Papas a la huancaina

26 Jun

In this Peruvian salad, thick slices of potato are blanketed in a delicious spicy cheese sauce and teamed with hard-boiled eggs and olives.

It all plays very nicely together, and unlike the Peruvian team it is in with a chance in our World Cup 2018 cook-off.

The huancaina sauce is definitely the star of the show. It tastes like you hope that nasty yellow nacho cheese sauce is going to taste (and never does).

I’d never heard of aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chili pepper) and was intrigued when I read that they smell “a bit like a raisin… with hints of passion fruit and mango” and impart “a unique flavor to any dish.”

I ordered some online, and was  impressed with the complex fruity heat it imparted. I think the sauce would be nice (if different) with other chili powders.

The first time I made the sauce, I made it too thick. It was like mayonnaise, and I ended up spreading (not pouring) it over the potatoes before taking the photo.

I then discovered that it is easily thinned to the ideal consistency with a splash of milk. Live and learn…

The recipe is adapted from this one on the Fresh Tastes website.

Papas a la huancaina
(serves 4)

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 200g feta cheese, cubed
  • 170g tin evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp aji amarillo (or other) chili powder (or to taste)
  • 4 soda crackers, crumbled
  • about ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • 100g lettuce leaves or baby spinach
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • a handful of pitted olives, sliced
  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until they can be pierced with a sharp knife. Drain, cool, peel and slice thickly.
  2. In a food processor, blend together the feta, evaporated milk, turmeric, chili powder and cracker crumbs until smooth.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the sunflower oil until the sauce thickens to the consistency desired. (If it becomes too thick, you can thin it again with a splash of milk.)
  4. Spread the lettuce or baby spinach leaves on a serving platter.
  5. Arrange the potato slices on top, then pour over the huancaina sauce. Top with sliced egg and olives and serve.

Family score: 8.75 out of 10

2 Responses to “Papas a la huancaina”

  1. Yana June 27, 2018 at 9:06 am #

    I can not wait to try it, sounds wonderfully intriguing 🙂

    • Andrea June 28, 2018 at 9:21 am #

      I love it when I discover something new like this yellow chilli powder. I imagine the sauce would still be great with regular chili too x

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