Recipe: Papas a la Huancaina

This recipe is a popular Peruvian festival dish that comes from the town of Huancayo.

No need to serve anything else with it (except maybe a frosty beverage), as it is a hearty meal all by itself.

Papas a la Huancaina

6 small-medium red potatoes, similarly sized
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, sliced thin
¼ cup natural chunky peanut butter
¼ cup vegetable broth, warmed
¼ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup diced sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
½ cup nonfat small-curd cottage cheese (if you can’t find small-curd, use a food processor to smooth it out)
3 roasted red chile peppers, peeled and cut into thin strips
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
6 large red oak lettuce leaves, rinsed and kept chilled
½ cup chopped roasted peanuts

Place 6 eggs in a large saucepan and cover with water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a hard boil and then remove from the heat. Cover the pan with a lid and let stand for 17 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to keep them cold while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Scrub any dirt off of the potatoes. Place them in that same large saucepan and cover with water to 1 inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender. Remove from the heat and drain. Return the potatoes to the saucepan and cover to keep warm.

Alternatively, you can bake the potatoes for approximately 45 minutes at 400 degrees F. The choice is yours. I prefer mine baked, personally.

Heat the canola oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the sliced green onions and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add the peanut butter and vegetable broth and stir to combine. When the peanut butter has completely melted, add the cumin, lemon juice, and cheddar or jack cheese, stirring until completely melted. Do not let the sauce burn; turn down the heat if necessary. Once the cheddar or jack cheese has melted, stir in the cottage cheese and the roasted red chile peppers. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and cracked black pepper as needed.

To assemble the dish, place one potato on one lettuce leaf. Make 2 slices to form an X in the top of the potato and open it. Cut one hard-boiled egg into quarters and place the quarters around the potato. Top the potato with the hot cheese sauce and garnish with the chopped roasted peanuts. If the lettuce leaf is large enough, this can be eaten like a wrap.

Yield: 6 servings

For fresh, quality, naturally-grown cumin and black pepper used in this recipe, visit MySpiceSage by clicking on the banner below:

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