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Peruvian green sauce recipe?

Peruvian green sauce recipe?
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  • Peruvian green sauce recipe?

    Post #1 - June 25th, 2006, 7:26 pm
    Post #1 - June 25th, 2006, 7:26 pm Post #1 - June 25th, 2006, 7:26 pm
    OK, I tasted Peruvian green sauce at a neighborhood resto in Montreal, fell in love with the stuff. Took a couple weeks of pretty careful research with help from my Nicaraguan foodie buddy, and determined conclusively that the mystery ingredient is T. minuta, an Andean marigold. Got seeds. Found that, indeed, it IS hard to germinate/grow, just like everyone said. But my grape-breeding buddy Jean--with his greenhouse--has succeeded: we've got the plant in beau-copius amounts. NOW:

    anybody got a recipe for the Peruvian green sauce?

    I can dry some of the plant and maybe supply a few folks' needs, once I get the scheme down.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #2 - June 25th, 2006, 7:42 pm
    Post #2 - June 25th, 2006, 7:42 pm Post #2 - June 25th, 2006, 7:42 pm
    Geo,

    Janet C. has been on this quest as well. You will want to read this thread to see her ideas, as well as Gary's and many others, for this sauce. We even went to a Peruvian restaurant as a group to make comparatives.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - June 25th, 2006, 7:44 pm
    Post #3 - June 25th, 2006, 7:44 pm Post #3 - June 25th, 2006, 7:44 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Geo,

    Janet C. has been on this quest as well. You will want to read this thread to see her ideas, as well as Gary's and many others, for this sauce. We even went to a Peruvian restaurant as a group to make comparatives.

    Regards,


    I went to that group dinner, and I liked Gary's recipe better than that served by the restaurant, for what that is worth.
    JiLS
  • Post #4 - June 25th, 2006, 8:14 pm
    Post #4 - June 25th, 2006, 8:14 pm Post #4 - June 25th, 2006, 8:14 pm
    Tnx C2 and JiLS--

    Gary's sauce is indeed very interesting, but as a commentator later mentioned, it's missing something, and what it's missing is the T. minuta, sometimes called "black mint" or huacatay. Here's the comment from Gernot Katzer's "spice pages" §:

    Mint marigold (Tagetes minuta and Tagetes elliptica, Asteraceae) is an important herb in the Andean cuisines of Bolivia and Perú. In cookbooks, it is mostly named by its name in Quechua huacatay (Aymara wacataya). The herb has a remarkable, spicy-fresh flavour and should be used only in the fresh state, although a pesto-like concoction (Salsa de Huacatay, black mint sauce) can be made from it that preserves much of the original taste.


    Edmundo and I verified this info off a couple of folklorico pages from Peruvian universities. [There's a lot of confusion: too many people think that the green color and flavor come from epazote, which couldn't be right, if you've ever tasted fresh epazote.]

    Anyway, I'm going to give Gary's recipe a try, with the addition of huacatay. (I've also got some Peruvian aji peppers growing, but don't expect to get them ripe until Sept. Be interesting to see how they compare with the jalapenos from Gary's recipe.)

    Tnx again--I just *knew* yinz would know what to do!

    Geo

    § http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/spice_geo.html
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #5 - June 25th, 2006, 8:37 pm
    Post #5 - June 25th, 2006, 8:37 pm Post #5 - June 25th, 2006, 8:37 pm
    BTW, the black mint seeds are available from Richter's in Canada (the most amazing herb site I've ever seen!):

    http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_s ... 0280.27591


    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #6 - June 26th, 2006, 9:49 am
    Post #6 - June 26th, 2006, 9:49 am Post #6 - June 26th, 2006, 9:49 am
    Geo,

    Please let me know how your sauce turns out. I never was able to duplicate an exact replica of the sauce, and would love to find out how to make it at home. I find it amazing that it's been nearly impossible to track down an accurate recipe for such a seemingly simple and ubiquitous sauce (at least in Peruvian restaurants).
    "I don't like the whole mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables thing. Too much texture: One is really smooth and the other is really hard." - from an overheard conversation
  • Post #7 - June 26th, 2006, 11:11 am
    Post #7 - June 26th, 2006, 11:11 am Post #7 - June 26th, 2006, 11:11 am
    Janet C--

    Will do!

    I went out on the net last night, got about 7 google pages deep on "salsa de huacatay", and found something interesting. There are exactly two independent Spanish-language recipes, duplicated and re-duplicated forever. They differ a bit from one another, and from Gary's recipe. With two exceptions for ingredients, I think Gary's will be the superior recipe. First, most recipes called for queso fresco (altho' one suggested feta as a substitute), and, secondly, all called for the addition of either fresh milk, or evaporated milk. I suspect that the latter is much more common, than the former.

    All, of course, called for the use of aji peppers. Since the color of these range from yellow through orange to red, this is a clue that the green color of the sauce doesn't come from the peppers, but rather from something else. Which is what led me initially on the Great Quest to find the answer to the Big Question "What the hey! is the green herb that evidently makes this sauce unique??!"

    Unfortunately, the plants are in Jean's greenhouse in Montreal and I'm in KC. But, TODG will be flying my way in two weeks, and I'll ask her to bring me a potted plant or two. THEN, the big test.

    I just *love* this kind of detective work! :^)

    Stay tuned!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #8 - June 26th, 2006, 3:29 pm
    Post #8 - June 26th, 2006, 3:29 pm Post #8 - June 26th, 2006, 3:29 pm
    Hi Geo,

    Reinspired by your post, I did some more web searching to see if I could find out more than I did in the past.

    Came across a couple of interesting (but very different recipes). One called for blending jalapenos, lettuce, and mayo (someone posted this as the recipe from a Peruvian restaurant in LA, I think).

    Here's another similar recipe also using lettuce (!!) that I just found from an old Chowhound post:

    Ingredients:

    1 head of iceburg lettuce
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    Half a bunch of cilantro
    4 serrano chilis
    minced garlic
    1 tablespoon water
    1/2 cup olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Throw the first six ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse ingredients are combined. Drizzle in olive oil as the blender is working through sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. The sauce my seem a little thin at first but let it sit for couple of minutes and the sauce will thicken a nice consistency.

    Another recipe called for cooking the aji peppers (I'm assuming jalapeno can be subbed in) in boiling water with some sugar added then blending it up with some oil.

    The funny thing is that many people seem to be trying to track down the definitive recipe for this sauce and it's still remains elusive...

    I think I'm going to have to do some more experimenting myself. Will let you know if either of these comes close!
    "I don't like the whole mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables thing. Too much texture: One is really smooth and the other is really hard." - from an overheard conversation
  • Post #9 - June 26th, 2006, 3:55 pm
    Post #9 - June 26th, 2006, 3:55 pm Post #9 - June 26th, 2006, 3:55 pm
    Janet C. wrote:Here's another similar recipe also using lettuce (!!) ...


    There was a bit of discussion about "salsa de lechuga" on this thread a few months ago...
  • Post #10 - November 3rd, 2008, 9:51 pm
    Post #10 - November 3rd, 2008, 9:51 pm Post #10 - November 3rd, 2008, 9:51 pm
    Just wanted to revive this thread... this sauce is addicting as hell, and I NEED to be able to prepare this at home. My wife's family is Peruvian, and they tell me that the two must-have ingredients for the recipe are indeed huacatay ("black mint") and aji amarillo. Apparently you can find aji amarillo in some latin-american grocery stores in Chicago, but huacatay is impossible to come by in the U.S., which is why they never prepare it here unless someone has just brought some huacatay with them from a trip to Peru.

    Now, I'm not really satisfied with this situation because obviously the three or four Peruvian restaurants in Chicago must obtain the huacatay from somewhere (don't believe them for a second when they tell you that the sauce contains jalapenos, serranos, or other hot peppers most often found in Mexican cuisine).

    So, back to the original poster's question: has anyone been able to grow (or even better for my purposes, buy) huacatay in Chicago? Any leads would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  • Post #11 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:12 pm
    Post #11 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:12 pm Post #11 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:12 pm
    I've got huacutay growing, even as we speak, in my garden here in KC. It has successfully re-seeded two seasons. Buy it here:

    http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_s ... 3971.13170

    It's a bit difficult to germinate, but can most certainly be done.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #12 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:27 pm
    Post #12 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:27 pm Post #12 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:27 pm
    Thank you, Geo. I will definitely try my hand at growing this if I can't buy it anywhere. Thanks for the link.

    May I ask you what it tastes like? Does it taste like a mild basil, which is how I imagine it might?
  • Post #13 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:32 pm
    Post #13 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:32 pm Post #13 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:32 pm
    I wouldn't say basil. It's very mild, but it has a teeny tiny bit of marigold about it, plus some other novel flavors. Pleasant, and you can taste where the green sauce comes from.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #14 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:43 pm
    Post #14 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:43 pm Post #14 - November 3rd, 2008, 10:43 pm
    Now you've really piqued my interest!

    Thanks!
  • Post #15 - November 3rd, 2008, 11:50 pm
    Post #15 - November 3rd, 2008, 11:50 pm Post #15 - November 3rd, 2008, 11:50 pm
    This source lists some other names by which you may ask about it in Latin stores. Also, I have seen tagetes oil in health-food stores.
  • Post #16 - November 5th, 2008, 1:00 pm
    Post #16 - November 5th, 2008, 1:00 pm Post #16 - November 5th, 2008, 1:00 pm
    MLS Post subject: D'Candela saucePosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:43 pm

    Peruvian (mostly chicken) place had an addictive pale green, seemingly mayonaise based sauce that I put on everything. Pretty picquant too.

    What was it? How is it made?



    This is the stuff! Thanks for bringing back this post.

    They call it aji and I have since seen the recipe made both with and without mayo and lettuce, but peppers, garlic, olive oil, and cilantro are always required.
  • Post #17 - September 28th, 2012, 12:26 pm
    Post #17 - September 28th, 2012, 12:26 pm Post #17 - September 28th, 2012, 12:26 pm
    News flash: a Montréal Peruvian chef spent the weekend at our beach place last weekend, spouse of one of my wife's colleagues. *He* told me that frozen huacatay is now available in MTL. If it's here, it damn well should be in Chicago somewhere, too.

    Said chef promised to teach me how to make the sauce. I'm STILL on the case, LTHers!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #18 - September 28th, 2012, 2:05 pm
    Post #18 - September 28th, 2012, 2:05 pm Post #18 - September 28th, 2012, 2:05 pm
    Geo wrote:News flash: a Montréal Peruvian chef spent the weekend at our beach place last weekend, spouse of one of my wife's colleagues. *He* told me that frozen huacatay is now available in MTL. If it's here, it damn well should be in Chicago somewhere, too.

    Said chef promised to teach me how to make the sauce. I'm STILL on the case, LTHers!

    Geo

    Geo,

    I admire your persistence all these six plus years later. :)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - September 28th, 2012, 2:31 pm
    Post #19 - September 28th, 2012, 2:31 pm Post #19 - September 28th, 2012, 2:31 pm
    Tnx C2--

    You'd do the same, I'm sure!. Plus, it helps that I had a nice lunch of Jalea de Mariscos at our nearby La Melchorita, during which I gobbled up gallons of huacatay sauce! :o

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #20 - September 28th, 2012, 9:12 pm
    Post #20 - September 28th, 2012, 9:12 pm Post #20 - September 28th, 2012, 9:12 pm
    I do love the sauces at El Nandu. I think this one though is different, from Peru. I would like to try to make it. It seems as there are wildly different recipes for it though in the posts. Some have lettuce, others crackers and feta. Which one is the best?

    I note that huacatay can be ordered from Amazon.

    P.S. One of the sauces at El Nandu is chimmichurri and its green. The other is kind of a yellowish orange sauce. Don't know the name of that. They are both good.
    Last edited by toria on September 29th, 2012, 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #21 - September 29th, 2012, 11:05 am
    Post #21 - September 29th, 2012, 11:05 am Post #21 - September 29th, 2012, 11:05 am
    toria--

    Where did you find it on Amazon?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #22 - September 29th, 2012, 1:18 pm
    Post #22 - September 29th, 2012, 1:18 pm Post #22 - September 29th, 2012, 1:18 pm
    Its not fresh, its a canned paste. Other posts mention that its very invasive so I do not think it would be good to grow. Perhaps some latin food stores will have it.

    There is a Peruvian grocery on Kimball south of Belmont. Here are the amazon links.

    http://www.amazon.com/Belmont-Huacatay- ... _sim_gro_1

    http://www.amazon.com/Huacatay-Black-Mi ... _sim_gro_2

    Now what about the advice on the recipe. It seems to be all over the map.

    mayo?

    crackers?

    Cheese?

    Lettuce?

    Cilantro?

    There does not seem to be any real consistent way of making the sauce. Also posts say the huacatay can be quite distinctive and to not put a lot in.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #23 - September 29th, 2012, 1:28 pm
    Post #23 - September 29th, 2012, 1:28 pm Post #23 - September 29th, 2012, 1:28 pm
    They also seem to have it at another place:

    El Condor in Chicago on Milwaukee Ave.

    http://www.elcondorchicago.com/contact.html
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare

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