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South American Recipes

by Ava Pereira, photos are provided courtesy of Viva Bolivia

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Fricase (Pork Stew)

4 pounds pork loin cut in pieces
2 cups chopped onions
2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 T. parsley
½ T. cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
2 small sprigs of mint
1 T. ground chili powder
( if available use the yellow ground chili powder from Bolivia)
Several boiled potatoes

Cover meat with water and a little salt. Let boil for a while and then add all other ingredients, except potatoes and hominy. Let cook until onion disappears and meat is well done. It should have a lot of soupy juice. Serve in bowls with wedges of peeled, boiled potatoes *and drained hominy added.

*Usually it is served with chuno, which is a freeze-dried potato. You can make chuno at home by putting raw potatoes in the freezer until they shrink and dry. They will turn almost black. Then they must be washed, soaked overnight, peeled and pounded so that they break up into little pieces before cooking. Boil in water about 15 minutes. On the Altiplano, the potatoes are set outside overnight to freeze in the cold, dry air. This is an acquired taste and you may be happier with just regular boiled potatoes.

Chuno Puty

This dish is made with the dehydrated potatoes (chuno) see above and served as a side dish.

Scramble 2 eggs in oil, add l cup of white, fresh cheese and l pound of cooked chuno. Mix well.

Peanut Soup

8 soup bones with meat, either lamb or beef
2 liters of water
l cup raw peanuts, ground in blender with water
¼ cup fava beans, peeled
¼ cup green peas
¼ cup diced carrot
¼ cup onion
¼ cup rice
4 potatoes, French cut

Boil soup bones in water until meat is tender. Add peanuts and all vegetable, except potatoes. About 20 minutes before soup is done, add potatoes and rice. Add boiling water as needed to maintain same level in pot. Serve hot garnished with freshly chopped parsley and thinly sliced French fries. Serves 8

Papas a la Huancayna (Potato Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce)

2 cups of peanuts with skins on, toasted
5 pods of dried peppers, found in the Latino ethic markets
2 to 3 cups of water
¼ cup of oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 cube of chicken bullion

Blend peanuts in the blender with water a little at time until you have a thick paste. Remove seeds from peppers and soak in water 15 minutes. Drain and cook in oil until soft. Add peanut paste, salt and chicken bullion. Stir and cook over low heat, about 20 minutes until it reduces some and is thick.

8 medium boiled potatoes, peeled
3 hard boiled eggs
Fresh farmers cheese for garnish
2 large, tomatoes , quartered
8 lettuce leaves
Green olives, if desired

Place two whole potatoes on lettuce leaf, top with slightly warm sauce. Garnish with eggs, tomatoes, and sliced white cheese. Serves 4 . This can be served as an entrée or first course salad.

“Penco” Dessert (Thin Layers of Cracker Type Dough
with Caramel Filling)

6 egg yolks
1 T. vinegar
1 T. oil
¾ to 1 cup flour
Dulce de leche, a caramel sauce found in most Latin markets, Smuckers brand can be used.
Heavy whipping cream

Beat yolks until very foamy and almost cream colored, you may use a beater for this but change to wooden spoon and add ½ cup of flour very slowly. Continue beating while adding oil slowly. Let dough pull together and add vinegar, beating until it pulls together again. Now add enough flour to make a very soft dough. On a lightly floured board knead until it is elastic and forms bubbles, about 5-7 minutes. Divide into 4 small balls. Roll out each ball into a very thin, round circle about 8 inches in diameter. Put on cookie sheet and prick with fork all around except the edges. You should be able to get two on a sheet. Bake about 5-7 minutes in a hot, 450 degree F oven. The edges should curl up. When cool, fill with a mixture of “dulce de leche” and whipping cream, usually about half and half or to taste. Cover top layer as well and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Ava Kelly Pereira (apereira@entelnet.bo) a native Texan, is a former owner of a fresh pasta company and take out eatery and member of the Houston Culinary Guild . She  also co edited the  cookbook , Cocinando en Cochabamba, and is currently living and teaching in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

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