It’s 5am and I’m awake writing this, trying to forget about the cold that has blanketed this city in the last week, making me go back and forth with the heating, restless nights being the result.
For those of you with young kids in school who get up at these unnatural hours every single day, get them dressed and pack their lunches, you’re my heroes and I feel for you, falling asleep at night before ten, unable to see the end of a movie on tv. Really, I don’t know how you do it every single day.
Another Vintage Mondays around here, this time with a peruvian potato salad (a.k.a Papas a la Huancaina). I took aliberty with the translation in english because there really isn’t one. And the ingredients can’t all be included in the title. That said, I only discovered this easy dish recently.
Peruvian cuisine has gotten a lot of attention in the last years here, or decade?, and it’s a good thing it has, being it so interesting. Full of fishy stuff I might add, which I told you a week ago how I don’t like; at the same time, that barrier I have with all things that come from the water, always leads to food that most people overlook, going straight to the tried and true, the stars of the menu. I have to work my way around it, pondering here and there if the only appetizer without fish is good enough as a main course, or maybe order the salad extra large.
This peruvian potato salad is really not the kind of dish you find at a fancy place.It’s such a common meal, according to my friends from Peru, that there are as many recipes as grandmothers, all claiming to be the real one. The idea of the best recipe is highly overrated, so this is my version of it, barely adapted from a very well known cook here.
There are two ingredients that make it different, queso fresco (soft fresh cheese) and a yellow pepper paste, but not the regular large peppers we all know, brother to the green and red, no, this is a small orange-yellowish one, similar to the jalapeño in size. Me? I buy it already made in the asian market of all places, along with the sriracha and lemongrass.
I do give you a link to a homemade recipe, because I know you’re dying to make another condiment, and though it’s still very early, in spite of my being in front of the screen for the past hour, I’m in a sharing mood after my first cup of coffee is almost gone. Coffee is my sole companion this morning.
About queso fresco, which is as common here as fruit flies hovering over bananas in summer, there are usually two versions, one that is softer, sort of a firm cream cheese consistency, and the one I used here which is more similar to a hunk of firm ricotta, and can be crumbled. I use the last one, because when all ingredients go into a blender, it’s good to use a cheese that will blend before sticking to the bottom.
There are two kinds of potatoes too. Did you see the gorgeous yellow/red ones? The flavor is slightly more bitter and less creamy than regular one but basically the same; they add a nice touch, more festive, and a simple potato salad acquires more of an identity.
Now, since it’s Monday it’s fair to say you’re expecting some awesome links, food and otherwise.
And I will share those of course, not the least because two days ago it was Friend’s Day here, a tradition that was started years ago, and though it makes me cringe a little like valentine’s day does due to all the commercial nonsense that gets in the way, not to mention the hoards of blanket texts (as we say here, which means a text sent to a list of names) which end up being simply annoying. If you’re my friend and are happy about it, call me. Or at least send me a personalized text.
But I digress, as usual. Or not. Since you are my group of virtual friends. And I love every moment I spend with you on cyberspace. You’ve opened up a new window in my life, and it gets filled on a daily basis with nothing but amazing experiences.
So here are some food and other-stuff nominations, a lot from my recipes-to-try pinterest board:
Red Currant Meringue Cake from The Kitchen Lioness
Apricot, Almond and Pastry Cream Tart from Sweet Lab
Chapati Bread from Masala Herb
Green Spaghetti from A Cozy Kitchen (a peruvian recipe)
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from Eat The Love
Triple Chocolate Baked Doughnuts from Hip Foodie Mom
Chinese Scallion Pancakes from My Trials in the Kitchen
Persian Pistachio Baklava from Ahu Eats
25 Spice Mixes from The Kitchn
How to Dry and Preserve Herbs from Bon Appetit
Compare Fonts on your screen, from Typetester (Awesome!)
Absolutely inspiring and creative! 100 Logo Designs from Pixel Tuner
What are you Anchor Habits? from Life Ohm
Random pics to make you laugh, from The Bored Ninja
For dog lovers to see on a boring monday
Some more random pics, many stupid ones, to make you laugh some more. It’s monday, the whole week’s ahead of you, from Dump Day
Peruvian Potato Salad
Yield 4 servings
- ½ an onion
- 6 Tbs yellow pepper paste (homemade recipe)
- 9oz (250g) queso fresco
- ¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil + a few Tbs extra
- ½ cup milk
- 4 eggs, hard boiled
- 2 pounds assorted small potatoes, skins left on
- ½ a lime
- Chopped fresh parsley, to serve
- In a skillet, sautée onion in a few Tbs olive oil over medium heat, until starting to get golden.
- Add the pepper paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender, add queso fresco, milk, salt and pepper to taste, and ¼ cup olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add lime juice and check seasonings, adjusting if necessary.
- Add the rest of the olive oil if you want a thinner consistency.
- Meanwhile, cook potatoes in large pan of salted water. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, add the lime juice and a couple tablespoons olive oil, toss and let cool.
- Put eggs in cold water with a sprinkling of salt (this prevents the white to escape in case the egg shell breaks while cooking), and cook for 10 minutes after it starts to boil. Drain, rinse in cold water for a few minutes and peel.
- Potatoes and eggs can be made in advance if you want a cold salad.
- In a serving bowl put potatoes and add some of the pepper sauce. Toss.
- Add some more sauce, sprinkle with parsley and arrange the eggs, cut into quarters, around the edges of the bowl.
- Serve with a bowl of extra sauce drizzled with olive oil if you want.
adapted from Dolli Irigoyen, via elgourmet.com