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Papas a la Huaincana (Spicy Cheese Potatoes)

Papas a la Huaincana is an original side dish from the upper city of Huancayo in Perú. The dish consists of sliced and boiled yellow potatoes covered in a melted mix of queso fresco (fresh white cheese), ají amarillo (yellow peppers), garlic, evaporated milk, lime juice, and crushed saltine crackers.

While this dish isn’t particularly gorgeous to look at, you can bet it’s delicious. And of course, cooking it does have its complexity.

Ideal as an appetizer, the Papas a la Huaincana is a great for familiar reunions or for those nights you have one of those spicy food cravings. You can make this appetizer in less than 30 minutes. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 yellow potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 4-6 saltine crackers
  • 8 oz. of queso blanco (white cheese)
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of ají amarillo (Ají paste also works)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs in slices
  • Parsley

Preparation Instructions:

  • Making Papas a la Huaincana is quite easy, the toughest part is finding that sweet spot where the cream sauce is just perfect. You can make it extra spicy, or less creamy. It’s a matter of personal taste.
  • Peel the potatoes and make 4 slices each.
  • Boil the potatoes (15 minutes)
  • Boil 2 eggs and cut them in a half.
  • Put the ají amarillo in the blender, add the vegetable oil and the evaporated milk along with the saltine crackers, and the queso fresco. (While most people would use a blender, you can also use a fork or a mortar for an extra lumpy texture. You can also use cream cheese if you like.)
  • Set a plate with the potatoes and cover them generously with the sauce.
  • Garnish with the hardboiled eggs, and parsley.