I had ordered the shrimp in walnut sauce at Peruvian restaurant Machu Picchu, 3856 N. Ashland tonight, figuring I had never had it before. But my Spanish is good enough to know that what I was served was Picante de Camarones -- shrimp in a chili sauce made with garlic, paprika and some other spices. While it's supposed to be spicy -- maybe they toned it down for me without asking -- there dish had a mild kick. The 8 shrimp were served with a side of rice and potato. The dish was $14 and But the runaway hit? The Papa Relleno -- stuffed potato balls ($8).
Yes, I kind of choked on my water when I saw the price for this deep-fat-fried appetizer, which is about the size of an orange. But I checked around for recipes on this dish and it's not easy; one online site lists 18 ingredients for the filling alone. Tonight's dish included a beef filling that also included what appeared to chopped peppers, onions and -- surprise -- at least one bright green olive not to mention all the spices here. All of it is surrounded by mashed potato and the whole thing is fried to a nice golden brown. Would be nice to track down some Peruvian beer (I hear it's great) and wash it all down with that.