But moooooommmm... I need to Pio Pio!!!

Posted by Jimmy | | Posted on 10:02 PM

So I'm back from NY and I have so many stories.  I can't fit it all in one blog.  In fact, I think you'd have to meet up with me to hear them all!  So give me a call and hang out with me!   What??  O.k. Here's one food story for you!  
My first weekend in NY my cousin Lillian who is the mastermind behind Sweets By Sillianah invited me along to meet a few of her Foodie friends in NY.  I met a married couple Andrea and Jeff who blog on High Low Food Drink, I also met Justin who owns Just Cook NYC and Hazel who blogs on Tasty Pursuits.  

I've never meet an online foodie in real life before.  Sure, I've met people online during my MMORPG days, but this is different.  We actually have something other than video games to talk about!  FOOD!!  We went to Pio Pio and they had this delicious Peruvian Roasted Chicken with a creamy green sauce that tasted spicy, salty and so fresh!   There were so many discussions going on around the table, but the one thing that kept popping up was.  What's in this green sauce? 

On the train ride home, i told my cousin that I think I can duplicate the sauce and she challenged me to do it.   So I figured, Let's just look to see if it's online first.   There were some versions of it and some of them looked good while others didn't.   Some post a chimichurri as the "light green sauce", WRONG COUNTRY PEOPLE, while others were just baffled.    I found one that looked fairly close and I tried it.  My recipe is an adaptation from a lady at Serious Eats

The first challenge was to find the Aji Amarillo and the Cotija cheese.  It's a pepper indigenous to Peru and the cheese is in every Mexican market there is.   So off I went to the local Mexican supermarket to see if they had it.  I love the Mexican market.  Their produce is at large and in charge!  Look at the size of the jalapeno and Roma tomato!!  (I have big hands)

I'm used to Safeway(fresh and expensive) and Chinese(cheap and sometimes not so fresh) supermarkets so the Mexican market is somewhere in between.  Fairly fresh produce for fairly cheap prices.  One thing you need to understand is, I love food shopping. I wander around the Mexican market like I'm in another country. I was all starry eyed as I was feeling, touching, smelling everything in the market.   I got so involved in food shopping that I missed my golf tee time!!!
Here's a picture of the Peppers and the Cheese:

Here's My Recipe:
  • 1 Large jalapeño, including seeds and ribs
  • 1 whole Aji Amarillo Pepper (the store didn't have paste)
  • 10 sprigs cilantro leaves and stems, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cotija cheese 
  • 2 medium garlic cloves 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Squeeze of Meyer Lemon (I forgot to buy limes =( )
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix everything in a blender except the mayo and blend the crap out of it.  If it's not blending well, add more vegetable oil.  Once it's fairly smooth add the mayo and blend the crap out of it again until you have a smooth texture.
I must say that this recipe comes pretty close to what I tasted.  I know, I know  Jalapenos and Cotija isn't Peruvian, it's Mexican, but it's not a bad substitute.  Is it exactly like Pio Pio's?  No!  I would have to have the two sauces side by side to decide that.  
 
It tasted so good though, I decided to make a steak sandwich and pan sear some chicken on the spot to eat with it.  Can you say, "Food Coma?" 

Chuck Steak Sandwich with Cilantro,
Roma tomatoes and lettuce





Pan seared chicken breast with
Peruvian green sauce


























Thanks for reading - Jimmy

Comments (3)

Lovely to meet you and great job on figuring out the sauce! Will definitely keep this in mind the next time we need a Pio Pio sauce fix!

Thanks Andrea! You definitely should try it. It's real easy and requires no cooking =)

how have i never seen this before?! it was nice meeting you.

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