I read that potatoes originated in Peru, or were at least brought to the world’s attention from that country, so I thought it would be appropriate to include a potato recipe from Peru. This is an interesting combination of elements–peanuts, milk or cream, egg, cheese, olives–that is both exotic and comfort-foodish. If you don’t have peanuts, you could use peanut butter, or try almonds or other nuts. Just make sure they’re toasted.

1 1/2 – 2 lbs potatoes, peeled or not
1/3 c roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 c milk or cream, or half-and-half, or dairy substitute
salt and pepper, to taste
1 t chili powder or 1/4 t cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 t minced chipotle (roasted jalapeño); or 1 t minced chile pepper with a drop of liquid smoke; or more chili powder
1/3 c finely chopped onion
1/2 – 3/4 c grated cheese
1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped
1/4 c pitted and halved olives
fresh chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish, optional

1. Cut potatoes into into halves, quarters or eights, depending on their size. Put into a saucepan, cover with water and cook until tender. The cooking time will depend on the size of the potato pieces.

2. Meanwhile, grind peanuts in a food processor. Add the milk, salt, pepper, chili powder, chipotle, and onion. Purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Taste after a bit for spiciness and add more chili powder if you like.

3. Drain potatoes. Put in a serving bowl or on a serving platter. Pour peanut sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle cheese over, then the egg, followed by the olives, and finally the herb, if using.