Ocopa

Having made a sweet-spicy salsa for my first recipe, I thought I’d follow up with a creamy-savory-spicy salsa (i.e., Spanish for “sauce”). Ocopa is a traditional Andean recipe, associated with the Southern-Peruvian mountain city of Arequipa. The flavor base is a combination of roasted ají mirasol (Peruvian yellow peppers, also known as ají amarillo) and huacatay, which is an Andean black mint that the inhabitants of that region use in a lot of their cooking. The textural base to this dish is a mixture of fresh cheese (queso fresco or a similar farmer’s cheese) and evaporated milk, thickened with crackers and nuts.

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