Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Anticuchos with Roasted Yellow Pepper Sauce (Peruvian Beef Kebabs)

Anticuchos are beef kebabs popular in Peru and other parts of South America, where the skewers are often sold from street carts and food stalls.  Gardein's cubed beefless tips (sold in the freezer section) are the perfect size and shape to make these tasty skewers vegan. 

There are two components to tonight's post: the kebabs themselves, and a vibrant yellow pepper dipping sauce to serve on the side.

For the Roasted Yellow Pepper Sauce:
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground aji amarillo*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 minced garlic clove
1. Cut the bell pepper in half lengthwise and discard the seeds and membranes.  Place, skin sides up, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and flatten with your palm.  Broil for 15 minutes, until blackened.  Transfer the pepper halves to a zip-top plastic bag and seal; let stand for 15 minutes.  Remove form the bag, peel off the skins, and coarsely chop.

2. Combine the bell pepper in a blender with all the remaining sauce ingredients.  Process until smooth.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (about 2 and 1/2 tablespoons), Calories 55

And now moving on to the kebabs...

For the beefless tips:
  • 2 (9-ounce) packages Gardein beefless tips, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground aji amarillo*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
For the fiery rub:
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground aji amarillo*
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Cooking spray
1. Combine all the ingredients for the beefless tips in a large bowl.  Cover and chill for 3 hours.

2. Combine all the ingredients for the fiery rub except the cooking spray in a small bowl.  Set aside.

3. Divide the beefless tips evenly among 6 skewers, and press the fiery rub onto the beefless tips.  Cook the kebabs on an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan coated with cooking spray for 6 minutes, turning over halfway through. 

Serve with the Roasted Yellow Pepper Sauce.

*For authentic taste, I do recommend seeking out aji amarillo, a spicy yellow chile; I purchased a jar through  If you can't find it, however, hot paprika is your best bet as a substitute.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 kebab, about 2 and1/2 tablespoons sauce), Calories 188 

Tasting Notes:
Incredible!  And yes I'm aware that a good part of that is due to the amount of salt.  Although I wouldn't recommended that much sodium on a daily (or even weekly!) basis, you must try this recipe at least once.  The smell of the spices will make your mouth water before you even take a bite, and then the flavor pop is amazing - very spicy, as expected from a recipe that includes a "fiery rub," but in a perfect way, not an overpowering way.  The Gardein beef is juicy and tender, and the saltiness and spiciness of the rub had a pleasing crunch.  The yellow pepper sauce was also wonderful; a touch vinegary, but spicy and salty with hints of sweetness, and just perfect over the Gardein.  My husband asks me to include, "That was a 5."  Indeed.


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