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Papa A La Huancaina


I made this appetizer in my Peruvian Cooking Class in Lima. In the interest of saving time, the chef had pre-boiled the potatoes and eggs for us. The dish is a relatively heavy appetizer, since it is potato based with a creamy cheese sauce, so it’s a pretty strong start to a meal. Some of the ingredients may be tough to find in US markets, like aji amarillo or Peruvian cheese. I haven’t tried to look for these yet, but I think the aji can be replaced with local chilis and the cheese with feta or queso fresco.

Follow this dish up with Tiradito and Aji de Gallina for a full Peruvian meal!

Papa A La Huancaina

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
(the original recipe is in metric, so I’m giving approximate US measures since you can adjust recipe to taste)

  • 4 large potatoes or 8 small ones, boiled until easy to slice; and then sliced

Sauce:

  • 3 yellow chilis (aji amarillo) or 100g (3-4oz) of chili purée
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100g (3-4oz) diced onions
  • 8tbsp vegetable oil
  • 160mL (5-6oz) evaporated milk
  • 160g (5-6oz) Peruvian cheese or a substitute
  • 48g (1.5oz) crackers
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • salt to taste

Decoration:

  • lettuce leaves
  • boiled egg
  • black olives

Directions:

Clean chilies (open, remove white parts and seeds). In a  saucepan, fry the garlic, onion and chili with 2 tablespoons of oil.

Put content of the saucepan into a blender with the remaining oil and purée. Add cheese and continue blending. Add milk, soda crackers, lemon juice and salt and purée.

Decorate 4 plates with a salad leaf, cut the potatoes in slices of about 1.5cm and put them on or next to the leaves. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and decorate each plate with a quarter of an egg and and olives.

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