Baseball, Aji & Budin


The beating, nay the massacre that took place last night at Fenway, once again beaten by the Yankees, in an incredibly undignified and embarrassing fashion is sad, depressing, frustrating and anger inducing. Frankly, it’s pretty much over for us. No team has ever come back in post-season from a 3-0 position. The pitching staff was ravished last night. Sure I believe in miracles and hope. I must. I am a Red Sox fan after all. I am a mixed bag of emotions. As a Bostonian would say, I’m wicked pissed off. Angry because the better team should have been the Sox. Angry because the members of Red Sox Nation have been mislead again. Our team has once again disappointed. The better, and richer team is most likely going to the World Series, again. I can’t believe this has happened again.

Last night a table of friends celebrated C’s birthday with dinner at the newly re-opened Limon restaurant. Executive chef and owner Martin Castillo, opened Limon with his family about two years ago to great success. It was small with about 40 seats. What he calls Peruvian-Nuevo Latino caught on big and he’s opened a larger more contemporary place just around the corner seating a guestimate of 100. The kitchen is open, and loud. The place is filled with hip and stylish San Franciscans. It’s a great to do.

We sat upstairs as we were a large party of 20. Please remember your 7th grade science principle of heat rising and dress accordingly. Also the searing of dried peppers and the less than palate-inducing odor that is emitted wafts upward in the heat. All of this aside it was a great celebration.

Peruvian dishes nearly always are some combination of rice, potatoes, chicken, pork, lamb, and fish. Most of these meals include one of the different kinds of “aji”, or Peruvian hot pepper, which mainly are yellow aji pepper, red aji pepper, red rocoto pepper. There are many hybrid characteristics in Peruvian due to the countries immigrant history. An Italian influence can be seen with the use of pasta and Asian-style rice is almost ubiquitous.

We started with papa a la huancaina, potatoes served on a bed of lettuce with an aji amarillo cheese sauce and olives; calamares fritos, deep-fried calamari with chipotle aioli and sesame seeds; ceviche Limon, ceviche Limón, a mix of seafood marinated in lime juice, served with yam, Peruvian corn and mussels and finally, chicharon de pollo which consisted of bits of chicken marinated in garlic and deep fried, served with salsa criolla and lemon vinaigrette.

As a main course I had lomo saltado, a traditional Peruvian dish of top sirloin slices sautéed with onions, tomatoes and sweet potato fries, served with a side of rice which JC, my dining neighbor generously doused with Peruvian adresso cream sauce. She was enjoying picante de mariscos and was raving about the adresso cream sauce. “You must find a recipe and make this for us!” she gushed. What are friends for if not to share!

Dessert was an assorted mix–chocolate bandido, warm chocolate cake served with dulce de leche ice cream; arroz con leche, rice pudding, served with raisins and cinnamon and budin de durazno
peach bread pudding, served with caramel sauce. This last selection was not overly sweet and a great complement to the heat and textures of the meal.

In between delighting in the dishes we discussed last week’s debate, the future of the two-party system, Boston sports, the Olsen Twins. We decided the depth of each party is summed up in the musicians supporting each party. On the left REM, Bruce Springsteen, to name a few. On the right, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears, who was quoted on CNN saying “I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens,” Spears told CNN in September.

A fun celebration of food, friends and talk. I think it was best that I was out with friends and checking the score via web phone rather than suffering at home alone. It’s time to let it go and move on. After all, we have the New England Patriots who have rewarded us greatly of the past few years as Super Bowl champs and have a consecutive win record that is impressive.

RIP Red Sox. It’s wicked ov-a. Sigh.