Recipe: Locro (Peruvian pumpkin stew)

I’m sure there are a million locro recipes out there because it’s fair to say this is an everyday staple in almost every Peruvian household. The way I make it is not the way my mum makes it, nor the way my aunties make it, nor the way my mother-in-law makes it. This is one of the few dishes Alvaro insists on keeping meat-free, with a fried egg (or three) on top. Works for me.

Locro (Peruvian pumpkin stew)
Yield: 4 servings

Locro

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 500-600g pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 – 1.25 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 0.5 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 tsp ají amarillo (Peruvian yellow chilli) paste
  • 0.5 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 200g goat feta cheeese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

To serve

  • white rice
  • 4 olives
  • 4 fried eggs
  • coriander leaves

Directions

  1. Peel and cube pumpkin and potatoes.
  2. Heat the ghee or oil in a saucepan at medium-low temperature.
  3. Add onion, garlic and ají amarillo. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Add pumpkin and potatoes. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, then add stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until pumpkin and potatoes are falling apart. Feel free to mash them up as much as you want.
  6. Add corn and peas, cook for another couple of minutes.
  7. Turn off heat, add cheese, season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with white rice, topped by a fried egg and garnish with an olive and coriander leaves.

Recipe: Fragrant roasted chicken with cinnamon pumpkin and broccolini

I’ve been using this awesome recipe for roasting chicken for the past few months. It’s simple and fool-proof, and it gives you the flexibility of using any spices you want. I often use a mix of rosemary and sage salts or a mix of rosemary and lemon salts. This time I used a mix of Moroccan spices and paired it up with cinnamon-y pumpkin and broccolini. Delicious!

Fragrant roast chicken

Fragrant roasted chicken with cinnamon pumpkin and broccolini
Yield: 4 servings

Fragrant roast chicken w cinnamon pumpkin and broccolini

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 chicken (pastured if possible)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Cinnamon pumpkin

  • 1/2 small butternut pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Broccolini

  • 1 bunch broccolini

Directions

Chicken

  1. Mix the spices to season the chicken. Follow Simone’s instructions.

Cinnamon pumpkin

  1. Peel and cube pumpkin.
  2. Place in a baking sheet, season with cinnamon and salt and drizzle with melted coconut oil.
  3. Bake at 180°C for about 40 minutes, until soft.

Broccolini

  1. Steam. Serve with chicken and pumpkin.

Recipe: Locro

Recently I read in a Peruvian food portal that locro and empanadas unite Latin American cuisines. There are certainly several other dishes that are common to our countries but according to the article, those are the first two dishes that were created as a fusion of native Latin American and Spanish ingredients. Don’t know if it’s true, but makes sense.

What is definitely true is that a dish can have the same name across countries and be entirely different. This is the case of locro. The Peruvian version is based on a variety of pumpkin called macre, which is less sweet and more yellow in colour than common Aussie pumpkins, but in general any pumpkin will do. It belongs to the category of home weekday dishes because it’s easy to make the sweet and non spicy taste is suitable for kids.

Locro is usually served with chunks of beef but both Alvaro and I prefer it with lots of cheese and a fried egg on top instead.

Locro
Yield: 4 servings

Locro

2 tablespoons oil
1 medium red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon huacatay paste (optional)
1/2 medium to big pumpkin
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cob sweet corn
1 cup shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
200 gr queso fresco, Haloumi or feta
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper

Chop onion and garlic finely.

Chop pumpkin in small cubes (1/2 to 1 cm).

Cut the kernels off the corn cob.

Cube or crumble the cheese.

Put oil in a big sautée pan or pot over low heat. Cook onion, garlic for 5 to 10 minutes, until very soft. Add optional huacatay paste and cook for a couple of minutes more.

Add pumpkin and stock. Cook for 10 minutes or so, until tender. Then add corn and peas and cook until they’re cooked and the pumpkin cubes have lost their shape.

Add cheese and milk, cook it for a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted down a bit. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a fried egg on top, and white rice and something green on the side.