Aji amarillo paste recipe

Aji Amarillo is a popular Peruvian chili pepper known for its vibrant yellow color and unique flavor. This paste is a staple in Peruvian cuisine and is used in various recipes to add a spicy kick and tangy flavor. In this article, we will explore the process of making Aji Amarillo paste from scratch, its versatile uses in cooking, and some recipes that can be enhanced with this delicious condiment.

What is Aji Amarillo?

Aji Amarillo, also known as Peruvian yellow chili pepper, is a key ingredient in traditional Peruvian cuisine. It is characterized by its bright yellow color, fruity aroma, and medium heat level. The flavor profile of Aji Amarillo is often described as a combination of citrusy, fruity, and slightly floral notes, making it a unique chili pepper loved by many food enthusiasts.

Making Aji Amarillo Paste

To make Aji Amarillo paste, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 10 to 12 fresh Aji Amarillo peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make Aji Amarillo paste:

  1. Start by removing the stems and seeds from the Aji Amarillo peppers. It is recommended to wear gloves while handling the peppers to avoid any skin irritation.
  2. Rinse the peppers under cold water to remove any impurities.
  3. In a pot of boiling water, cook the peppers for about 10 minutes or until they become soft and pliable.
  4. Drain the peppers and let them cool down.
  5. In a blender or food processor, combine the cooked peppers, garlic cloves, vegetable oil, salt, and sugar.
  6. Blend the ingredients until you achieve a smooth and thick paste-like consistency.
  7. Add the lime juice and blend for an additional 30 seconds.
  8. Taste the paste and adjust the seasoning according to your preference. You can add more salt or sugar if desired.
  9. Transfer the Aji Amarillo paste into a sterilized jar or airtight container.
  10. Store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze it for long-term storage.

Uses of Aji Amarillo Paste

Aji Amarillo paste is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes to add a burst of flavor and heat. Here are some popular uses of Aji Amarillo paste:

1. Peruvian Dishes

Aji Amarillo paste is a must-have ingredient in many traditional Peruvian dishes. It is commonly used in dishes such as Aji de Gallina (creamy chicken stew), Papa a la Huancaina (potatoes in spicy cheese sauce), and Anticuchos (Peruvian beef skewers). Its vibrant color and distinct flavor elevate these dishes to a whole new level.

2. Sauces and Marinades

Aji Amarillo paste can be used as a base for sauces and marinades. Its tangy and spicy profile adds depth to any sauce or marinade. You can mix it with mayonnaise to create a flavorful dipping sauce or combine it with soy sauce, garlic, and lime juice for a delicious marinade for grilled meats or seafood.

3. Spicy Dressings

Add a kick to your salads and dressings by incorporating Aji Amarillo paste. Mix it with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and honey for a zesty and spicy salad dressing. It can also be used as a topping for tacos, sandwiches, or burgers to enhance the overall flavor profile.

4. Spicy Condiment

Aji Amarillo paste can be used as a condiment to add heat and flavor to your favorite dishes. You can spread it on sandwiches, use it as a dipping sauce for fries or vegetables, or mix it with cream cheese for a spicy spread.

Recipes Enhanced with Aji Amarillo Paste

Now that you have a jar of homemade Aji Amarillo paste, here are some recipes that can be enhanced with this flavorful condiment:

1. Aji Amarillo Shrimp Ceviche

Ingredients:
– 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
– 1 red onion, thinly sliced
– 1 bell pepper, diced
– 1 tomato, diced
– Juice of 4 limes
– 2 tablespoons Aji Amarillo paste
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions:
1. In a bowl, combine the shrimp, red onion, bell pepper, and tomato.
2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, Aji Amarillo paste, salt, and pepper.
3. Pour the marinade over the shrimp mixture and toss to coat.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
5. Serve the ceviche chilled, garnished with fresh cilantro.

2. Aji Amarillo Chicken Skewers

Ingredients:
– 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
– 2 tablespoons Aji Amarillo paste
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon cumin
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Instructions:
1. In a bowl, combine the Aji Amarillo paste, olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
2. Add the chicken cubes to the marinade and toss to coat. Let it marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight for maximum flavor.
3. Preheat the grill or grill pan over medium heat.
4. Thread the marinated chicken cubes onto the soaked wooden skewers.
5. Grill the skewers for about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred.
6. Serve the Aji Amarillo chicken skewers as an appetizer or as a main course with rice and a side salad.

Enjoy the vibrant flavors of Aji Amarillo paste in these delightful recipes and experiment with incorporating it into your favorite dishes to add a unique Peruvian twist!

FAQ

Q: What is Aji Amarillo?

A: Aji Amarillo, also known as Peruvian yellow chili pepper, is a key ingredient in traditional Peruvian cuisine. It is characterized by its bright yellow color, fruity aroma, and medium heat level.

Q: How do you make Aji Amarillo paste?

A: To make Aji Amarillo paste, you will need fresh Aji Amarillo peppers, garlic, vegetable oil, salt, sugar, and lime juice. Follow these steps:
1. Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers.
2. Rinse the peppers under cold water.
3. Cook the peppers in boiling water until soft.
4. Drain and let them cool.
5. Blend the cooked peppers, garlic, vegetable oil, salt, and sugar until smooth.
6. Add lime juice and blend for an additional 30 seconds.
7. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
8. Transfer the paste to a jar or airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Q: What are the uses of Aji Amarillo paste?

A: Aji Amarillo paste is a versatile ingredient used to add flavor and heat to various dishes. It is commonly used in Peruvian dishes such as Aji de Gallina and Papa a la Huancaina.

Q: How long can Aji Amarillo paste be stored?

A: Aji Amarillo paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen for long-term storage.

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