Papas a la Arequipena (Peruvian)

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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4 chiles anchos
2 tsp. achiote oil
6 medium Idaho potatoes
juice of 1 lime
1 cup olive oil
8 leaf lettuce pieces
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, and chopped
2 eggs, hard boiled
1 tsp. salt
2 corn ears, cooked
1-1/4 cups walnut pieces
1/2 cup black olives (Calamata type)
4 oz. feta cheese


Remove the stems from the ancho chiles and shake out the seeds. Roast each pepper until toasted, then soak the peppers in warm water for approx 20 minutes.

Boil the potatoes in their skins until tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. In a food processor, add half of the olive oil with the garlic, jalapenos, salt and ancho chiles (reserve the liquid from the anchos). With the motor running, add half of the walnuts and enough of the reserved pepper liquid to make a smooth puree. Add the remaining oil, half the cheese and blend again.

Chop the remaining walnuts coarsely and crumble the remaining cheese. Combine with the puree, then add the black pepper and season to taste. Peel the potatoes and put them through a ricer, then add the achiote oil and lemon juice. Whip into a smooth puree.

Place the lettuce leaves on a serving platter and mound the potatoes in the center. Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with the cilantro and surround with the sliced eggs, corn (sliced vertically) and olives.

Recipe from The Ballroom in NYC.