Huancaina sauce is one of the stars of Peruvian cooking and it’s a big hit in any occasion. Usually served as the topping for boiled yellow potatoes, you can also find it added to several dishes: as a tasty dip for hard-boiled quail eggs or fried yucca sticks, as a sauce for steaks or barbequed chicken, or as part of a creamy risotto or pasta entrée. When I’m feeling lazy in the kitchen but want to eat something filled with flavor and comforting, I also love pouring it over some roasted corn with sliced scallions.
The creamy huancaina sauce is made with Peruvian yellow chili peppers –called aji amarillo-, queso fresco, and evaporated milk; but for this recipe I used Cacique® Panela cheese to give the sauce an even richer flavor and texture. Instead of fresh chili peppers I used aji amarillo paste because sometimes they are not easy to find outside of Peru (feel free to use them frozen or jarred as well). For a fun twist, use roasted bell peppers or a combination of both bell and chili peppers. A different yet delicious variation!
These roasted corn lettuce wraps are my new go-to side dish for any backyard event with friends and family. They are easy to make, and if you have the ingredients, the salsa will be ready in the blink of an eye. All you have to do is process everything in the blender, y listo!
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WHAT YOU NEED
- For the Salsa Huancaina
- 2 tablespoons aji amarillo paste
- ½ red bell pepper (roasted, if you want)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 8 oz. Cacique® Panela cheese, diced
- For the Corn
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 cups corn
- Salt and pepper
- 3 scallions, finely sliced
- ½ cup Cacique® Quesadilla Jalapeño, finely diced
- 4 radishes, finely sliced
- 12 crisp lettuce leaves
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Put the aji amarillo paste and the bell pepper in the blender, add oil and evaporated milk and process. Add Cacique® Panela cheese and salt to taste. Process until smooth. Transfer to a container and keep refrigerated.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the corn and sauté, stirring often until nicely golden. Turn off the heat. Season the corn with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Add the sliced scallion, Cacique® Quesadilla Jalapeño, and radishes, and combine.
- Fill the lettuce leaves with two or three tablespoons of corn and top with huancaina sauce. Serve at room temperature.