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papas huancaina

Papas a la Huancaina

From: Chef James Schenk, Destino, San Francisco, CA. Yield: 24 servings.

8 oz. queso fresco
8 oz. feta cheese 
1 cup evaporated milk
2 hard cooked egg whites
4 large soda crackers  (available in Latin grocery stores, or substitute 8 saltine crackers and season with slightly less salt)
4 Tbsp. aji amarillo (Peruvian hot yellow pepper) paste 
1 tsp. turmeric
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
as needed, salt
9 lb. medium potatoes
24 iceberg lettuce cups
48 Peruvian black olives (packed in brine) or kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

In a blender container, process queso fresco, feta and evaporated milk until well-blended. Add egg white, crackers, aji amarillo paste and turmeric. Process until blended. With motor running, slowly add oil. Season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Sauce will thicken upon standing.

Place potatoes in large pan with 2 Tbsp. salt and cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain and refrigerate until cool; cut into ¼” slices. Fold potatoes and sauce together with a rubber spatula. Cover and chill before using. Yields 8 cups.

For each serving, to order: Spoon ¾ cup potato mixture into a lettuce cup and garnish with olives.

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