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Rocoto Relleno with Potato Gratin

(by Silvia Luque)


10 rocoto peppers

4 t. sugar, divided

1/3 c. vegetable oil

6 T. aji panca (chile) paste

1 lb. sirloin tips, finely cut in small squares

2 bay leaves

2 lb. red onions, diced

2 T. peanuts, toasted and ground

1/2 t. dried oregano

5 black olives, seeded

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1 T. parsley, chopped

2 T. black raisins

salt and pepper

3 raw eggs

5 oz. can unsweetened evaporated milk

Cut off and reserve tops of the rocotos, and scrape out the seeds and ribs with a spoon.

(Use rubber gloves and wash your hands well after.)

Put the rocotos in a pan with water to cover and 1 T. sugar.

Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and discard the water.

Add more fresh water, and repeat this process three times.

Drain and cool the rocotos. Reserve.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over high heat, warm the vegetable oil.

Add the chile paste, beef, and bay leaves.

Sauté until beef is no longer raw.

Add onions, 1 t. sugar, salt and pepper, stirring until onion is cooked.

Add peanuts, oregano, olives, hard-boiled eggs, parsley, raisins, salt and pepper.

Fill the rocotos with this mixture and place in a heatproof glass baking pan.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a bowl, beat 1 egg with evaporated milk, salt and pepper, and pour over the rocotos.

Beat 2 eggs until very thick, and put 1 T. over each rocoto.

Cover with the reserved tops.

Bake for 15 minutes.

For potato gratin:

2 lb. waxy potatoes, boiled, peeled and thickly sliced

8 oz. queso fresco (fresh white cheese) in thick slices

1 t. anise seed

4 eggs

1 1/2 c. unsweetened evaporated milk

1 T. butter

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a buttered baking dish, make one layer of potato slices.

Cover with queso fresco and a sprinkling of anise seed.

Repeat 3 times.

Beat eggs until very thick, and fold in evaporated milk, salt and pepper.

Pour over the potatoes and cheese.

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until golden.


(Read Spoiled, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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