Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Aji Amarillo Sauce

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Dive into the vibrant flavors of crispy smashed purple potatoes paired with a creamy aji amarillo sauce. This easy-to-make dish is a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.
Side Dish

Elevate your potato game with a delightful twist on the classic Peruvian dish, Papa a la Huancaína. Instead of the traditional cold boiled potatoes, this recipe features hot, crispy smashed purple potatoes paired with a luscious aji amarillo sauce. The crispy edges and soft centers of the potatoes perfectly complement the rich, tangy, and slightly spicy sauce. The striking colors and contrasting textures make every bite an adventure, promising to impress your family and friends.

Whether you're cooking for a special occasion or simply looking to try something new, these crispy smashed purple potatoes with aji amarillo sauce are sure to become a favorite.

What is Aji Amarillo Paste?

Aji amarillo paste is a staple in Peruvian cuisine, made from the bright yellow aji amarillo pepper. This pepper has a unique fruity flavor with a moderate heat level, adding a distinctive depth to sauces and marinades. You can find aji amarillo paste at specialty Latin American grocery stores in town, such as Portland Mercado or El Campasino PDX. If you prefer shopping online, it's readily available on Amazon.

Customizing This Dish

  • Potatoes: If you can't find purple potatoes, baby red or Yukon gold potatoes are great alternatives. They will still give you that crispy texture with a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Aji Amarillo Paste: Substitute with a combination of yellow bell pepper and a dash of hot sauce if aji amarillo paste is unavailable. This won't replicate the exact flavor but will still provide a good balance of sweetness and heat.
  • Queso Fresco: Feta or cotija cheese can be used in place of queso fresco. Both cheeses offer a similar crumbly texture and salty flavor.
  • Herbs: Fresh cilantro or chives can be used instead of parsley for garnish, adding a different twist to the flavor and presentation.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

To store any leftover crispy smashed purple potatoes and sauce, follow these simple steps:

  1. Storage:
    • Potatoes: Allow the potatoes to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
    • Sauce: Store the aji amarillo and queso fresco sauce in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  2. Reheating:
    • Potatoes: For the best results, reheat the potatoes in the oven. Preheat your oven to 375°F and spread the potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they are heated through and crispy again. Avoid reheating in the microwave, as this can make them soggy.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Aji Amarillo Sauce

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Aji Amarillo Sauce

Prep Time:
20 min
Cook Time:
45 min
Total Time:
1 hr, 5 min
Equipment Needed
  • Blender or food processor

For the Potatoes

  • 1.5 pounds small potatoes (I love the purple ones in this dish, but you can use any color)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

For the Aji Amarillo Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons aji amarillo paste
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them cool slightly.
  3. Place the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Using a potato masher or a sturdy glass, gently press down on each potato to flatten them to about 1/2 inch thick. Be careful not to break them apart completely.
  4. Drizzle the smashed potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle the potatoes with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are crispy and golden brown around the edges.
  5. While the potatoes are baking, combine the aji amarillo paste, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, minced garlic, and queso fresco in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  6. Transfer the sauce to a small mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove the crispy smashed potatoes from the oven. Arrange them on a serving platter and garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Serve the potatoes hot, with the aji amarillo sauce on the side for dipping.

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