Papa a la Huancaína (Potatoes the Peruvian way)

My Mom is Peruvian so I pretty much grew up eating this dish, and it may not look very appetizing but it’s delicious! When my friends would come over to visit my Mom would make this dish and it was always a hit, then they always end up asking me for the recipe, so here it is.

You can pretty much find this dish in just about any Peruvian restaurant in the world. Papa a la huancaí­na is a cold starter made with boiled potatoes served on a bed of lettuce. The potatoes are covered in a creamy, spicy huancaí­na sauce made with fresh, white cheese (queso fresco) and ají­ (amarillo). The dish is garnished with black olives and hard-boiled eggs.

Here in Italy and in the USA it’s hard to find the real cheese and chiles used in Peru, so I am going to give you the recipe that my Mom finalized and that is the closest to what the real thing is.

Ingredients:

Potatoes*

500 gr. Ricotta cheese

1/2 garlic clove

1 small can evaporated milk*

1 small pk. (5-6) saltines crackers

2 fresh chilis*

Vegetable oil (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup)

Salt to taste

Hard boiled eggs

Black olives

Lettuce leaves

Boil your potatoes and eggs when ready drain from water and let rest.

To make your sauce, grab a blender and put in your garlic, chilis, some cheese, saltines and milk blend and continue same procedure until all ingredients are finished and blended. you want the consistency to be thick but still pourable that is why they use the oil because it helps the sauce to thicken, I suggest starting with the 1/4 cup and then moving up from there if need be.

Put a lettuce leaf on the plate add a potato sliced in 4 cover the potato in the sauce and then finish decorating with half an egg and one olive.

* Potatoes: Make as many as you want, and you may serve peeled I personally like my potatoes with the skin still on it.

* Evaporated milk: If you can’t find substitute for regular milk

* Chilis: Optional

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