Dish of Ocopa with Garnishes
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Ocopa Sauce with Potatoes
Peru
  -   Ocopa
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead: 
8 app  
***
1 hr  
Most
In Peru, this famous dish from Arequipa is called an "appetizer", but I think of it more as a light lunch served with beer. Just the word "Ocopa" presumes Ocopa Sauce served over Potatoes, with the three garnishes that are so standard I've not seen a photo that didn't include them. This recipe makes 2-1/2 cups of the sauce. See also Comments.



2
4
1-1/2
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5
2
7
2
2
3

1
1/3
1/4
12
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a/r
2
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#
lrg
oz
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oz
cl
oz
T
T
T

oz
t
t
oz
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T
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Potatoes (1)
Eggs
Peanuts raw (2)
-- Sauce
Onion
Garlic
Queso Fresco (3)
Olive Oil
Aji Amarillo Paste (4)  
Huacatay Paste (5)
The Roasted Peanuts
Crackers (6)
Salt
Pepper
Evaporated Milk (7)
-- Garnish
The Boiled Eggs
Olives, Black (8)
Parsley, flat
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Do-Ahead
  1. Hard cook EGGS and peel them for garnish (see our recipe Boiling Eggs for the best method).
  2. Boil POTATOES in their skins until just done. Chill well for slicing.
  3. Dry pan roast PEANUTS until lightly browned. For details see our recipe Dry Roasted Peanuts. This will take about 10 minutes.
Make Sauce   -   (35 min)
  1. Chop ONION small.
  2. Crush GARLIC and chop small.
  3. Dice QUESO small.
  4. Mix Aji Amarillo Paste and Huacatay Paste.
  5. Heat Oil and fry Onion until Onions are translucent. Stir in Garlic and fry stirring until it threatens to color. Stir in Aji Amarillo Paste mix. Take off heat.
  6. Load all Sauce items except only half the Condensed Milk into a Food Processor or Blender. Process until smooth adding just enough Evaporated Milk to make a thick but quite pourable sauce (it has to both coat and run down through the potatoes). If it gets too thin, add some more crackers.
Serving   -   (20 min)
  1. Peel Potatoes. Slice 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick
  2. Chop PARSLEY small.
  3. Arrange Potato Slices and Pour Sauce over them. Sprinkle with Parsley.
  4. Cut Eggs into wedges. Garnish with the Eggs and Olives.
  5. Serve cool or at room temperature.
NOTES:
  1. Potatoes:   In Peru, "Yellow Potatoes" are used, but these are not the same as the "Yukon Gold" so often called for by recipes in English. Since the Peruvian variety is not much available in North America, I use Red Potatoes or White Rose, which would be no more "unauthentic" than Yukon Gold. The most important consideration is that they slice well (admittedly, Yukon Golds do slice well). Choose potatoes of moderate size as large ones tend to split in slicing. For details see our Potatoes page.
  2. Peanuts:   Dry Pan Roasting produces peanuts that are different from commercially roasted in appearance, texture and taste. Use commercially roasted peanuts only if you have to.
  3. Queso Fresco:   This is a soft white cheese available in disk shaped packages in any market serving a Mexican, Central or South America community. Any plain soft white Queso Fresco can be used.
  4. Aji Amarillo Paste:   Fresh or frozen Aji Amarillos could be used (fry with the onions). We call for the Paste because it's much more available in North America, and is often used in Peru. It can be found in markets serving a South American community or on-line. For details see our Aji Amarillo page.
  5. Huacatay Paste:   Fresh Huacatay leaves can be used, but we call for the Paste because it's far more available in North America, and is often used in Peru. It can be found in markets serving a South American community or on-line. For details see our Huacatay page.
  6. Crackers:   Various recipes call for Soda Crackers, Animal Crackers, Cream Crackers, Saltines, etc. I used Maria crackers from Spain.
  7. Evaporated Milk:   This is an unsweetened product. Do not mistake Condensed Milk for Evaporated Milk. That product is like liquid candy. I use a brand without Oil.
  8. Olives:   Three or four per serving. These could be large purple Alphonso olives which are grown in Peru, or large Kalamatas. For details see our Olives page.
  9. Comments:   This recipe makes up plates for table service. For buffet service, see the way I have made up Potatoes with Cheese Sauce, a very similar recipe from a different region of Peru. The sauce can be made more than a day ahead - refrigerated in a sealed container it will keep for several days.
  10. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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