Deciding to make the most of your solo venture, you quickly start looking for hotels near the beach. After calling a few you find one in Miraflores that has availability and late-night check in. It was not the Hilton, but reviews were mostly good and raved about the nearby eateries. They even have their own shuttle service to pick you up from the airport. Things are looking up and you relax a bit, licking your lips at the thought of all your favorite childhood foods being at your fingertips.
As you make your way to the loading zone for your shuttle, you notice the outline of a woman that looks just like the woman from the plane. As you get closer, you realize that it is her. “Oh, hi again,” you pause, “I never did get your name?” You inquire as you simultaneously share your name, “My name is Mel.” She replies, “Hi Mel, my name is Elizabeth. Did you have any trouble getting a flight or a place to stay?” You did not want to tell her that you actually have family here and are choosing to not tell them that you will be here for the week. You instead just let her know that you decided to stay here for your weeks’ vacation, since there were no transferring flights to Chile for another 5 days. You tell Elizabeth about the place you found online, “I feel so lucky to have found this place, right on the beach in Miraflores, called “Casa de Inti.” Her eyes opened wide and she smiled, sharing, “Well, how about that. I also booked a couple of nights at that same hotel!”
The shuttle arrives and welcomes you both to Peru, the world’s escape for adventure and food. As the shuttle heads towards the hotel, you stare out the window at the city lights and the night life of street food vendors. People of all ages going places, but where are they going at one o’clock in the morning you wonder. Back home you would be tucked in your bed waiting for your alarm to wake you up so you can go to work then come home eat and go back to bed. Your mouth moistens as you drive past the steamy Anticucho carts. Those little cow hearts on a stick sending cloudy vapors up to the night sky like a prayer to the heavens, as they sizzle on the grill grates. You watch how the cooks use the corn-husk-made-brush to slather the marinade juices onto the meat sticks. With ceremonial motions, that resembled how a Catholic priest would bless a crowd by splashing them with holy water, the Anticucho vendors rhymically bless their food and offer it up to the hungry souls before them.
You stomach rumbles, auguring with you internally to persuade the driver to pull over so that you could grab just one for those mouth watering Anticuchos. Elizabeth notices your internal plight and leans over to let you know that there is an Anticuchero (shop specializing in Anticuchos), nearby the hotel. Your eye light up and you smile at her with curious delight. “How did you know I was craving Anticuchos?” She responds, “I could see it in your eyes as we passed the vendors.” We both laughed and looked ahead to our approaching destination.
To be Continued… Let me know in the comments if you would like to keep reading and make your way through this choose your own adventure story. Until then, enjoy this recipe below. If you make it please share either in the comments or on our social media with the #culinarianbookscook
- Grill Charcoal or Gas
- Skewers If using bamboo, soak in water for at least 2 hours.
- Basting Brush Silicone or hand made with corn husks
- 1 each Cow Heart cleaned and cubed Ask butcher to clean, devein and remove and sinew
- 1/4 Cup Lime juice 1-2 limes depending on size and juiciness
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil vegetable oil is okay too
- 2/3 Cup Aji Panca
- 2 tsp Cumin
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- Cut beef heart into 1 1/2" by 1" strips. This will make it easier for stretching meat out on the skewer stick.
Marinade the meat
- Measure out oil, lemon juice, aji panca and seasonings. Add these to large bowl and whisk to combine. Then add the meat. Mix with your hands until all of the meat is fully coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
Skewer the meat
- Place three pieces on the skewer towards the top. You want to poke the bottom end of the meat and top end then stretch it out and slide it down to make room for the next piece. Repeat with the next to pieces. Making sure to leave room for the end of skewer to hang off the grill edge, allowing for the griller to turn them.
Grill the meat
- Prepare your grill-clean and warm it up
- Place skewers on the hot grill, manage heat at a medium level. Continuously baste the meat while on the grill. After about 4 minutes flip and continue to baste. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and remove from the heat on to your serving dish.