Serving
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Potatoes with Cheese Sauce
Peru
  -   Papas a la Huancaina
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead: 
8 app  
***
1-1/4 hr  
Yes
This famous potato dish from Peru is excellent for buffets because it is served cold or at room temperature - but for buffet I skip the lettuce to make it easier for guests to scoop out.



2
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2
1
1-1/2
2
3
6
2
1/4
1/8
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2
5
1
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#
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oz
cl
oz
T
oz
oz

t
t
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T
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Potatoes (1)
-- Sauce
Onion
Garlic
Chili Aji (2)
Oil (3)
Evaporated Milk
Queso Fresco (4)
Saltine crackers
Salt
Pepper
-- Serve Over
Lettuce Leaves
-- Garnish
Eggs, hard cooked
Olives, Black (5)
Parsley, flat
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Prep   -   (45 min - 20 min work)
  1. Boil POTATOES in their skins until just done through. Let cool. When thoroughly cold, peel off skins and slice 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick
  2. Boil EGGS fairly hard. Peel and let cool thoroughly.
  3. Chop ONION small. Crush GARLIC and chop fine. Peel the skin off the CHILI and chop small. Mix.
  4. Dice QUESO small.
Run   -   (20 min)
  1. Heat Oil and fry Onion mix until Onions are translucent, no browning. Set aside to cool.
  2. Run Onion mix along with Evaporated Milk in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Add Queso, Saltines, Salt and Pepper to the processor and run to a smooth fairly thick but pourable sauce - it has to work its way down through the potatoes. Adjust as needed with more Saltines or Milk.
  4. Line a large bowl or platter, or individual serving bowls, with Lettuce. Arrange Potato Slices over it. Pour Sauce over Potatoes.
  5. Cut Eggs into slices and pit OLIVES. Garnish with the Eggs and Olives and sprinkle Parsley over.
  6. Serve cold or at room temperature.
NOTES:
  1. Potatoes:   Since the kinds of potatoes used in Peru are not much available in North America, most recipes just say "Potatoes". I have seen one by a person actually from South America that specifies medium Russets. One gourmet site calls for yellow potatoes (Yukon gold type, not used in Peru) or purple Peruvian potatoes, but I think purple would clash with the other colors. For the photo example I used Red potatoes, which slice well. Choose potatoes of moderate size as large ones tend to split in the center. For details see our Potatoes page.
  2. Chili Aji:   The proper chili in Chile is the yellow Aji Amarillo. Those are still nearly impossible to get fresh in North America, even here in Los Angeles. Aji Amarillo paste is quite easy to find in Latino markets, whole Aji Amarillo in cans and jars can also be found, and a few markets have bags of them frozen. Any of these products will work in this recipe. If you don't have any of these, some suggest an orange Habanero - similar flavor but waaaay hotter. The quantity given here would be about 3/4 large frozen Amarillo. I'd go for a whole on, but you have to use your own best judgement as to how much. for details see our Aji Amarillo page.
  3. Oil:   Recipes are rather non-committal about the kind of oil, except one who calls for Corn Oil - but he calls for Corn Oil for everything - maybe he gets royalties from ADM. I suggest Pure Olive Oil (healthier), but not Virgin which has a stronger flavor.
  4. Queso Fresco:   This is a soft white cheese available in disk shaped packages in any market serving a Mexican, Central or South America community.
  5. Olives:   These would properly be large purple Alphonso olives which are grown in Peru. These are fairly available in better deli departments, but if you can't get them use large Greek Kalamata olives. For details see our Olives page.
  6. 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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