Causa is a famous Peruvian dish. It's made with mashed yellow potatoes, seasoned with Aji peppers and lime. It can be served with chicken salad, crab salad, or tuna salad or marinated shrimps. It's easy to present nicely for individual small portions or family style, garnished with black olives, hard-boiled eggs, and avocado.
Causa is a summer dish, and often shaped in a mold, then sliced to serve. For me, the potato one of the most interesting items in the kitchen, that's why I chose this recipe, which can be done with many kinds of potatoes.
Serves 6-8 people
8 yellow potatoes (about 500g) (boiled)
3 fresh yellow chili peppers (or Peruvian chili paste)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
2 gloves garlic
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
250 g shrimps (marinated to preference)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mustard (to taste)
1 ripe avocado
Salt and pepper to taste
Black olives for decoration
Finely chopped parsley
Cook the potatoes in salted water until soft. Peel and mash the potatoes, and set aside. Run the potatoes through a ricer so that they are extra smooth, with no lumps.
Remove the seeds from the chili peppers, and sauté them in vegetable oil with the garlic until softened. Place them in a food processor or blender, along with the juice of the three limes, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Stir lime and chili mixture into the mashed potatoes. Chill potatoes, uncovered for several hours or overnight.
Poach the chicken and shrimps in salt water, pepper. Shred the cooked chicken, and mix with the mayonnaise and mustard. The shrimps use whole as centerpieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to use.
To shape mini causas, take about one tablespoon of mashed potato in the palm of your hand or add in a mold, flatten the potatoes, and add about one teaspoon of the chicken salad to the middle. Cover chicken with a little bit more of potato, then shrimps, then roll it all into a smooth ball or round mold.
Serve on a plate garnished with shrimps, avocado slices and black olives. Chill until ready to serve.