Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For both recipes below, you can use red chillies if yellow ones are not available.

Causa a la Limeña

Serves 6-8

1.5kg starchy potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
3 yellow chillies (ají amarillo), seeded, deveined & finely chopped
sea salt & cracked black pepper
250g canned tuna, drained (or shelled prawns)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 avocadoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, minced
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
chopped flat-leaf parsley
lettuce leaves
pitted black olives
lime slices
large red chilli, sliced lengthways

Boil potatoes in salted water.
Peel & mash with lime juice, oil, chillies, salt & pepper until smooth.
On platter, flatten out half mixture to about 1 inch thick, shaping it into a circle (or oval).
In layers add mayonnaise, tuna/prawns, avocado & onion.
Cover with remaining potato, smoothing top & sides.
Garnish & serve in slices like a cake.
Note: you can also make smaller individual causa. This dish is usually served as an entrée.

Ají de Gallina

Serves 6

2kg whole chicken
6 garlic cloves, 4 minced, 2 whole
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, peeled & cut into 4 pieces
sea salt & cracked black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 red onions
6 yellow chillies (ají amarillo), seeded, deveined & chopped finely in blender with little oil
5 slices white bread, soaked in milk & squeezed
2 tbsp walnuts (or pecans), finely chopped
50g parmesan cheese
1kg potatoes, boiled salted water & peeled
1kg cooked rice
pitted black olives
3 hard-boiled eggs, halved

Boil chicken in water with whole garlic cloves, bay leaf, carrot, salt & pepper until tender.
Remove chicken from broth & set aside 1 cup strained broth.
Remove skin & bones from chicken & shred meat into medium-size pieces.
Heat oil in large saucepan & stir fry minced garlic, onions, chilli, salt & pepper until onion is clear & soft.
Add bread & half reserved broth, stirring well till bread dissolves.
Add chicken pieces, walnuts & parmesan, mixing well.
Check texture - sauce should be creamy - & add more broth if needed.
Check salt levels & add more if needed.
Serve with rice & sliced potatoes & garnish with olives & eggs.

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