Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mangiamo Gringos!

* Note to self - When cooking rocoto peppers in Peru and de-seeding them yourself, wear gloves, do not touch your face, and do not let the juice squirt in your eye when slicing.

Yes, I have been cooking again. No, I do not have full use of my hands, due to the extra-extra-extra-hot little black seeds inside. It feels about on par with the pain I felt when Tom gave me niacin pills that make you feel like your whole body is on fire... or when I was injected with poison by that sea urchin in Maui. I remember the remedy for that, but even though I have been working with these people in Pisco for several days, I am still a little bashful about asking anyone to pee on my hands. (There was no cure for the niacin thing except time.) Rocoto peppers look similar to red bell peppers, only spicier, and their seeds are little black balls of fire often used in ceviche, but sparingly. So what was I doing, you ask. Well, today was my last day on the job in Pisco, so of course I took the afternoon off of rubble duty to cook an Italian feast for my coworkers. (I know, there are no rocotos in Italy, but give me a break.) I have cooked family meal before at Buca di Beppo, but that was easy. Today, it was dinner for 60-70 tired workers from more than 10 different countries with big appetites. I had three big pots, no oven, and two dull chef knives. Here was our menu:

Bruschetta with tomatoes, basil, and garlic
Fagiolini Limone (green beans with fresh lime juice)
Penne Marinara
Penne with butter and fresh cheese
Chorizo with rocoto, onions, and garlic

This was my first time cooking with two French sous chefs! Actually, they do not cook, but were happy to cut my tomatoes for me. It was a nice dinner, AND, AND... READY BY 6:30! If I have ever cooked for you, you realize what a feat that is.

Stay tuned for my Pisco wrap-up when I get my photos back. I really have only touched the surface of this situation, but I wanted my visual aids to assist. Now off to find some sort of ointment... tsssssssssssssssssss!

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