than climb and Peru was no different, with merely a day before and a day after for cushion. However, we did have enough time to learn about and make Peruvian chocolate.
It tastes really good…
Despite our short time there, I did really enjoy myself…and the food! If you are thinking about the Inca Trail but intensely dislike camping, this is the trip for you. It’s like, fancy camping. The wonderful porters set up and took down camp every day and even cooked for us. And I’m not talking about s’mores and hot dogs. I mean like, real food. We had cake one morning for breakfast. Hot out of the “oven” cake. I’m not sure how you make cake on a mountain, but nevertheless, it happened.
Before we embarked on our trek up the mountain, our guides did take us to some of the villages surrounding Cusco to meet some of the people, learn a little about the culture and sample some of the local tastes. Potatoes are a big thing, and they’re harvested and planted the old fashioned way, and cooked underground in what is almost like a luau pit.
We also ate guinea pig.
Tastes like chicken.
No, for real.
Mostly we just had fun, and again unlike Nepal, when I got back down to town, I wasn’t craving burgers, fries and ice cream. Well, I always crave ice cream. Anyway, I was happy to eat the food in town and my favorite dish of all that I ate was Lomo Saltado. It’s pretty much beef stir-fry served a top French fries.
God do I love French fries.
Throwing this together at home is easy as pie and for a second transported me out of the wintery abyss in which I currently find myself. I served these with my favorite oven fries, seasoned with my own taco seasoning because that sounded like it’d be good, and it was.
This is us dancing atop Dead Woman’s pass. It’s what we do. We dance.
- 1 lb skirt steak, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tomatoes, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 habanero pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 TB rice wine vinegar
- 1 TB red wine vinegar (you can use all red wine, but I personally ran out)
- 3 TB low-sodium soy sauce
- 4 TB cilantro, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Oven fries, to serve
- Cut the steak in long pieces, about ¼ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a wok or saute pan, heat about 2 TB olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the steak. After the meat has browned, add the onions and pepper and cook until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, vinegars, lemon juice and the soy sauce. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. Top with cilantro. Remove from the pan and serve the fries.
And I leave you with one of Lettuce and Tomato’s favorite pictures of the trip.
What?? I’m just trying to fix my hiking pole.