Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I really, really miss this place!

There is a blog that I read, written by a girl who lives in New York. We've never met, and I can't even remember how I found her blog, but I love to read it, because I think that Kathryn is pretty cool and think that if we ever did meet in real life, we might be friends.

Last week, she wrote about exploring the boroughs of New York, and her recent trip to Williamsburg (NY, not VA). I used to live in Williamsburg, loved it, and decided to comment on her post and give her a tip about a restaurant there that I absolutely adore.


Not only did she and her husband and friends go there for dinner (yay!!!) but then she wrote an entire post about it!!!

I feel oh so in-the-know and just simply delighted by this. And my mouth is still watering from the recollection of what you ate. When I told my sister that you guys had gone to eat there, she immediately responded, "Oh, I want some of that rice and green sauce!" You are lucky, lucky people!

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Kathryn!!


Mari said...

sigh. i want to go there with all four of us. fun times and yummy food! dreaming of the amazing sweet rice pudding with cinnamon. divineness!!!

Kathryn said...

I'm telling you, I think you could create the green sauce/rice combo yourself. Maybe. The green sauce is just like Cafe Rio's (right? more or less?) and the rice... what did it have in it? Pinto beans? Cilantro? I don't remember what else, but I bet if we put our heads together we could figure it out. You know, for desperate times.

Yum, yum, yum. Thanks again. We're definitely going back.

Emily said...

Kathryn - I did an intense search on Google, and came up with a recipe. (I've never been to Cafe Rio - can you imagine? I am really starting feel like I missed out by not ever living in Provo!)

Check this out:
Aji Verde From Wandering Chopsticks(Peruvian Green Chili Sauce)

For several dipping bowls of sauce, you'll need:
1 bunch of cilantro
As many chili peppers as you can stand. The recipe generally calls for about 3 jalapenos.
1 clove of garlic
Salt to taste, about 1/2 tsp to start
Olive oil, about 1/4 cup to start
Mayonnaise, about 3 tblsp to start (Substitute with oil and blend until it becomes creamy if you want to keep this more authentic.)
1/4 cup water

Optional: Freshly squeezed lemon juice or white wine vinegar if you want a bit of tang.

Some recipes call for cilantro leaves only, but I threw in the stems as well to add some liquid to the sauce. I know cilantro is an acquired taste, so substitute with iceberg or romaine lettuce if you want a neutral taste but want to retain the green color.

Halve and de-seed the chili peppers. Make sure you wear gloves or thoroughly wash your hands afterward. And don't rub your eyes!

Puree all the ingredients in a blender, food processor, or hand immersion blender. It's like making pesto, start with the basic portions and adjust according to your taste. What worked for me was roughly those amounts. Add mayonnaise for creaminess. You can add water too if the sauce appears too thick. I've seen some recipes that called for white cheese or nuts, but felt those were too strong in taste since the versions of aji sauce that I've liked were light in flavor, with just an undertone of spiciness.
Some recipes included just the basics -- cilantro leaves, jalapenos, salt, oil, and garlic. I wanted my sauce to be a bit creamier and thicker so I added mayonnaise. If you want to be really authentic though, substitute the amount of mayonnaise in my recipe with oil and keep blending until the oil becomes "mayonnaise."

The aji pepper is a type of Peruvian chili pepper, but the word is also used in parts of South America for all peppers. Since I couldn't find aji peppers here, I substituted with jalapenos. I also tossed in several other varieties of chili peppers just for fun.

Obviously, adjust the amount of chili depending on your spicy tolerance. For some reason, when I ate this right away, it had a nice spicy burn on my tongue. But left overnight, it just became a mild green sauce.

As it's a sauce, I'm just giving estimations to start with. Add more mayonnaise or oil to adjust creaminess and thickness until it's to your liking.)

Mari said...

Oh my goodness Emily, so glad you took the time to find and type the sauce recipe for us to create and enjoy. Thank you!