This delicious Peruvian sauce is traditionally served as an appetizer with boiled potatoes, hard boiled egg, olives and lettuce, however, it can be use for garnishing any meat dish or as a dip for cocktail potatoes, bread, chips or crackers... its use is only limited by your imagination.

Every Peruvian will have his/her own recipe for this sauce, so there are many variations, so feel free to adapt and create your own too!

INGREDIENTS:

- 120g of yellow chili ground (paste)

- 100g of onions (one small to medium onion)

- 2 garlic cloves

- 100g of 'fresco' or feta cheese (can be salted or unsalted, just adjust the salt accordingly)

- 250ml (1 cup) of milk (UHT or pasteurized because you won't cook it)

- 2 or 3 packets of crackers (or saltine crackers)

- Vegetable oil

- Salt and pepper

PROCEDURE:

Chop the onions and the garlic in relatively large slices, it does not matter too much as they will go later to the blender.

On a frying pan pour some vegetable oil (3 or 4 tablespoons) and heat.

Once the oil on the pan is hot put the chopped onions and garlic along with some salt and pepper (half a teaspoon of salt and a sprinkle of pepper would be enough) and saute them until the onions start to become golden (meaning they are getting cooked). At this point incorporate the yellow chili ground (paste) and continue cooking for 1 minute or 2, you will note a slight change in the yellow colour of the chili as it gets hot and cooked. Stop the heat.

On a blender incorporate the cooked mix from the pan, the cheese and milk and blend until getting a uniform yellow fluid paste.

At this point the mix should be very fluid and it is the time to adjust the salt, and if you want the huancaina to be more hot spicy you can add more yellow chili if you wish... so taste your mix and adjust as you wish.

The last ingredient to incorporate in the blender are the crackers, which function is to 'thicken' the sauce to the desired consistency (the consistency of a dip or mayonnaise). Using saltines is a good idea because they have salt, so they will not alter the saltiness of the sauce. Crash the crackers and incorporate them 2 or 3 at a time in the blender, then blend for a while and check the consistency).

Let the huancaina sauce cool down and store it in the fridge. As it cools down it may become thicker than you expected, don't worry, just loosen it with a bit of milk and stir with a spoon.

PRESENTATION:

As an appetizer, serve some potato slices over a leaf of lettuce covered generously with the huancaina sauce. Garnish with olives and hard boiled egg slices.

As party finger food, present the sauce as a dip in a bowl, and provide plenty of boiled mini-potatoes, crackers, celery or carrot slices, toasted bread or mash potato balls... use your imagination... we can assure you that your guests will get addicted and will not be able to stop dipping whatever is available in this Peruvian delight. Enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 beef heart

- 1 cup of vinegar

- 1/2 cup of ground panca pepper

- 4 garlic cloves

- 1 tea spoon of ground cumin seeds

- 2 tea spoons of salt

- 1 tea spoon of pepper

- 2 spoons of dry minced parsley, coriander or mixed herbs

- 1 cup of vegetable cooking oil

 

PREPARATION OF THE HEART:

Using a sharp knife, clean the heart from any fat, skin, arteries and hardenings, leaving only the clean muscle.

Chop the heart in squares from 1 to 2 inches, 1/2 inch thick and put the pieces in a bowl.

Using a mixer, blend the vinegar, panca pepper, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin into a fluid paste.

Pour this paste on the bowl with the heart and the crashed parley/coriander too. Mix well and let the heart marinate for at least half an hour. You can leave this mix to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or over night too.

 

AT THE GRILL:

Remove some of the marination from the bottom of the bowl and dilute it in cooking oil. You will use this mix to baste the anticuchos on the grill.

Submerge some bamboo skewers in salted water for a while. This is to avoid them to burn on the grill.

Make sure the grill is very hot because anticuchos should be cooked very fast at a very high temperature.

Pierce 3 or 4 pieces of heart on the skewers so that they can be laid flat on the grill.

Place your anticuchos on the grill, baste and turn them around to cook from the other side. It should not take more than 2 minutes per side to be ready as anticuchos are better in medium or medium-well term. They will become hard if overcooked.

Be generous with the basting. There will be same flames coming from the grill while basting, that is all normal.

Serve 3 or 4 skewers per portion and accompany with grilled potato, corn and chilli.

Anticuchos should be eaten hot and quickly while they are still juicy, they will turn cold and dry if you wait too long.

TIP: It will be easier (and more fun too!!) if you get some of your friends and family around you in the grill in a sort of "production and distribution line"... in such way everyone will get their anticuchos fresher... and a chaotic Latino party spirit will be generated... ;-)

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 cup of pisco

- 1 cup of lime juice (yes, lime, the green and very sour one!)

- 1 cup of ice

- 8 table spoons of sugar

- 1 egg white

- Angostura bitter (optional)

 

PREPARATION:

Traditional Pisco Sour is made by hand in a shaker... one drink at a time... this is nice and kool if you are a bar tender or you have one at your party... but if you are by yourself at home and you want to impress your guests with this fantastic cocktail just use this lazy's approach and use an electric blender.

Put all the ingredients in the blender except the Angostura bitter.

A practical tip is to use the cups markings of your blender: fill up to '1 cup' of pisco, then up to '2 cups' of lime juice, and then up to '3 cups' of ice cubes. Then just incorporate the egg white and the sugar.

Blend intensively, you will notice a lot of foam will be created, this is all good, that is exactly the idea!

 

PRESENTATION:

Pour your mix in the glasses of your choice, don't make them very large as although the cocktails are sweet and easy to drink, they still contain a lot of alcohol.

Just add a few drops of Angostura bitter to each glass. This would add a subtle touch of flavor, but it is optional if you struggle to find this bitter.

Just enjoy... it won't be long before you are requested to make another round... at this point you will be very happy of having chosen the blender instead of the shaker method ;-)

 

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