Welcome to the blog for Colgate University's interdisciplinary course on food. This is the place to keep up with what students in the course are experiencing in their work at Common Thread Community Farm and through their everyday encounters with food.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Papa a la Huancaina

While home this past weekend, I had the opportunity to make a traditional Peruvian meal with my step-mom (who was born and raised in Lima, Peru) called Papa a la Huancaina. The literal translation is Huancayo style potatoes. The name derives from the city of Huancayo in the central highlands of Peru, but the dish itself is found throughout the country. Huancaina sauce is creamy in texture and ranges from mild to spicy depending of preparation and preference. Papa a la Huancaina is an appetizer traditionally prepared by serving the Huancaina sauce over a sliced boiled yellow potato on a bed of lettuce, garnished with a hard boiled egg and black olives.

Recipe (serves 4-6 people):
Roughly 20-30 minutes to prepare, cook, and serve


-3 to 4 chile peppers (depending on desired spiciness)
-1/2 cup of diced onions
-2 cloves of garlic
-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
-3/4 cups of evaporated milk
-2 cups or 1/8lb of white farmer cheese (queso fresco/feta cheese)
-4 saltine crackers
-Salt and pepper
-8 yellow or white potatoes
-2 hard boiled eggs
-leaves of lettuce
-8 to 10 black olives


1. Dice the chile peppers and remove the seeds
2. Sauté the onions, garlic, chile peppers for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions become soft
3. Place sautéed mixture into a blender along with the evaporated milk, cheese, and crackers
4. Blend the ingredients until smooth. The sauce should be somewhat thick
5. Add salt and pepper and let the sauce chill to room temperature

6. Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water
7. Drain once potatoes are tender (i.e. can be cut into by a fork/knife)
8. Slice the potatoes and place over a bed of lettuce leaves
9. Pour the huancaina sauce over the potatoes
10. Garnish with slices or halves of hard boiled eggs and black olive halves


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