Salsa Huiancana, secundo

Another attempt at cheesy, chile sauce for potatoes.

the first attempt was based on a recipe from a Peruvian cookbook. I’ve adapted this a few ways, one of which was toasting some of the ingredients first as they do in Mexico.

Ingredients:

3 mirasol peppers, seeded & stemmed
2 frozen aji amarillo, thawed, seeded & stemmed
1/2 C walnuts
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
200 g (7 ounces) feta cheese
1/3 C achiote infused oil
1/2 tsp huacatay (black mint) paste

1. heat a cast iron pan on medium heat. Toast the mirasol peppers on both sides until they are fragrent and grow dark.
2. toast the garlic cloves, turning them periodically until the skins are blackened and the cloves are soft. Remove, peel, keep handy.
3. toast the walnuts – careful not to scorch them.
4. soak the mirasol peppers in hot water until they’re softened. I left them overnight.
5. drain the peppers but reserve the soaking water.
6. in a blender (if you have one) or by other means, add all the ingrendients with about 1/2 of soaking water. Blend to a smooth paste.

makes about 3 cups.

good as chip dip. There isn’t as much heat as I was hoping.
toasting the garlic mellowed it some. Raw garlic was too powerful.
the balance between cheese & aji is better.
huacatay paste is pretty strong. I could have used more, but didn’t want to risk overpowering everything.

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