Thursday, March 05, 2015

Meatless Recipe for Lent - Peruvian Papa a la Huancaina

This is a traditional Peruvian dish.  It is called Papa a la Huancaina because it comes from Huancayo in Peru.  It can be served as an appetizer or a light lunch.  But it can also be served as an entree.  The following is a combination of my mother's and my auntie's recipe.


4 large potatoes, preferably Yukon Golds, boiled and peeled, sliced lengthwise

2 cups of cheese such as Queso blanco (Puerto Rican white cheese) or cottage cheese.
2 tsp or to taste Peruvian yellow pepper paste known as aji amarillo.  There really is no substitute for this delicious tasting chili paste.  It will be available in markets that sell Peruvian food products.
1 small onion, minced finely
OPTIONAL 1 tsp. Turmeric powder. NOTE:  This is where my mom's style of making this dish differs from my auntie's method as my auntie does not use Turmeric.
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt to taste
Peruvian black olives, Greek Kalamatas can be substituted
Lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1 boil egg per person

If you are using Turmeric, heat a small skillet and add the oil.  Then add the onions and fry one minute.  Add the Turmeric and fry for another minute.  Set aside.  This can be added to the cheese along with the other ingredients.

In a bowl, add the cheese, the Aji Amarillo, the lemon juice and onions.  Mix well or run the cheese and other ingredients through the food processor if a smooth blend is preferred.  Taste to adjust the heat level of the yellow pepper paste and salt content.

To serve:  Line a platter with the lettuce leaves.  Lay the potato halves on the lettuce leaves.  Pour the cheese mixture over the boiled potatoes.  Garnish with the boiled eggs and olives.  Minced parsley can also be used to garnish.

Serve cold.

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