Huancayo is a fairly large city about 5 1/2 hours outside of Lima, Peru. It was the first city that I went to outside of Lima when I lived there many years ago. The drive is through some very beautiful areas in the Andes. Once there you can enjoy a potato dished called papa a la Huancaína.
Golden potatoes are topped with a creamy sauce that is almost Holandaise-like, but it has a nice spicy kick thanks to aji amarillo. Aji is a somewhat-spicy Peruvian pepper that is a bit fruity in flavor. Papa a la Huancaina is topped with boiled eggs and olives and sometimes corn. It’s a great summer dish that can be served cold or at room temperature.
If you can’t find aji amarillo paste, use pureed habaneros. Papa a la Huancaína has a little kick to it.
Also try some of my other Peruvian favorites, lomo saltado, palta rellena and Solterito Arequipeño (Arequipa Avocado Salad).
Papa a la Huancaína
- 6 yellow potatoes
- 1/2 cup aji amarillo paste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 soda crackers
- 8 ounces queso fresco crumbled
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- pinch Kosher salt
- Iceberg lettuce
- black olives sliced
- 3 eggs hard-boiled, peeled, sliced
- parsley for garnish
- Peel the potatoes.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Add potatoes and cook until just soft. Do not over cook. Remove, drain, and run under cold water. Drain again. Slice thick.
- Place aji, oil, crackers, cheese, milk and salt into a blender and process until creamy smooth.
- To assemble, lay down a few leaves of lettuce.
- Top with the potatoes and drizzle heavily with the sauce.
- Add the olives and eggs.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
Nutritional values are approximate.