Causa Peruana: A Scrumptious Potato Starter
Peruvian cuisine is trendier than ever before! Peruvian dishes are absolutely delicious from starters to desserts. The combination of foods brought by the Spaniards during the colonial period with foods native to the Americas created the unique features of Peruvian food. Potatoes are some of those foods indigenous to the Andean South American regions that include Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile. Therefore, their presence in many Peruvian dishes is very common.
The name Causa comes from the Incan word ‘Kausaq,’ which means, “that which gives life.” Causa is a hearty dish usually served as an appetizer. Causa can be made with a variety of filling being chicken, shrimp and tuna the most common and the Ají Amarillo (South American hot yellow chile pepper that is used in many traditional dishes) provides just the right amount of kick.
I love Causa for its creaminess, combination of flavors and textures, not to mention the colorful and mouth-watering plate presentation once it’s assembled. Here I have an easy and delicious cause recipe, I’m 100% you’ll love it!
Ingredients & Method (Yield: 8 – 10 Servings)
- 3 – 4 lbs yellow potatoes (about 7 -8 medium potatoes)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of Ají Amarillo paste (more can be added for a spicy dish)
- 3 limes, juiced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- 1 ripe avocado
- ¼ cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the potatoes in boiling water until soft. While potatoes are cooking, season shrimp with salt and pepper, seat aside. Heat oil in a non-stick large skillet, add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, cook for an extra minute and add the shrimp. Cook shrimp for a total of 5 – 6 minutes, or until pink, season with salt & pepper. Peel potatoes and mash them thoroughly. Add salt, pepper, Ají Amarillo, butter, milk and lime juice until mixture is creamy (add more milk if needed). Lightly grease a round cutter, press half of the mashed potato mixture. Cover with avocado slices. Press a second layer of the potatoes. Cover with a layer of shrimps. Top with the last layer of potatoes. Garnish with parsley leaves.