Peruvian Potatoes With Cheese And Peanut Sauce (Ocopa a l'Arequipena)



10 servings



1 lb. medium-sized shrimp, shelled, deveined, and cooked
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 lb. mild Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup skinned peanuts, ground
1 cup minced onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 OR
more yellow chili peppers, seeded and minced
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
Milk or
Ground soda crackers if needed
10 soft lettuce leaves
10 hot boiled potatoes, peeled
10 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved
10 OR
more black olives


Put all but a few cooked shrimp in a blender or food processor, setting the remainder aside for a garnish.

Blend or process until shrimp become pastelike. Pour in oil; blend briefly. Add the cheese, peanuts, onions, garlic, chili pepper, oregano, and salt. Blend and puree ingredients until a thick sauce (the consistency of peanut butter) results. If sauce is too thick, thin out with small additions of milk. If sauce is too thin, thicken with small additions of ground soda crackers. Sauce may be served warm or at room temperature.

Place lettuce leaves on 10 dinner plates. Set hot potatoes on top of the lettuce. Surround with eggs and olives. Pour 1/2 cup sauce over each serving, garnishing with the reserved shrimp.

Author's Comments

Ocopa a l'Arequipena-This side dish of potatoes coated with a peanut-flavored cheese sauce is one of many classical Peruvian dishes. It dresses up ordinary potatoes beautifully. Use one, two, or more chilies, depending on how hot you want the sauce.

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