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When I was a kid, my grandma was the cook in the home except for one item. This one item was my mom’s specialty and something we awaited each time she made it, Papa a la Huacaina. I never knew what went into it, which is funny cause at the time I had sworn off cheese (I would even refuse pizza- my how things have changed!) and this delicious appetizer is made primarily of cheese. It can be made with either feta or queso fresco, which is my preference. Since I started making these Peruvian treats for my family as a way to infuse my Peruvian heritage in my home, I have shopped almost everywhere to grab the right ingredients. The one constant I have seen, and use, is Cacique cheese. I use it in everything from huacaina sauce, to quesadillas and more. We always have some in our fridge so it seemed fitting for me to join their Auténtico Cheese Society. The first 20,000 members who sign up to the Auténtico Cheese Society will receive a welcome package with $5 in coupons and every month, 125 members will be randomly selected to win a free cheese coupon. I don’t know about you, but for me, this is a win! Sign up today and if you get a coupon, use it to create my Papa a la Huancaina recipe below.
Papa A La Huancaína
Makes 4-6 servings
6-8 boiled potatoes
2 hard boiled eggs
Lettuce (Romaine or Iceberg)
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup aji amarillo paste
2 cloves garlic
1 16oz Cacique Queso Freso package
4-6 saltine crackers
1 cup evaporated milk
Salt to taste
- Boil potatoes. They are done when you can stick a fork in them and they slide off easily.
- Remove from boil, and under cold water, peel hot potatoes carefully. They peel easiest like this.
- Set aside and refrigerate for about 2-3 hours.
- Hard boil eggs, when ready also chill in fridge.
- In a pan, add about 2 tbsps of oil and once warm, add onions, garlic and aji amarillo paste. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes only to soften the onions a bit. You DO NOT want them caramelized or burned, just softened. Set aside to cool for about 10 mins.
- In a blender, add onion mixture, evaporated milk, and cheese. Blend until smooth, then add 4-6 saltine crackers. More crackers for more thickness (sauce will thicken upon standing as well, so don’t throw too many in). Salt to taste. (You can place sauce in fridge and serve cold or at room temperature)
- Cut up potatoes into 1 – 1.5 in slices, and slice eggs also.
- On a plate, place your lettuce down and sit your sliced potatoes on the lettuce. Pour sauce on top. Add slices eggs and olives.