Papa a la Huancaina (Huancayo style potatoes)
The northern Peruvian region of the Amazonas and San Martin may be remote, but the gastronomy — influenced by the likes of the Spanish, Polish, Germans, and Italians, to name a few — is still accessible. This particular recipe for “papa a la Huancaina” is made with potatoes (papa) and a sauce that is thought to be from Huancaio. Chef Paul, of the hotel Tambo Sapalanchan, notes about this recipe that the aji verde is a green chili pepper when picked from the plant, but it’s ready to be used in the kitchen when it turns orange! (He also notes that you can make this recipe with salty biscuits, instead of hard-boiled egg yolks).
Discover even more exotic and delicious dishes with a trip to the ruggedly beautiful northern Peru with our Culinary Journey into the Amazon cooking vacation.
_Serves 8 people_
* 4 hard-boiled eggs
* 6 ajies verdes (which translates to green chili pepper, but they’re actually orange, not green)
* 1/4 kilo (around 9 oz) fresh cheese
* 1 kilo (about 2.3 lbs) cooked white potatoes
* 8 black olives
* Lettuce leaves for the decoration
* Milk and olive oil
* Salt and pepper
* Fresh lime juice (optional)
(IMPORTANT: Before getting started, put on gloves, especially when working with the chili peppers! If you don’t have gloves, wash your hands very thoroughly, as the “spice” tends to stay on your fingers).
1. Remove the seeds and the veins of the chili pepper to make the sauce less spicy. Depending on your sensibility of “hot,” you might want to boil the chili peppers with a little sugar several times to take of the spice. Cut the chili peppers in small pieces.
2. Cut the fresh cheese in small pieces; measure out the milk, olive oil and lemon juice, according to your preference.
3. Put the hard-boiled egg yolks (not the whites), along with some of the chili peppers, into the blender and start mixing. Add the milk, olive oil and lemon juice, as well as the salt and pepper. Taste to see if you’d like it spicier. If so, add more of the chili peppers. The sauce should be medium consistent.
4. Put the salad leaves on your presentation plate (or one leaf per plate for individual serving).
5. Cut the cooked potatoes into slices that are finger-thick and place 1 – 2 slices of potato per salad leaf.
6. Cover the cooked potatoes abundantly with the Huancaina sauce. As a decoration, add half of a boiled egg and one olive. (You can also use the egg whites that are not used, and cut them very small). Enjoy!