Huancaina Sauce, A Peruvian Classic, Now Gluten-Free

Papas a la Huancaina

I remember the moment very clearly. Standing in the kitchen with my husband, contemplating what this new gluten-free lifestyle would mean, when he looked at me and said,

This means you can’t have Huancaina Sauce anymore.

I broke into tears. Not pretty, one tear running down your cheek kind off tears. Ugly, heaving, my life is ending tears. Of course, I knew my life was not ending, but learning that I cannot eat the foods I love made it feel as though.

After meeting my husband I developed a love for Peruvian food.

I love it all, but one of my favorites is Papas a la Huancaina, Potatoes in Huancaina Sauce. It is a spicy, creamy, cheesy deliciousness. Rather than wallow in my tears, we set out to develop a gluten-free version that would allow me to continue to enjoy this Peruvian classic. What we came up with is just as good as the real thing, so good in fact, that rather than making two versions of sauce for family gatherings, our family now only makes the gluten-free version. No one can even tell the difference!

The recipe is fairly simple.

The major difference is the type of crackers that are used to thicken the sauce. Below the each ingredient there are some notes, just in case you are not familiar. All of these ingredients are readily available in the South Florida area, but if you are creating this masterpiece and cannot find an ingredient, they are available on Amazon as well. Just click on the link!

Here we go:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 block (3 and 1/2- 4 ounces) Queso Blanco

We like Vendito brand, but any one will work, just be sure it is not “para freir” or “for frying”.

  • 1/3 cup ground Saltine Style Crackers

We use Schar brand, they have amazing, consistent results. One sleeve is the amount you will need. In South Florida you can find them at Whole Foods or Milam’s Market. When all else fails, Amazon is your friend! We make this so often we order them by the case. If you are not gluten-free you can use regular saltine crackers. I would recommend the ones without the salt on top.

  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Onion
  • 1-3 Teaspoons Aji Amarillo Paste

Aji Amarillo Paste can vary greatly in concentration. Start with a small amount, you can always add more to increase the spice level. Currently I am using a jar of Inca Food’s Aji Amarillo Paste and 3 teaspoons was just the right amount for a little bit of heat without it being overwhelming. If I was making this just for my husband I would probably add more. I have used other brands that use a smaller amount for the same amount of heat and our family sometimes makes it as well.

  • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Add the salt last, some cheeses may vary in the amount of saltiness. I always add it, but if you are using a different brand of cheese, you may not need it.

  • 1 Cup Milk

I would not recommend using skim milk in this recipe. Your sauce will be runny. Whole milk would be best, but at least use 2%.

 

Directions

  1. Grind the crackers.
  2. Break apart cheese.
  3. Place all ingredients into a blender (I use a Nutribullet)
  4. Saute the Onion, Garlic and Aji Amarillo in a small pan, just until the onion is a bit soft.
  5. Blend until smooth. This may take a few minutes, you will be tempted to add more milk, but give it a few minutes. The cheese needs time to fully incorporate into the milk.
  6. Taste and adjust your seasonings, add more salt or more Aji Amarillo Paste if needed.

Serve over cold boiled potatoes with sliced hard boiled eggs and olives (or on whatever you wish, I also love it over rice).

Enjoy!

Papas a la Huancaina, Gluten-Free
Papas a la Huancaina, Gluten-Free
Amanda Kanashiro
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Average: 5/5
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    For the Huancaina Sauce
  • 1/2 package Queso Blanco (3.5-4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup ground Scharr cracker crumbs or other saltine type gluten free cracker
  • 1 Tbs chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1-3 tsp aji amarillo paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
    For Serving
  • 4 baking potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • black olives

  1. Grind the crackers.
  2. Break apart cheese.
  3. Place all ingredients into a blender (I use a Nutribullet).
  4. Saute the Onion, Garlic and Aji Amarillo in a small pan, just until the onion is a bit soft.
  5. Blend until smooth. This may take a few minutes, you will be tempted to add more milk, but give it a few minutes. The cheese needs time to fully incorporate into the milk.
  6. Taste and adjust your seasonings, add more salt or more aji amarillo paste if needed.
  7. Serve over sliced, cold boiled potatoes with sliced hard boiled eggs and olives (or on whatever you wish, I also love it over rice).

Consider adding the salt last. Different cheeses have varying saltiness, so taste before adding. Aji Amarillo paste can vary in intensity. More can be added to achieve desired level of spiciness.

; Yield: 4 Servings
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This post is linked to Gluten Free Fridays! Be sure to check it out for more great gluten-free recipes from bloggers around the globe!

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