Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ocopa a la Limena

OcopaImage by Yogma via Flickr

Back in November, I posted the recipe for one of my favorite 'entradas', papas a la huancaina. But there's another dish that I love, very similar, called ocopa. Now, I have discovered that there are different kinds of ocopa - ocopa, ocopa a la Arequipena (Arequipa style), and ocopa a la Limena (Lima style). The kind I've learned to love is the Lima style. It's delicious creamy and with a peanut flavor that's a real switch from the typical food here.

Now, to be honest, when I'm cooking at home I usually take the short cut and buy a pack of Provenzal Ocopa mix - quick, easy, just mix it with milk and oil and it's ready to go. But, if you do want to make it from scratch, it's not that much more difficult.

1 kilo (2 pounds) of papa amarilla, boiled and sliced into half inch rounds (Yukon Golds work great for this)
500 grams of onion, diced
100 grams vanilla cookies (vanilla wafers will work)
50 grams of queso fresco (ricotta, feta or farmer's cheese can substitute)
50 grams of peanut, chopped into very small pieces.
5 ají verde, de-seeded
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
evaporated milk

1) In a frying pan with a tbsp. of oil, saute the garlic, the onion and the aji until the onion is translucent and everything is soft.

2) Put the onion mixture in the blender or food processer, and blend together with the cookies, the cheese, and the peanuts. You don't want to over-blend, just until you have a creamy sauce that's slightly thick. If it's too thick, add evaporated milk until you get the right consistency.

3) Serve the potatoes on a bed of lettuce, and spoon the cream sauce on top. Decorate with black olive slices if you'd like.

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