We are so thankful to be supported by all of our friends and family – financially, emotionally, and spiritually! So to honor you and to show you how excited we are to be able to fulfill our dreams of becoming missionaries, we hosted three different events: at Brighton Church of Christ in Brighton, Michigan, at Laurel Church of Christ in Knoxville, Tennessee, and at Winchester Church of Christ in Winchester, Tennessee.
These events were to show you a little about why we fell in love with the people that live in Peru and how we felt that God was pushing us toward his Church there. We began our events with a meal of more traditional Peruvian food that you can find if you come to visit on a campaign! Rotisserie chicken with aji verde (green spicy sauce), Papa a la Huancaína (potatoes and a cheesy spicy sauce), green salads, chicken empanadas, salchipapas (hotdogs and French fries mixed together), fruit and tres leches for dessert. Additionally, we brought back Chicha Morada (which we affectionately call purple corn Kool-Aid) and Inca Kola (some people think it tastes like bubblegum soda) from Peru.
After we finished eating, Mitchel shared the story about our first visit to Peru and how we felt that there was nothing better that we could be doing on Earth than to work for the Church in a place where there are extremely few Christians. Then we played a really awesome game that Rachel put together to teach a little about Peruvian culture and geography! When we were finished, we took many questions! If there is anything that you would still like to know, feel free to leave a comment, and we will answer you! The question you may have, might be someone else’s who doesn’t feel comfortable asking!!
Finally, we wanted to share some recipes from our Dinners with you! A lot of people seemed to really like the chicken empanadas, the two different sauces, and tres leches!!
Recipe for Chicken Empanadas
- 1 box refrigerated pie crusts
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1 4.5 oz can diced green chilis
- 1/2 cup Tomatoes with green chili, drained I used Rotel
- 1/4 cup diced green onions
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese, shredded cheese, green chilies, tomatoes with green chilies, green onions, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
Unroll one pie crust on a lightly floured surface.
Using a 3-inch biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Re-roll dough as needed.
Repeat using both pie crusts in package.
Lightly brush the outer edge of each round with water.
Place one heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of each round.
Fold dough over the filling and press edges together with a fork to seal.
Repeat with remaining rounds and mixture.
Place the empanadas on baking sheet and light brush the tops with beaten egg.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Note: We used rotisserie chicken because it is already seasoned and delicious! We also used the top of a mason jar to cut out circles in the pie crust to make the perfect sample size. This recipe should make about 24 miniature empanadas.
Recipe for Aji Verde (the green sauce)
- 2 fresh jalapeños, including seeds and ribs, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon aji Amarillo paste
- 1 cup freshly picked cilantro leaves and small stems
- 2 tablespoons grated cotija cheese or Parmesan cheese
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine jalapeños, aji amarillo, cilantro, cotjia, garlic, oil, vinegar, and lime juice in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth paste forms. Add mayonnaise and blend until homogenous. Transfer to a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with grilled chicken. Unused sauce can be stored in a covered container for up to 1 week.
Note: Aji amarillo paste is a hot yellow pepper paste from peru. It can be found in Latin specialty stores or ordered online. If unavailable, it can be omitted.
– We also doctored the sauce since we served it to a large group of people: we seeded one of the jalapeños, and added more cheese, garlic, and mayonnaise to cut the heat.
Recipe for Huancaina Sauce (the yellow cheese sauce)
- 2 tablespoons aji Amarillo paste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 saltine crackers
- 8 oz queso fresco (farmer cheese)
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- Salt to taste
In a blender, add the aji amarillo paste, oil and evaporated milk, crackers, farmer cheese and salt. Process until creamy.
Note: We used Mexican Cheese since we couldn’t find queso fresco at Walmart and added more saltine crackers to thicken it up a little.
– Traditionally this is served on boiled potatoes, but since we were serving to a large group, we put it on mashed potatoes. Enjoy however you want!
Recipe for Pastel de Tres Leches (Tres Leches Cake)
For the cake:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 9 eggs separated
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
For the milk mixture:
- 1 ounces can evaporated milk 12
- 1 ounces can sweetened condensed milk 14
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
For the topping
- 2 cups cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Generously grease two 8×8 non-stick square pans or one 9×13 pan.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, pour in egg whites and beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
- In another mixing bowl, pour in egg yolks and beat on medium-high speed until creamy and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add egg yolks to egg whites, stirring gently so as to not deflate.
- Add flour mixture to the egg mixture folding in gently so as to not deflate.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and cook for 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- While the cake is in the oven, mix together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, and vanilla.
- Remove the cake from the oven and turn out the two pans onto separate trays with a rim. Cut off edges if desired.
- Using a fork, generously poke holes all over in the top of the cakes.
- Pour the three-milk mixture onto the HOT cakes, half on each cake, letting it soak in as you are pouring. Make sure to pour around the edges.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or until serve time.
- Beat the fresh whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until very thick and spreadable.
- Spread the whipped cream onto the cake(s)and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve cold.
Note: We noticed in Peru that they pour coffee on their Tres Leches! If you haven’t tried it that way and are a coffee lover, we really suggest that you do!