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Smashed Potatoes with Spicy Rocoto Cream Sauce

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If you were to open my refrigerator and poke around on any day, there are a few staples that can always be found. Today, two weeks from now, next month, etc… potatoes have a permanent place in the bottom drawer. I especially love the miniature variety which can easily be turned into delicious bites and festive party snacks.

I used rocoto (South American chile pepper) paste here to make the spicy cream sauce which went especially well with these smashed potatoes. This sauce gets into the crevices of the crunchy potato skins and practically melts into the tender parts.

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Roasted Potatoes with Spicy Rocoto Sauce:

Yield: 12- 14 individual potatoes

1 bag small potatoes (or a dozen miniature potatoes)

3 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt to taste

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sliced chives

Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Scrub potatoes clean, place in a medium size pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes ot until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside.

Line a sheet pan with foil and spread the potatoes out. Using a drinking glass or vessel with a flat bottom, gently flatten each potato. Brush the tops of the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until golden brown and skins begin to crisp.

Rocoto Cream Sauce:

1/2 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, rough chopped

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

5 oz queso fresco

4 tablespoons rocoto paste

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons cold water

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil

2 water crackers (saltines also work)

Heat one teaspoon grapeseed oil in a small skillet and add onion, garlic, and salt. Cook on medium-low heat, until onions become soft and translucent, do not brown. Set aside.

In a blender, combine onion mixture with all other ingredients and puree until smooth. Sauce will be on the thick side (ketchup consistency), it should not be runny. If sauce is too loose, add another cracker and blend until smooth. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. If the sauce is made the night before, bring to room temperature before using.

To assemble, place potatoes on a platter and top with a generous spoonful of rocoto cream sauce. Garnish with chives and enjoy immediately.

*Make the rocoto sauce ahead of time and assemble as soon as the potatoes are roasted.

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