Peruvian green sauce

This week, I thought I’d do a Peruvian dish I’ve loved for ages…but I haven’t found a decent recipe for it, yet. Since I had chicken ready for it, though, I looked for something suitable and came across “Peruvian green sauce”.

…which, you know, is rather vague, when it comes down to it. And…I also just realized this is very likely another recipe I’ve been looking for for the better part of 25 years. Huh.

There used to be a restaurant I’d frequent in Woodhaven, NY, called La Caravana. They had a variety of Peruvian dishes, but my favorites were always the anticuchos Caravana and – for better or worse – salchipapas. Another favorite – though pricier – was apparently called bistec apanado as the Peruvian dish, though I really do remember it listed as bistec empanizado…or maybe that’s just what I’ve found it as elsewhere since then and that name edged out whatever it was. Pounded steak, lightly breaded and pan fried, it was always served with a green sauce and a yellow or red sauce, all three of which were just relayed to me to be “pepper sauce”. Which, you know, at the time was sufficient for my knowledge, but which I’ve since tried to recreate as I cooked more and more.

Tonight’s “Peruvian green sauce” was basically it. Versions I found used mayonnaise or yogurt, but we really don’t keep either on hand. That was OK; olive oil, garlic, cilantro, diced green chiles, cumin and lime blended together worked out wonderfully. I pan-fried some chicken, make some red quinoa and had a couple of small pork shoulder roasts that were roasted over onions.

The sauce really went well with everything, but the quinoa wound up being the favorite pairing, maybe because of the texture. All in all, I’m really glad to have rediscovered this sauce, even if I had been aiming for a completely different recipe up front. It’ll go well with a great many things and I can’t wait to make it again and again.

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