Causa is a traditional dish that can be transformed with many different ingredients. Although the classic causa is always made with layers of mashed yellow potato, and filled with chicken or tuna salad, in recent years you can find causa in tiny and stylish presentations, topped with escabeche, fried fish, cebiche, octopus with black olive mayonnaise…even lomo saltado!
Adventurous chefs sometimes even add black squid ink to the potatoes,to make a dark and very exotic causa. Rocoto paste or beet puree can be used for a reddish one. And instead of potatoes, some cooks have started using Lima beans, yucca, taro, sweet potatoes, etc. As you can see, today this dish allows for hundreds of variations.
Today´s recipe is a flavorful combination of traditional causa, to which roasted bell pepper is added. The result is very tasty, especially if you are a roasted bell peppers lover, which I am. You may omit the aji amarillo paste if you want.
This causa is topped with a scallop salad, similar to a cebiche. Choose the smallest scallops you can find to make this appetizer, but if you only find the really large ones, slice them. Instead of scallops you may also use fish or cooked shrimp. To add texture to the dish, I like to top it with some crispy wonton dough.
Thanks to the awesome chef Roberto Cuadra for the lovely photo.
- 1 roasted bell pepper
- 6 medium-sized starchy potatoes (Russet or Idaho)
- 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste or to taste (optional)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- Juice of 3 limes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound scallops
- 1 tablespoon finely diced hot pepper
- Juice of 4 limes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 slices of wonton dough
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 avocado
- 4 hard-boiled quail eggs
- Balsamic glaze
- Process the bell pepper in the blender until it turns into a smooth paste. Reserve.
- Scrub the potatoes and cook them in a saucepan with boiling water, for about 25 minutes or until tender. Peel them while hot and pass them through a ricer or mash with a potato masher.
- Add the aji amarillo paste, if using, vegetable oil, lime juice and salt to taste. Add the bell pepper paste. Mix well and knead lightly with your hands. Cover with a cloth and let it cool to room temperature.
- To prepare the scallops, rinse and dry them well with paper towel. Put in a bowl and combine with the diced hot pepper, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Finally mix in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning and reserve.
- Finely slice the wonton dough. Put the vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the wonton strands until golden, (about 2 minutes). Transfer to a plate covered in paper towel to drain the oil.
- Put a portion of causa in four plates, using a pastry ring. Top with scallops, and then with the fried wonton.
- Garnish with avocado, quail eggs, and Balsamic glaze.
- Serve immediately.