Chef Ingrid Hoffmann's ham and bacon 'Causa,' Peruvian delicacy ideal for summer

With summer around the corner, outdoor gatherings call for fresh simple dishes.


The first day of summer is right around the corner — and warmer weather calls for more outdoor gatherings with your friends and family. Here is a great cold recipe with Peruvian roots that will make your next outdoor gathering memorable.

For the potato mash
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
½ cup oil
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons yellow ají paste
salt and pepper to taste

For the filling
1 (12 ounce) package Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon, chopped
1 (8 ounce) package Smithfield Anytime Hickory Smoked Diced Ham
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (diced carrots, corn & peas), thawed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
pepper to taste

To serve:
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1 (2.25 ounce) sliced black olives, drained
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

• Place the potatoes in a large 6-quart pot with enough salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, approximately 45 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
• In a small bowl, mix oil, lime juice, yellow ají paste, salt and pepper.
• When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, mash them until smooth (you can use a ricer). Stir in oil/ ají  mixture and mix well.
• To make the filling; Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crisp, about 7-10 minutes total (cook in two batches if needed). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool completely.
• In a medium bowl, combine bacon, ham, vegetables, mayonnaise, mustard and pepper, stir until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

To serve in a casserole
Recommended for a family dinner on a weeknight
• Line the bottom and sides of a (8x8) casserole dish with a 12x12-inch piece of plastic wrap. Spread half of the potatoes on the plastic wrap-lined dish and smooth out. Evenly spread the ham/bacon filling over the potato layer. Cover with remaining potatoes and press down gently to firm up. Cover with a second (8x8) sheet of plastic wrap pressed against top layer of potatoes and refrigerate for 2 hours.
• Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap from the top potato layer of casserole dish. Invert the casserole dish on a platter and remove dish. Gently remove bottom sheet of plastic wrap. Garnish with hard-boiled eggs, black olives and parsley.

To serve as causa balls
Perfect to serve as mini appetizers when hosting an outdoor cocktail party
• Roll 1 tablespoon of the potato mixture into a ball. Press down the middle with your finger and top with ham, bacon and vegetable mixture. Garnish as desired.

To serve as an appetizer
Ideal when hosting a more formal sit-down dinner during the summer
• Empty a tuna can, wash it very well and remove the bottom using a can opener to create a round-shaped mold. Press potato mixture into the tuna can mold. Top with ham, bacon and vegetable filling and cover with another 3-inch layer of potato mixture. Remove the mold and garnish with hard-boiled eggs, black olives and parsley.

Makes 8-10 serving

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram