Peruvian Hot Potato Salad
Posted by: Jack Fri, 6 Feb 2004, at 10:50 a.m.
From Article in Bergen Record
I find recipes in the strangest places. A few months ago I got a letter saying
that I owed the city $50 because my security alarm went off a few times too many
due to a mechanical failure. I had paid to have the problem fixed, so I didn't
think this was fair. Instead of paying, I went to court.
But the cook in me likes to find inspiration in every situation, so I figured
there must be one great recipe floating around this courtroom.
The foreign couple next to me looked friendly, so I struck up a conversation
with them. It was now 10:30 a.m., and I was starving. Once the topic of food
came up, the words flowed smoothly, and I started to take notes.
Apparently, the gentleman in this couple is the cook in the family. We chatted
about recipes - quietly, so the judge wouldn't eject us from the courtroom.
The gentleman shared a recipe for a potato salad that sounded great. A salad
that is made with little purple potatoes, which can be found in more upscale
produce markets. It looks fabulous when prepared with these. But it will work
with any kind of potato and makes a great side dish.
After much experimentation, I created this recipe using queso blanco or white
cheese. I could not find the kind of cheese my courtmate said he uses in Peru.
He also suggested that I look for Peruvian fresh chili peppers called aji. When
I couldn't find them, I opted for serrano chili peppers that seemed to work
My rendition is probably a bit more refined than the original. You can use feta
cheese in place of the queso blanco, and the salad is good warm or chilled.
Peruvian hot potato salad
2 pounds Peruvian purple potatoes with peels
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 small serrano chilies, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ cup light cream
½ pound queso blanco, crumbled
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
1 head leaf lettuce, cleaned well and torn into bite-size pieces
½ cup pitted black olives, chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, cut into rings
Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 25
minutes until tender. Drain, cool slightly, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in
a large mixing bowl.
Heat oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add onions, peppers,
serrano chilies, cumin, and turmeric. Sauté 3 minutes, until vegetables are
Add sautéed vegetables to potatoes. Add cream, cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix
well and smash potatoes a little while mixing.
Arrange greens on a platter or 6 serving plates. Place warm potatoes over
greens. Sprinkle with olives and eggs. Garnish with onion.