Feb 13, 2019

Papa rellena (stuffed potato)


  • 1 Kg of potatoes
  • 1/2 Kg of diced or minced beef meat
  • 1 diced red onion
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons of ají panca paste (Peruvian red chili pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 6 black olives in thin slices
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Flour
  • Enough oil to fry the potatoes
  • 100 g of raisins (optional)
Preparation: Cook the potatoes in a pot with boiling water until they are tender (around 20-30 minutes depending on the type of potato). Peel them while hot and mash them immediately adding salt to taste. Keep them covered while cooking the filling.

In a saucepan heat the olive oil over high heat, add the onion and garlic stirring for 2 - 3 minutes until the onion and garlic are golden. Add the ají panca and cumin, cook for 1 minute stirring frequently. Add the meat, tomato, salt and pepper to taste, mix well and stir until the meat is cooked. Cover and let it cook for 2 minutes over low heat. Add the hard-boiled eggs, olives and optionally the raisins. Mix well, turn off the heat and keep it cover.

With floured hands, take a portion of the potato dough and flatten it between your hands, not too thin but you should still be able to mold it and close it. With a spoon put a portion of the filling in the center of the potato round. Close it with your fingers and give it a round or ovoid shape. Once it is closed, cover it with flour and reserve.

Fry in a hot pan with hot oil until the potatoes form a thin golden and crusty layer. Turn them around every now and then to make sure every side gets golden. Once fried put the potatoes over a paper towel to eliminate the excess of oil.

Serve while hot with salsa criolla and hot sauce, and white rice if you wish.

Salsa criolla o sarza criolla (onion salad)


  • 1 medium red onion finely sliced
  • 1 ají amarillo (Peruvian yellow chili pepper) or rocoto in thin slices and without seeds (you could try to replace it with jalapeno pepper or red bell pepper)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 table spoon of chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1 medium size tomato in dices (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper

Put the sliced onion in a bowl, cover with cold water and let it rest for 10 minutes. Strain thoroughly. Add the ají amarillo or rocoto, the cilantro or parsley, tomato and lime juice. Add salt and black pepper to taste and mix carefully.

You can use it immediately or put it in the fridge for up to an hour. It is a perfect companion for tamales, papa rellena (stuffed potato), fried fish, butifarra or chicharrón sandwich (deep fried pork sandwich).

Jan 7, 2019

Chochoca (cornmeal soup)


  • 1.5 cups of cornmeal
  • 1 kg or beef meat in big pieces
  • 150 g. of chalona (salted dried lamb meat - this is hard to get so you can skip it if unable to find it)
  • 1 finely chopped celery stalk
  • 1 finely chopped leek
  • 1 cup of chopped daikon
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped white cabbage
  • 4 potatoes in pieces
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of aji colorado paste
  • 10 cups of hot water
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 cup of chopped yerba Buena (mint)
  • Salt

Put the cornmeal in a small bowl and add 2 cups of water and mix thoroughly. Reserve.

Heat the oil in a big pot. Add the onion, garlic, aji colorado and cumin, and cook stirring frequently until the onion is translucent. Add the meat, chalona, celery, leek, daikon and salt to taste, and fried for a couple of minutes stirring frequently and flipping the pieces of meat so all sides looked cooked. Add the hot water and bring it to a boil. Add the potatoes and cabbage and half of the yerba buena. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Add the cornmeal mix slowly, stirring frequently. Add more salt if needed. Let it cook for 5 minutes.

Serve hot and sprinkle it with some yerba buena.