Potato cake

The potato cake is another classic dishes from Arequipa. It is an entry that is popular to eat in picanterías to accompany the stuffed rocoto, but can also be eaten alone. In Arequipa this dish is eaten with sauce llatán of rocotos.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of white or yellow potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound queso blanco cheese, or other semi-firm, white, salty cheese like farmer’s cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preparation

Peel the potatoes and slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with water. Slice the onion into 4 pieces and add the pieces to the water, along with 1 teaspoon salt, the peeled garlic cloves, and the anise seeds. Bring the water to a simmer and cook the potato slices until they are just barely tender.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and set them aside until cool enough to handle.

Place the evaporated milk, corn starch, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter and spread the butter with a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Slice the cheese into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Place a layer of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the casserole, and cover them with a layer of sliced cheese. Repeat with more layers of potatoes and cheese until the casserole is full, pressing down on the layers to fit them in snugly. End with a layer of cheese slices.

Pour the milk mixture over the layers of potatoes and cheese. Top the casserole with the grated Monterey jack cheese and the grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover the casserole with a piece of foil and bake until the casserole is bubbly and hot, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more until the top of the casserole is golden brown.

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