Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Look, I Made A Snowman!

Only 12 days to go till Christmas, and I'm sure everyone's got their hands full baking and cooking and planning big meals for the holiday parties. The season's eatings started on my side with the food bloggers holiday party over the weekend. Oh, the goodies everyone made! The new enthusiastic baker in me wanted to make something sweet for the party at first. But looking at the number of bloggers who signed up for desserts, I turned to a savory dish I knew would please the crowds. Peruvian Causitas - mashed yellow potatoes seasoned with lime juice and Peruvian chile - make a great appetizer for any party. Shape them like snowmen, and you have the cutest looking appetizer that can be the center piece of your serving table! My dear Peruvian friend and neighbor in Utah made these snowmen two years back for Christmas and I just couldn't get over how adorable they were. I mean, look at them!!!

Hello, everyone!
Causas or causitas are a popular dish from Peru. It's a simple recipe with very few ingredients but packed with lots of flavor. The causitas I made were simply mashed potatoes/pureed. The more elaborate preparation contains filling of various sorts, such as avocado, shrimp, crab etc., to go in between two layers of mashed potatoes. Causitas makes for a great finger food. Shaped like little snowmen, they are just perfect for a holiday party claiming the center spot on the table. There are no exact measurements to make the potatoes, but make sure the punch from lime juice is prominent. That makes it delightfully light for a potato dish. And as my friend would say, add lots of lime juice to any Peruvian dish and it tastes good!

Snowmen Causitas - Peruvian Mashed Potato Appetizer

Medium Yellow/Yukon Gold potatoes - about 1 per person (I used 10)
Limes - I needed 3 large limes for my potatoes
Peruvian Aji Amarillo chile paste - If you can't find it easily, use any mild yellow/orange chile
Salt & Pepper to taste
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil.

  • Boil potatoes, peel and mash. When the potatoes cool down enough to touch, get your best tool out - your hands - and take out any lumps. Add oil little by little while mixing by hand so the potatoes are not too sticky. 
  • Add juice from one lime at a time, and taste to make sure there's enough lime flavor. Don't let the mashed potatoes get too thin else you won't be able to shape them. 
  • Add a little bit of chile paste - this is just for slight flavor and color. The dish is not supposed to be spicy. I couldn't get to a Peruvian store so I used 1 regular yellow chile ground to paste. 
  • Season with salt & fresh cracked pepper. Taste, and as my friend put it, choose your lime-chile-pepper-salt happy place!! That sums it up =)
  • To make the snowmen, roll the mashed potatoes into small balls in two sizes, one smaller than the other. Stack the small ones on top of big ones and poke a toothpick through them. For the eyes and nose, you can use a variety of things. I chopped olives finely for eyes and red bell pepper for nose. You can also use carrots. Decorate the snowmen however you want. 

This is a great make-ahead dish. Make the mashed potatoes ahead of time and just shape them when you are ready to entertain. Get your kids to help you with making the snowmen and decorating them. Boy, are they gonna have fun with it! The snowmen taste just as good as they look.

Happy Holiday Cooking, everyone! :)

The snowmen sitting pretty with other dishes


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...