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

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.

Ingredients:
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

Preparation:
• 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

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