Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Beef Stir Fry) from Skinnytaste.com
We all know the saying “The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. This can also be a fairly speedy route to the female heart as well. Staying in and making your date dinner (or making it together) rates high on the romance scale. You get to show off your creativity and appreciation for nuance and details, even if it’s a simple dish. It’s no different from putting an outfit together. That’s what this series is all about. She or he will be left impressed, and you won’t need the skills of Wolfgang Puck.
- Familiar Ingredients: everything
- Not So Familiar Ingredients: if you aren’t familiar with everything in this dish consider cooking more often
- Number of Pans/Pots you’ll need to make this dish: one rimmed baking sheet, one large wok or skillet
Betcha’ Bradley Cooper has had Lomo Saltado. Or at least he was dreaming about it when his Peruvian hosts presented him with a dinner of fresh guinea pig (if you want to see this event, you’ll have to pay $2.99 to watch it on the Globe Trekker Youtube channel. You didn’t think you’d get to see that for free now, did you?). But hey, protein is protein. Hungry now? Good.
Lomo Saltado is a traditional Peruvian beef stir fry dish served with fries. Think Peruvian steak & potatoes. It is also normally served with rice on the side, but depending on how many carbs you want in your meal, you can include or exclude the rice. For the purposes of following the linked-to recipe I’ve not included rice. BUT, I threw in a tip for dessert at the bottom of the post.
Also, this recipe is from the website Skinnytaste.com, so the author took liberties to cut calories and fat. But fat always adds more flavor, so feel free to double up the oil in the recipe if you want to make the dish richer. Or you can go with a more traditional recipe for Lomo Saltado like this one. Regardless, here are some tips to get you going on this meal.
Beef – The Skinnytaste.com recipe calls for a half pound of lean sirloin steak, and this is perfect for 2 people (the recipe is for two). You can use a more marbled cut of meat if you want, but for the purposes of this recipe sirloin works great. One recommendation I’ll make on cooking; after stir-frying the meat, remove it from the pan and then add it back in at the very end when you’ve turned off the heat. This sliced steak cooks fast, and if you want to maintain some tenderness, removing it will allow you to do that. If you don’t remove it don’t worry, it will still be tasty. The steak is just going to be well cooked. I’m a medium-rare kind of girl, so maintaining a bit of pink is preferable to my palette.
Potato (fries) – The recipe calls for a russet potato, sliced up and mixed with a tiny bit of oil, and baked. Just a warning, this makes for very dry (but low-cal) fries. If you’re dating someone and you’re working towards some health and fitness goals together, these fries are fine. But if you’re looking to impress, put a good coat of oil on these fries before baking (like increase from 1 tsp to closer to a tbsp of oil). Or, just buy some all natural fries from the frozen foods section at your local grocery store. Try and find nicer fries that have the skin on. You can certainly deep fry the potatoes, but this can make your place smell heavily of hot oil, which can overwhelm any of the other delicious scents this dinner creates.
Vinegar & Soy Sauce – Apple Cider Vinegar is called for in this recipe, but if you don’t have that on hand just use another bright vinegar like red or white wine vinegar. Balsamic, while it would still be tasty, will add some sweetness to the dish, which may be unwanted.
Jalepeño – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; wear gloves while prepping jalepeno before your date. You don’t want to end up with a red, inflamed eye because you get capsaicin on your fingers, forget about it, and rub your eyes. And since there’s jalepeno, and thus heat in this dish, I opted to serve a dollop of sour cream on the side. I couldn’t resists adding a little more heat though with some Chipotle Tobasco topping the sour cream.
Fresh ingredients for a fresh meal
Final Note: Since this is a lighter, spicier dish, serve a creamy dessert afterwards. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can top some chocolate frozen yogurt or ice cream with cherry halves, slivered almonds, and shredded coconut for a delicious end to the meal. If you want to serve wine, try a zinfandel. Usually juicier and on the sweeter side, zinfandel is a red that seems to pair better with spicy heat.