Bolivia was our second trip to South America for this project, and we’ll be back soon to Brazil.
I found a great blog with Bolivian recipes from someone who grew up there, so I used her recipe for silpancho and a hot sauce called llajwa. Since the siplancho includes rice, potatoes, meat, eggs, and veggies, I didn’t select any side dishes or other recipes. This made the meal a lot easier than usual!
The Llajwa is a traditional spicy sauce made of jalapeño peppers, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and salt. It is traditionally prepared in a batan, which looks somewhat similar to a mortar and pestle, but with a much larger base. I attempted to make the sauce in our large mortar and pestle, but that didn’t work out very well since there was so much liquid. Jalapeño pepper juice splattering around the kitchen is not a good thing. So I switched to the mini food processor.
We started with salad/salsa topping. Not much too it, but it was easy to make this ahead of time and set it aside. Chopped tomato, green pepper, red onion, with a dress of oil, vinegar, and salt.
Next we made the potatoes. The recipe suggested boiling them for 10 minutes, so they were only partially cooked. I love the look of the sliced potatoes afterwards!
Later on, when we were closer to eating, these went back in a pan with some oil to finish cooking.
The most unique part of this meal was the meat. One pound of ground beef was mixed with salt and pepper, then split into four balls and rolled out with a rolling pin in bread crumbs. They were supposed to be pretty thin, so even with 1/4 lb ground beef in each, they were bigger than my face.
These were cooked in a large pan on the stove. They didn’t take too long since they were so thin
I didn’t take any pictures of the eggs, but we also fried three eggs somewhere in this process. I will note that this is WAY out of my comfort zone–I do not like eggs. Honestly, I can’t believe I made it through 22 countries before I had to eat a cooked egg (I’m not counting the hardboiled egg that went into our empanadas for Argentina–that was very well disguised). We also made a cup of rice, but I didn’t take pictures of that either, because we all know what rice looks like.
The assembly process was important since there was SO MUCH food to put together. First there is a base of rice and potato slices, then the meat patty, then the egg, than the salsa, then the sauce, then some chopped cilantro.
The results were delicious! Once again, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed something that is full of ingredients I don’t really like! The egg was still a stretch, but it was well disguised among all the other food. I’m starting to appreciate green pepper and red onion, and I loved the kick of the Llajwa sauce! Further evidence that my spicy food tolerance is increasing with this project…