Serving
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Potatoes with Cheese Sauce
Peru
  -   Papas a la Huancaina
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead: 
8 app  
***
1-1/4 hr  
Most
In Peru, this famous dish is called an "appetizer", but I think of it more as a light lunch served with beer. The three garnishes are standard and expected. It can be served either as a buffet dish or made up as single servings for table service. For details see Comments.



2
2
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3
2
7
3
2
1
8
1/4
1/8
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5
1
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lrg
#
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oz
cl
oz
T
T
oz
oz
t
t
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T
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Eggs
Potatoes (1)
-- Sauce
Onion
Garlic
Queso Fresco (2)
Aji Amarillo Paste (3)  
Olive Oil
Crackers (4)
Evaporated Milk (5)
Salt
Pepper
-- Serve Over
Lettuce Leaves
-- Garnish
The Boiled Eggs
Olives, Black (6)
Parsley, flat
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Do Ahead   -   (45 min - 10 min work)
  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.
Make Sauce   -   (35 min)
  1. Chop ONION small.
  2. Crush GARLIC and chop small.
  3. Dice QUESO small.
  4. Heat Oil and fry Onions until translucent, no browning. Stir in Garlic and fry stirring until it threatens to color. Stir in Aji Amarillo Paste and take off the heat.
  5. 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. Line a large bowl or platter with Lettuce. Arrange Potato Slices over and Pour Sauce over them. Sprinkle with Parsley.
  4. Cut Eggs into slices, cut slices in half. Garnish attractively 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Crackers:   Various recipes call for Soda Crackers, Animal Crackers, Cream Crackers, Saltines, etc. I used Maria crackers from Spain.
  5. 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.
  6. Olives:   These could be large purple Alphonso olives which are grown in Peru, or large Kalamatas. For details see our Olives page.
  7. Comments:   This recipe makes up a single platter, suitable for dishing out or for buffet service. This recipe is often served on individual plates for table service. For table service, see the way I have made up Okopa Sauce with Potatoes, a very similar recipe from a different region of Peru. Of course the quantities for garnishes will need to be adjusted. The sauce can be made more than a day ahead - refrigerated in a sealed container it will keep for several days.
  8. 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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