Today’s dish will make you look like a gourmet chef with this unique mashed potato terrine.
I must put my hand on my heart and confess- food presentation is not my thing. For me, it is all about the taste, not what it looks. But with a moderate amount of effort you can make a dish which looks like these photographs.
That’s the end of the confession. The point is this dish is easy to make and by using a simple mold, this mashed potato terrine comes out looking like a gourmet chef made it. Here is a dish you would be proud to serve to anyone.
So how did I manage to make this rather attractive, mashed potato terrine? In Peru this dish is called causa. And on our stop in Lima on our way to our cruise in the Amazon Jungle, we attended a cooking class and we were the only attendees. Lucky us.
Why You Should Attend Cooking Classes
Elizabeth and I have attended excellent, cooking classes in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Peru, as well as in Australia. But we have never attended a one-on-one session with a chef. (And if we are confessing, Elizabeth doesn’t really even like to cook, but admits she has enjoyed the cooking classes!)
What I love about cooking classes are the little hints you learn. For example:
- You can use inexpensive cutting knives if you have the right sharpening stone, saving yourself a fortune on expensive brand names knives;
- Cutting techniques – for tomatoes, onions, avocados, so the result looks beautiful;
- It’s all in the sauces and stocks. These are the foundations for making tasty dishes. Then you can dress up inexpensive ingredients so they taste like million dollar ingredients. OK I did know this but our mashed potato terrine is a perfect example of why this is so important.
A cooking class also provides the opportunity to ask your questions to an expert on all things cooking. This includes ingredients, substitutions, cooking techniques and methods and when and when not to serve dishes.
As well, you walk away with fabulous local recipes an enough knowledge so you can make it at home. You can also gain a lot of confidence to continue your cooking journey.
Peru is a fabulous place to cook food at home or eat out at a restaurant. There is such a wide variety of fruit and vegetables available that you don’t just see anywhere else. The home of the potato, there are literally hundreds of varieties to choose from and potatoes form the basis of this classic Peruvian dish.
Causa: Peruvian for Mashed Potato Terrine
Causa is a very popular, traditional dish from Lima, Peru, served at room temperature. This mashed potato terrine uses a mold with 3 layers in total and then an attractive garnish on top.
The first layer is a tasty potato mixture, thanks to the addition of our Huancaina Sauce, lime juice and olive oil. The second layer contains tomato, avocado, olives, and a combined mayonnaise and Huancaina sauce. Our third layer is some more potato mixture.
For the final presentation, top the mashed potato terrine with hard-boiled egg, fish, salad (red) onion, some more sliced avocado, diced tomato and sliced olive, as well as a small dollop of the Huancaina sauce.
Start by preparing your Huancaina sauce and boiling your eggs. Then prepare your garnishes and causa ingredients.
For the garnish, I buy a small, white, boneless, fish fillet. Just enough to slice into 8 small pieces. Check the photographs in the post and use this as your guide. You can substitute the fish for shrimp, if you prefer.
Note that some of the terrine ingredients are also used as garnish ingredients. And, if you want to use less garnish ingredients, then that is no problem at all. Be creative with your food presentation- do what looks good to you!
This recipe is adapted from Gonzalo’s version of causa recipe we made in the “Full Lima Culinary Experience” tour.