Causa Rellena and ceviche are the two things I order as soon as I land in Lima, Peru. Causas are cold potato cakes layered with a simple chicken salad, avocados, tomato, and mayo. The potatoes are riced and seasoned with Aji Amarillo, lime juice, salt and a little bit of oil and then layered into molds. You can find Aji amarillo at most Latin supermarkets both frozen and in paste form. I recommend looking for the paste rather than the frozen chilis. I highly recommend using a rotisserie chicken for the chicken salad, it adds so much flavor and cuts down on cook time and dishes.
There are tons of variations you can make by switching up the layers and ingredients. You can add hard boiled eggs, black olives, crab, canned tuna, octopus, rocoto peppers instead of aji...the possiblities are endless! If you’d like to make it vegan swap out the protein for Peruvian corn (also available frozen in latin supermarkets) and vegan mayo.
- 5 yukon gold potatoes (about 2 pounds)
- 1/ 4 cup plus 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
- 3 limes, juiced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or a rotisserie chicken
- 1/ 2 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup HLTHPUNK Plant Based Mayo, divided
- 2 avocados, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Diaspora Co. Black Pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or herb of choice, for garnishing and serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add potatoes and cook until fork tender. Drain and mash thoroughly until smooth and free of lumps.
Add mashed potatoes, aji amarillo, the juice of 2 limes and vegetable oil to a large bowl. Season with salt and thoroughly mix until potatoes are smooth, free of lumps and the seasonings are fully incorporated. If you’re unable to get a smooth consistency, pass the seasoned potatoes through a tami or sieve.
In another bowl, add shredded chicken, red onion, grated garlic, juice of 1 lime and ½ cup of mayonnaise and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For individual portions, use a ring mold to create the causas. Add ¼ cup of mashed potatoes to the bottom of a ring mold making sure to press down to create a leveled layer. Layer by layer add a dollop of mayonnaise, the avocado, tomatoes, chicken salad mixture. Top with an additional ¼ cup of the potato mixture and smooth the surface using an offset spatula.
For a larger Causa Rellena, line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Add half of the potato mixture to the bottom of the loaf pan and add a layer of mayonnaise, sliced avocado, tomatoes, and a layer of the chicken salad mixture. Top with the remaining potato mixture and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
In a small bowl whisk together remaining mayonnaise, lime juice, 1 tablespoon aji amarillo, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust the consistency with a little bit of water if necessary.
Remove causa from mold, drizzle with seasoned mayonnaise and garnish with avocado, sliced tomatoes, parsley and flakey salt. Causas should be served at room temperature or slightly cold.