A week ago, I got tired of playing kitchen Jenga in my overcrowded pantry. Deciding to clear the decks, I went through every can and bottle, checked expiration dates, and relined the shelves. While there weren’t as many items to throw away as I’d feared, there were enough to make me feel more than a little ashamed and wasteful. I hate throwing away food to the core, and there’s no excuse for it. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Aji Amarillo’
Summer seems to be about buying fresh ingredients and getting out of their way – charring and grilling, chilling and serving. Though suitable for the time and the produce available, I still miss getting lost in my kitchen and was looking for a project when I decided to try a variation on Peruvian causa I’d seen on Yanuq. In addition to the usual mashed potatoes, lime juice, and ají amarillo, pureed beets are added to the mix, making it all go pink – a potato salad in Batman technicolor. Read more
I am grounded. So completely grounded. Scheduled to return to New York just after Christmas, my flight was canceled because of the blizzard and I’m still in Miami. Desperate to get back in the sno-globe, I spent hours refreshing the Continental Airlines app to check flights and badgering Ask Alex – the virtual “expert” on their site – with questions. Only getting back canned answers and unhelpful links, she’s become my sworn enemy. Still, there are worse (and colder) places to be stranded and I don’t mind having more time with Christmas leftovers. A couple of weeks ago, I made salsa a la huancaína over yuca frita. With piles of yuca left over from Nochebuena dinner, I thought it would be a good time to post the recipe (now that I suddenly have all the time in the world). Read more
I’ve been wanting to try this second causa recipe, stuffed with chicken for awhile. I was finally got my hands on bottled ají amarillo, the Peruvian peppers that are key to so many recipes but are difficult to find in New York. Though usually served cold, roast chicken wrapped in yellow potatoes then slathered with cheese and lightly browned, seemed like the perfect early fall comfort food. I’m always a little skeptical that it’s going to work, but the pureed potatoes combined with oil and peppers become a perfect kind of molding clay so the only difficult part is stopping yourself from playing with it incessantly so it has time to chill.
I was curious when I read Katie Workman’s post in The Daily Beast about the rivalry between Peru and Chile over the potato’s origin. I asked my aunt, who has lived in Lima enough decades to put down her own roots, if it was true. When I received an all caps email from my usually soft spoken aunt, I knew not only was it true, it was serious. I could see why countries would fight over it. Comforting and generous, potatoes lend themselves to almost everything. Regardless of its origin, I was curious to know what Peruvians did with them. She directed me to a friend’s website, Yanuq, an extensive source for traditional and contemporary Peruvian recipes and ingredients. I started looking at recipes for causas, mashed yellow potatoes seasoned with aji amarillo, lime juice, and oil and then stuffed with anything from octopus in olive sauce to chicken and beets. Deciding to start picnic simple, I chose the causa de atún, a jelly roll or brazo gitano style loaf filled with tuna, tomatoes, and avocados. Despite a wide market search, I wasn’t able to find the Peruvian aji amarillo but followed a suggestion on eGullet to use habaneros soaked in milk as a substitute. Still, my market search did bear fruit since I found fresh chirimoyas instead with the sticker declaring them the product of Chile. I wonder what Peru thinks of that? Read more