Papas a la Huancaina
2 pounds potatoes – (6 medium) sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 ounces queso fresco – (1/2 cup crumbled) see notes
2 ounces feta cheese – (1/2 cup crumbled)
1 hard-cooked egg – divided
2 saltine crackers – (2 x 2-inch) crumbled
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste – see notes
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
6 iceberg lettuce cups
12 Peruvian black olives packed in brine or kalamata olives – see notes
In 3-quart saucepan, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add potatoes and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; cook, covered, 10 to 12 minutes until just tender. Drain and cool in large bowl, then cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
To make sauce, add milk then cheeses to container of electric blender. Blend, pulsing on and off and scraping sides of container, as needed, until smooth. Add oil with motor running. Add white from half the egg (cover and refrigerate remaining egg), the crackers, aji amarillo paste and turmeric; blend until smooth. Mix in salt, to taste. Cover and chill 1 hour (sauce will thicken as it chills). To serve, mix a little additional milk into sauce, if needed to make a mixture of thick pouring consistency. Pour sauce over potatoes; with rubber spatula, toss gently to blend thoroughly. Divide potato mixture among lettuce cups.
Coarsely chop remaining egg. Garnish tops of salads with egg and olives.
Serving Ideas : Chef Schenk suggests using purple and yellow potatoes for a colorful presentation.
NOTES : *Queso Fresco is a fresh Mexican cheese resembling farmer’s cheese. It is available in Latin markets and some supermarkets.
** Aji Amarillo paste is made from Peruvian hot yellow peppers. It is available in jars in some Latin markets and on the internet at www.grantangolandia.com
***Peruvian black olives packed in brine are available in some Latin markets.