Victoria Kaufmann

Spicy Chicken Peruvian Style

Serve over steamed white rice or use as a filling for tarts.

2 carrots 2
2 stalks celery 2
1 leek, white and light green part 1
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts 6
(about 2 lbs/1 kg)
5 slices white bread, crusts removed 5
1/2 to 1 cup evaporated milk 125 to 250 mL
3 tbsp finely ground unsalted peanuts 45 mL
(or other nuts or peanut butter)
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
1 onion, diced 1
1/2 tsp hot yellow pepper paste (see Tip) 2 mL
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
1/2 tsp chili powder 2 mL
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes 2 mL
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 125 mL
salt and pepper to taste
dried oregano, ground cumin and curry powder
to taste (optional)

Cut carrots, celery and leek into large chunks. Place in a shallow pot, with 4 cups (1 L) cold water. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Add chicken; reduce heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from broth and let cool. Strain broth, discarding vegetables and reserving broth. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in bowl, soak bread with enough of the evaporated milk to moisten completely. Let stand for about 15 minutes or until completely soaked, adding more of the milk as necessary. With a fork, mash nuts into bread mixture until fairly smooth paste forms. Set aside.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, mince very fine. Set aside.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, yellow pepper paste, garlic and half of each the chili powder and hot pepper flakes, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in chicken and the bread mixture along with the remaining chili powder and hot pepper flakes. Stir in some of the reserved broth and cook until chicken is hot. Add more broth as necessary to make a creamy consistency (about 1-1/2 cups/375 mL). Reserve remaining broth for another use.
Stir Parmesan into skillet and season to taste with salt and pepper. Season with oregano, cumin and/or curry powder if desired. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Tip: Hot yellow pepper paste is a Peruvian condiment and can be found in stores with South American products. If unavailable, substitute Sambal Olek or another hot chili paste to taste.

Causa a la Limenia

8 oblong baking potatoes 8
(about 4 lbs/2 kg)
salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes
and chili powder to taste
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp (approx.) olive oil 30 mL
Salsa Criolia (recipe follows)
Avocado slices, tuna salad, green olives
and/or small cooked shrimp

Peel and rinse potatoes and cut into chunks. Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash until almost smooth. Mash in salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes and chili powder to taste. Mash in lime juice and enough olive oil to make smooth sticky enough to hold potatoes together in a ball.
When cool enough to handle, shape potatoe mixture into 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) balls and place on a platter. Garnish as desired. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Salsa Criolia (Marinated Onions)

Serve as a condiment for Causa a la Limenia, Rice and Beans or other dishes.

1 small white onion, shredded 1
Half red onion, shredded Half
1/4 tsp salt 1 mL
1/4 tsp chili powder 1 mL
Dash hot pepper flakes Dash
2 tbsp olive oil 30 mL
2 tbsp red wine vinegar 30 mL

In bowl, combine white onion, red onion, salt, chili powder, hot pepper flakes, oil and vinegar; toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Makes about 1 cup (250 mL).