The humble potato takes on an almost magical place in Peruvian food. Potatoes are one of the key ingredients in most Peruvian dishes and it is used in many form with all kinds of meat and vegetables.
One of the most well-known dishes is Papa a la Huancaína. This dish, which is rich with cheeses, is named after Huancayo, Peru, located in the highlands of the country. However, most suggest it originated in Lima. This recipe is unique in the combination of items assembled for it. It begins with yellow potatoes and adds both cream cheese and queso fresco, a Mexican cheese, to it along with olive oil, chile peppers, onions, and olives. Other items, including evaporated milk, garlic, salt, pepper, corn and hard boiled eggs are included.
The potatoes are boiled. The real magic is in the sauce. The sauce is a spicy, creamy mixture called Huancaína sauce. The dish is served as an appetizer in both everyday and holiday meals. This dish is certainly a staple of Peruvian cuisine and is often taken on trips and picnics.
Typically, Papa a la Huancaina is served cold over lettuce. The eggs, corn and olives are garnishes. In some families, saltines are also used with the dish.
La Costanera Restaurant celebrates Papa a la Huancaina in all its tradition. Chef Carlos Altamirano, a native of coastal Peru, created this and other dishes using traditional techniques, authentic ingredients combined with a modern flair that makes fusion food a rainbow of Peruvian flavors. La Costanera is located on Montara Beach, not far from San Francisco and includes the Pacific Coast atmosphere from its perch over the ocean. You will enjoy this appetizer as the start of a fabulous meal.