Papas Veracruz

Crisp, golden brown Idaho® Russets—tossed with flavor-forward salsa macha—are topped with silky lime crema, Cotija cheese, fresh herbs and sesame seeds to deliver a bowl of memorable textures and flavors.


Salsa Macha  (Yield: 1½ quarts)

  • 3½ cups canola oil
  • 16 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup peanuts, roasted and salted
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 6 ounces dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and snipped
  • 1 ounce dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded and snipped
  • ½ ounce dried arbol chiles, stemmed, seeded and snipped
  • 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Lime Crema (Yield: 1½ cups)

  • 1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  • ½ lime, zested
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Papas Veracruz

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 pounds Idaho® Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup Salsa Matcha (see recipe)
  • ½ cup Lime Crema (see recipe)
  • ¼ cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


Salsa Macha

  1. In a large pot, cook canola oil and garlic over medium heat until garlic is golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  2. To the oil, add peanuts, sesame seeds and oregano.
  3. Simmer over medium heat until sesame seeds are golden, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in all of the chiles.
  4. Leave the chiles in the oil, covered with a lid, for 5 minutes.
  5. To the oil and chiles, add apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt and stir to combine. Cover the pot and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer mixture to a high-powered blender. Add golden garlic to the blender and then blend the mixture on high until very smooth and well incorporated.

Lime Crema

  1. In a small bowl, combine shallots and vinegar. Let shallots macerate for 30 minutes, then strain, reserving the vinegar.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine crème fraîche, chives, lime zest and salt.
  3. Stir in strained shallots and 2 teaspoons of the reserved vinegar. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir and taste, adding a pinch more salt or vinegar if desired.

Papas Veracruz

  1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. In a large pot, heat 3 quarts of water over high heat until boiling.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda and potatoes and stir.
  4. Return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until a knife meets little resistance when inserted into the potato cubes, about 10 minutes.
  5. When potatoes are cooked, drain carefully and transfer to a sheet pan to cool.
  6. When potatoes are cool, add canola oil and coat the potatoes evenly with the oil.
  7. Transfer oiled potatoes to a clean sheet pan and spread them out evenly.
  8. Transfer to the oven and roast, without moving them, for 10 minutes.
  9. Using a thin, flexible metal spatula to release any stuck potatoes, flip them over.
  10. Continue roasting until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp all over, turning and shaking them a few times during cooking, another 20 to 30 minutes.
  11. Transfer the crisp, golden potatoes to a large bowl. Add 1 cup of Salsa Matcha and toss to coat evenly.
  12. Divide the potatoes into four shallow bowls. Top each bowl with Lime Crema, Cotija cheese, cilantro, oregano and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Print Recipe

Yield: 4

Unmi Abkin
Coco and the Cellar Bar
Easthampton, MA

Share this Recipe