Causa Limeña

Causa LimeñaCausa is the layered potato and seafood salad you see above.  A signature dish from Peru there are endless ways to compose and present this dish.  You can make this as gourmet or as humble as you want.  While we’ve made a simple Causa here, you need only be limited by your imagination.  I’ve seen huge family sized Causa (that you would cut into slices like a cake) to mini ornate appetizer sized Causa – Causa with layers of mashed purple potatoes and any number of different fillings and sauces.  Google Causa for some inspiration and have fun making your own version of this classic Peruvian specialty.

Our take on Causa captures three classic Peruvian ingredients – First – the Peruvian potato – Peru is famous for their hundreds of varieties of potatoes and as a result there are many dishes that revolve around their endless varieties. A classic Causa would use the yellow potato of Peru, but as we couldn’t exactly pick those up at No Frills – we grabbed a bag of mini golden gem potatoes and peeled them to help create a uniform color.

The second essential component in Causa is seafood – while we have simplified (and economized) our Causa with Tuna – this dish is easily adapted to include the best fresh seafood you can find. From fresh crab meat, to baby shrimp or prawns.  Depending on the occasion, you might want to elevate the seafood portion.

The final must-use ingredient is Aji Amarillo (Yellow Pepper). We have used this ingredient in other posts – Papas a la Huancaina and our favorite – Salteñas. We pick ours up at the South China Seas Trading company in the Granville Island Public Market. The yellow pepper has a great flavor and depending on preference you can adjust the amount to create a milder or stronger intensity.

Presentation of this dish is key, so use some sort of a mold. We’ve used tart rings to create our layers but you can also use the tuna can if you remove the bottom of the tin as well (be careful of the edges)

This recipe will make 4-6 Causa 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bag of yellow fleshed mini potatoes (larger ones if you can find them) peeled, and boiled until you can pierce the potatoes with a fork easily. / 1 libra de papas pueden ser grandes o pequeñas, peladas y hervidas hasta que estén blandas.
  • 2 tbs Aji Amarillo / Yellow pepper
  • 4 tbs Lemon Juice / jugo de limón
  • 2 Cans of Tuna / atún en lata
  • 1 Red pepper / Pimentón rojo
  • 1/2 Onion / cebolla
  • 1/4 cups of mayonnaise / taza de mayonesa
  • 1 Avocado / palta
  • Salt and Pepper to taste / sal y pimienta al gusto
  • Olive Oil / Aceite de oliva

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Peel and boil potatoes, then rice or mash in a large bowl / Pelar las papas y ponerlas a hervir en una olla grande

Ricing potatoes

  • Mix the potato with the aji amarillo, taste as you go until it is spiced to your liking. Add 2 tbs of lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix everything together.  Add Olive oil as needed until you’ve formed a smooth potato ‘dough’ / Mezclar las papas con el aji amarillo. Agregar 2 cucharadas de jugo de limón y sal y pimienta al gusto.  Agregar aceite de oliva, así será más facil amasar la papa.

Mixing the potato 'dough'

  • Finely dice the red pepper and the onion, add them to a medium bowl and mix together with the canned tuna. Add the remaining lemon juice and the mayonnaise and mix well. / Cortar el pimiento rojo y la cebolla en cuadritos y colocarlos en un recipiente junto al atún, agregar el jugo de limón restante y la mayonesa, mezclar bien.

Tuna salad

  • We assembled our Causa with a base layer of potatoes, topped with a layer of avocado, another layer of potatoes, a layer of tuna, one final layer of potatoes and finished with a spoonful of tuna on top and garnished with an avocado slice / Colocar como base la papa y encima la palta, agregar encima otra capa de papa y en la parte superior colocar el atún y para terminar otra capa más de papa. Puedes colocar una rebanada de palta y un poco de atún encima como decoración.

Assembling the Causa

Enjoy!

Causa… provecho!

Spring Garden Cake

Spring Garden CakeThis is a great dessert to make around this time of year when you have a special dinner AND either a weekend to dedicate to it or several evenings after work (with a little help from some friends)

I’ve been meaning to make this cake since we started the blog – which is almost 2 years ago now – and finally, for a spring dinner last week I made it with the help of my über talented friend Megan.

The Spring Garden cake first appeared in a Martha Stewart magazine probably 20 years ago. My mom had a collection of Martha Stewart books and magazines and one Easter when I was young we attempted a version of this cake. The result of our efforts was a little less refined then my second attempt, as shown above, but all that mattered was I had so much fun making all of the marzipan vegetables with my mom. I enjoyed making the vegetables just as much this time, 20 years later as an adult. My friend Megan and I spent close to 5 hours dying the marzipan, rolling it out and marking it up to make the tray of fruits and vegetables you see below.

5 hours of work

One tip – think small. The amount of marzipan you need for a single carrot is very little and radishes and cabbage leaves need even less. Take less than you think you will need and add to it if necessary.

A Carrot cake works well as a base for this spring garden cake and the version we have included here is one we have been making for years.  I first started making this carrot cake several years ago when I was in Bolivia.  With coconut, pineapple and plenty of grated carrot, this is a moist and sweet carrot cake that tastes incredible covered in cream cheese frosting. The crushed cookies and marzipan vegetables are a delicious bonus.

Spring Garden Cake

This cake would make a great centerpiece at an Easter dinner and while this is certainly a weekend project – it works best if you make the different components over a few days – the most fun will come when the cake is made, the cookies are crushed, the frosting is whipped, the fence has been cut, the vegetables have been molded (Yes… this cake really is this much work) and you finally get to assemble it all together and present it to family and friends. Like most great food and dessert – this is one to share.

Enjoy! and Happy Easter!

Ingredients / Ingredientes

Carrot cake with Pineapple and coconut / Torta de Zanahoria con Piña y Coco

  • 3 cups flour / tazas de harina
  • 3 tsp baking soda / cucharillas de bicarbonato de soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder / cucharillas de levadura en polvo
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt / cucharillas de sal
  • 3 tsp cinnamon / cucharillas de canela
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg / cucharillas de nuez moscada
  • 1 cup brown sugar / taza de azúcar morena
  • 1 cup white sugar / taza de azúcar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil / tazas de aceite vegetal
  • 4 eggs plus one yolk / huevos y una yema
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla / cucharillas de vainilla
  • 3 cups grated carrots / tazas de zanahoria rayada
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple / tazas de piña
  • 3/4 cup coconut / taza de coco

Cream Cheese Frosting / Glaseado de Queso Crema

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened / taza de mantequilla a temperatura ambiente
  • 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened / onzas de queso crema a temperatura ambiente
  • 4 cups powdered sugar / tazas de azúcar impalpable
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract / cucharilla de vainilla

Mix butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer until combined, add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix into a thick frosting / mezclar mantequilla y queso crema en una batidora de pie, agregar azúcar impalpable y vainilla hasta que el glaseado este listo a su gusto.

Pastillage Ingredients / Pastillaje Ingredientes

  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted / tazas de azúcar impalpable colada
  • 6 tbsp corn starch / cucharadas de almidón de maíz
  • 2 tbsp water / cucharadas de agua
  • 1 packet gelatin / paquete de gelatina
  • 1 egg white / clara de huevo
  • 1 tbsp water / cucharada de agua

The Martha Stewart website has a great video outlining how to make the pastillage as well as precise measurements regarding how to cut the fence / Puedes ver este video de Martha Stewart para hacer la cerca

Marzipan / Mazapán

  • SEE ‘Battenburg cake’ recipe – you will use approximately half of this amount of marzipan to make enough fruits and veggies to cover a 10 inch cake. / Ver nuestra receta de la Torta Battenburg – debes usar apróximadamente la mitad de esta receta.

‘Dirt’ / Tierra

  • SEE ‘Homemade Oreos’ recipe / Ver nuestra receta de las galletas de chocolates Oreos.
  • Crush 6 chocolate shortbread cookies in a food processor or blender until fine.Triturar 6 galletas en un procesador de comidas.

Decoration Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Prepare the Marzipan vegetables and Pastillage fence at least one day before you plan to assemble the cake / Preparar los vegetables de mazapán y la cerca de pastillaje por lo menos un día antes de asamblar la torta

Pastillage fence

  • Some useful tools for assembling the marzipan fruits and veggies are shown in the photo below / Algunos instrumentos que te ayudarán a hacer las furtas y vegetables de mazapán están en la foto abajo.

Useful tools...

  • Shortening – for your hands – to keep the marzipan from sticking and drying out as you are working with it. / Manteca – para que tus manos no se pegen al mazapán y para que el mazapán no se seque.
  • Plastic wrap – keep the marzipan wrapped in plastic and only remove what you will be using – marzipan dries out quickly / Plástico – mantener el mazapán envuelto en plástico , sacar lo que necesites y dejar cubierto en plástico pues el mazapán se seca muy rápido.
  • A small paintbrush and water – useful to help adhere leaves to stalks and joining the cabbage/lettuce leaves together if the marzipan is not tacky enough / Un pequeño pincel y agua – útil para adherir las hojas a las lechugas y tambien si es que el mazapán está muy pegajoso.
  • Toothpicks – for applying food coloring and for creating holes and creases in the marzipan / palillos de dientes – para la aplicación de colorante y para la creación de agujeros y grietas en el mazapán.
  • A roller ball tool – for smoothing edges / herramienta de bola rodante – para suavizar los bordes
  • Small scissors – for cutting the leaves of the artichokes / pequeña tijera – para cortar las hojas de las alcachofa

Marzipan carrots

  • Carrots – Mix orange, red and a little brown / Zanahorias – Mezcla de naranja, rojo y un poco de marrón
  • Leaves – Mix leaf green, yellow and a touch of brown / Hojas – Mezclar color hoja verde, amarillo y un toque de color marrón

Marzipan artichokes

  • Artichokes – Green and brown marzipan / Alcachofas -verde con marrón

Rhubarb and tomatoes

  • Rhubarb, Radishes and tomatoes - Mix Red with a touch of black and same leaf green as with the carrots / Rábanos y ruibarbo – Mezclar rojo con un toque de negro y el mismo verde que arriba. 

Marzipan watermelon

  • Watermelon – light green – mix light green with white. Dark green – straight dark green. and pink – mix pink with a touch of red. / Sandía – verde claro – mezclar el color verde claro con blanco. Verde oscuro – verde oscuro puro, sin mezclar con nada más, y Rosado – mezclar rosa con un toque de rojo.

Marzipan cabbage

  • Cauliflower – Leaf green and plain marzipan (no color) / Coliflor – Verde hoja y mazapán sin colorante

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / Calentar el horno a 350 grados
  • Butter the bottom and edges of a 10 inch cake pan. We are using a springform pan (because that is the only circular pan we have) Cut a round of parchment and place on the bottom of the pan and butter it as well. / Poner mantequilla alrededor de el molde donde vas a hornear la torta, cortar papel pergamino y colocarlo en la parte inferior del molde, agregar encima del papel un poco de mantequilla.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg) / Mezclar los ingredientes secos en un recipiente ( hariana, levadura en polvo, bicarbonato de soda, sal, canela, nuez moscada)
  • Mix the eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, oil, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer and blend until well combined. / Mezclar los huevos, azúcar morena, azúcar, aceite y vainilla en una batidora de pie hasta que estén bien mezclados.
  • Grate Carrots, dice pineapple, and measure out coconut. / Rayar las zanahorias, cortar la piña en cuadritos y medir el coco.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg, sugar, oil mixture in two additions, mixing until just combined between additions. / Agregar los ingredientes secos a la mezcla de huevos, azúcar y aceite en dos adiciones, es decir primero agregar la mitad de la mezcla y mezclar bien en la batidora hsta que este todo incorporado y después agregar la otra mitad.

Carrot cake

  • Add the carrots, diced pineapple and coconut and fold together with a spatula until evenly distributed. / Agregar las zanahorias, piña y coco y mezclar todo con una espátula hasta que esté todo bien incorporado.
  • Pour into the cake pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes – or until a cake tester comes out clean. / Poner la mezcla al molde y hornear la torta por 1 hora y 15 minutos o hasta que esté lista.
  • Cool on a rack for a few minutes then turn out and allow to cool completely. / Sacar la torta del molde y dejar enfriar completamente.
  • Wrap in plastic and freeze. This will make torting the cake (slicing off the irregular top) and dividing the cake in half much easier. / Envolver la torta en plástico y colocar en el congelador. Esto hará más fácil el cortar la torta por la mitad.

Assembling the spring garden cake

  • Assemble the cake with cream cheese frosting in between the layers as well as over the top and sides. / Montar el pastel con glaseado de queso crema entre las capas y también sobre la parte superior y los lados.
  • Mound about 1/2 cup of ground chocolate wafers onto the center of the cake once it has been frosted and gently spread to the outer layers of the cake – taking care not to push the crumbs down the sides of the cake. / Colocar alreadedor de 1/2 taza de las galletas de chocolate trituradas encima de la torta, con mucho cuidado.
  • Divide the plot into quarters and ‘rake’ with a fork in alternating directions / Dividir la parte superior de la torta en cuatro lados y con un tenedor, como si fuera un rastrillo mover en direcciones alternas

Planting the garden...

  • ‘Plant’ the garden with the pre-made marzipan fruits and vegetables / Agregar las furtas y vegetales de mazapán.

Pastillage fence

  • Apply pastillage fence to the outer layer of the cake – use the pre made 1/4 plots as a guide. Each quarter of the cake will have 8 pieces of fence and be divided by a fence post / Agregar la cerca hecha de pastillaje (como el la foto). Cada cuarto de la torta tendrá 8 piezas de la cerca

The cake is finished

  • Distribute Candy rocks around the outside and the cake is ready to serve or present at the table. / Colocar piedras o rocas de chocolates alrededor de la tora para una presentación increíble.
  • Enjoy! / A disfrutar!

Spring garden cake… Provecho!

 

Eggs Benedict

Eggs BenedictEggs Benedict is  a  The classic brunch dish – something most people head to a restaurant for (including us most of the time) but we want you to know that making Eggs Benedict at home is not as hard as it may seem.

We’ve made a bit more work for ourselves by making the english muffins from scratch – because homemade english muffins happen to make a tremendous difference IMHO.  I realize that not everyone is interested in making their own bread, if you are however, we follow the recipe from the book Tartine Bread.  If you start the process on a Friday night (mixing the leaven and poolish) then you can be griddling fresh muffins to split and toast on Sunday morning.  The Tartine recipe makes about 16 muffins so it allows for plenty of extras to freeze for the week ahead. 

The intimidating part of Eggs Benedict is the combination of preparing Hollandaise sauce and poaching an egg.  While the former can be resolved with a good recipe (like the one we have included here courtesy of Carol – Thanks Carol!) the latter just takes a bit of practice.  

A tip I learned during this most recent batch of Hollandaise is to first clarify the butter that you will use to whip into the egg yolks.  Using clarified butter helps to prevent the mixture from splitting.  To clarify butter, melt it in a small saucepan, pour into a jar and allow to cool.  If you do this far enough in advance the butter will re-solidify into layers and the milk solids can then be easily scraped off the top.  When you re-melt the butter you will notice that it is clear or… you know… clarified.

We’ve cut the original recipe in half here so instead of serving four this version will make enough for two generous servings of hollandaise sauce.  

Enjoy!

Eggs Benedict

Ingredients / Ingredientes

Hollandaise / Salsa Holandesa

  • 2 egg yolks / yema de huevos
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice / cucharadas de jugo de limón
  • Pinch of ground white pepper / pizca de pimienta blanca
  • Dash of Worchestershire / pizca de salsa worchestershire (salsa inglesa)
  • 1/2 tbsp water / cucharadas de agua
  • 1/2 cup butter (clarified) / taza de mantequila
  • Pinch of salt /pizca de sal

Potatoes / Papas

  • 2 large russet potatoes / papas
  • Olive Oil /aceite de oliva
  • Salt and Pepper /sal y pimienta
  • Paprika / paprika (pimientón molido)
  • 4 eggs / huevos
  • 1 tsp white vinegar / cucharilla de vinagre
  • 4 pieces of back bacon (aka canadian bacon/peameal bacon) / tocino
  • 2 english muffins, split / panecillos ingleses (english muffins)

Instructions / Instrucciones

For the potatoes / Para las papas

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. / Calentar el horno a 400 grados y colocar papel aluminio a una bandeja para hornear
  • Wash and dry the potatoes and dice into cubes. / Lavar ,secar y cortar las papas en cuadritos.
  • Toss the cubed potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, a large pinch of salt and pepper and a shake of paprika (mostly for color) / Agregar a las papas un poco de aceite de oliva, pizca de sal, pimienta y paprika.
  • Pour onto the prepared pan, spray the potatoes with cooking spray and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until fork tender. / Colocar las papas a la bandeja para hornear y cocinarlas por 30 minutos hasta que estén blandas por dentro.

Oven fries - hashbrowns

  • To make the Hollandaise: Fill a saucepan part way with water and set over medium heat to bring to a simmer.  / Para la salsa holandesa: colocar una olla con un poco de agua a  fuego lento ( a punto de hervir).
  • In a metal bowl that fits inside that saucepan (without the bottom touching the water) whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, worchestershire and water. / En un recipiente de metal que va a caber en la olla agregar y batir las yemas, jugo de limón, pimienta blanca, salsa inglesa y agua.

Hollandaise

  • Set the bowl over the simmering water and continue to whisk.  Begin to pour the melted clarified butter into the yolk mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time – whisking constantly – and ensuring that the previous addition has been incorporated before adding more.  whisk and add more butter until all the butter has been mixed in.  / Colocar el recipiente encima de la olla (baño maria) y no pares de batir. Colocar la matequilla derretida en la mezcla de huevos, una cucharada a la vez, mezclando bien hasta que todo esté incorporado.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt, taste and adjust as necessary.  If the mixture is too thick, whisk in a couple tablespoons of warm water.  Place a large plate over the bowl to keep the mixture warm – Don’t keep over heat as too much heat will cause the emulsion to split and the sauce will be ruined. / Remover la salsa del fuego y colocar sal, adjustar el sabor si es necesario. Si la salsa esta muy espesa agregar y mezclar algunas cucharadas de agua tibia. Colocar un plato encima del recipiente para mantener la salsa caliente, no lo dejes en baño maria pues mucho vapor caliente puede arruinar la salsa.
  • To poach the eggs – Fill a saucepan with 3 inches of water and bring the water to a gentle simmer then add the vinegar – this will help keep the egg together as it cooks in its water bath. / Para cocinar los huevos: Llenar una olla con 3 pulgadas de agua a fuego lento hasta que esté a punto de hervir, colocar el vinagre.

Poaching an egg

  • Break the eggs into separate ramekins so that you can carefully add them to the water one at a time.  When the water is ready and the vinegar has been added, use a whisk to create a vortex in the saucepan then slide the egg into the center of the vortex.  The spinning water should help to keep the whites over the yolk and in one neat package. / Quebrar los huevos y colocarlos en una taza o recipiente para mejor resultado cuando los pongas al agua. Cuando el agua esté a punto de hervir y el vinagre esté incorporado, con una cuchara batir rápido el agua haciendo un agujero en el centro, en ese agujero colocarás cada huevo, esto ayudará a que la yema y la clara del huevo estén juntos.
  • Cook for 2 1/2 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice water bath to halt the cooking process.  Continue to cook the remaining eggs, one at a time, placing into the ice water bath when ready. / Cocinar cada huevo por 2 1/2 minutos y gentilmente sacarlos del agua y colocarlos en un recipiente con agua helada (esto evitará que el huevo siga cocinando)
  • Lay the back bacon on a foil rimmed sheet and bake in the oven at 400 degrees until browned on the edges.  / Colocar el tocino sobre una bandeja de hornear a 400 grados hasta que esté dorado en las orillas.

Fresh english muffins

  • Put it all together / Colocar todo junto
  • Toast the english muffins and begin to build your eggs benedict.  We’ve made the classic with back bacon as well as a shrimp and avocado Benny.  With the water over medium heat at a simmer – add the poached eggs back into the simmering water for 45 seconds to 1 minute to just heat through, then remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate before placing on top of the prepared english muffins  /  Tostar los panecillos y colocar encima el tocino o camarones con palta . Para calentar los huevos tienes que sacarlos del agua helada y colocarlos por 45 segundos de nuevo al agua caliente que está a punto de hervir. Sacar los huevos del agua caliente y colocarlos sobre papel toalla para secarlos.

Eggs Benedict assembly

  • The second to last step is to add a large spoonful of hollandaise sauce over each poached egg.  The LAST step is to serve it to someone you love and enjoy! / Agregar los huevos encima del tocino, colocar encima la salsa holandesa y sevir. Provecho!

Eggs Benedict… Provecho!