Friday, April 6, 2012

Bolivian Culture in McAllen

I met my husband in Bolivia when I was working there as a single missionary. One of the many things I love about being married to Gerson is that he comes from a different culture. It's sometimes a challenge, but overall it's more enriching than anything else. One thing we try to do is incorporate both of our cultures in our household so our children will learn about where we have both come from. How do we do we incorporate Bolivian into our family? One way is cooking special, favorite foods that Gerson enjoys from his country.

When we lived in Indiana, some of his favorite foods were a challenge to cook because we couldn't get the ingredients. One of the joys of living in McAllen, Texas is that here we have lots of Mexican stores that can get ingredients from different Latin American countries.

The recipe I want to share is one I prepared today and no special ingredients are required! This is a fabulous recipe for warm weather when something fresh and cool is needed. It's also a wonderful dish to use up your boiled Easter eggs!
First off, boil potatoes. The original Bolivian recipe calls for 20 potatoes since this dish is used for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, or graduations where there are many guests. However, I just use 5 medium to large potatoes for our family. Even with 5 potatoes, we usually have enough left over for several meals. Cube the potatoes as you would for a potato salad and boil them. You don't want to boil them too long, however, or they will not stir well.
The recipe also calls for diced carrots (cooked), green peas (cooked) and onion. I like to keep things as simple as possible in the kitchen, so rather than do all that chopping, I pull out a bag of frozen veggies and heat them up. Like the potatoes, boil the veggies but only until they are cooked but firm.Pour the cooked veggies into the bowl with the boiled potatoes.
Then add the diced onions.
The recipe also calls for a cooked and de-boned chicken. Again, I try to keep things simple! Tonight I pulled out a bag of frozen chicken that was leftover from a rotisserie chicken we had bought at the local grocery store. Any kind of chicken will work. You can either boil a whole chicken, boil chicken breasts, or use leftovers for this. I popped the chicken into the microwave to thaw it and cut it up.
Then I added it to the rest of the of the ingredients. I also had hard boiled eggs all ready in my refrigerator. I peeled them, diced them, and added them as well. I use 2 eggs for this size of recipe.
The last ingredient is mayo! Add enough mayo to make it into a salad --- with the consistency like that of an American potato salad.
Place it in the refrigerator to chill. The result if SCRUMPTIOUS! It's hearty enough to be a complete meal, and it has protein, carbs, and veggies all in one.

Below I will put the original Bolivian recipe from my Bolivian cookbook. As you will be able to tell, I put my own spin on it. You can do the same! Hope you try it! Enjoy!

Sapicon (Bolivian Chicken/Potato Salad)

20+ large potatoes, cubed and cooked
1 cooked and de-boned chicken (cubed)
2 cups carrots, diced and cooked
2 cups green peas, diced and cooked
1 cup diced onion (optional)
4 hard boiled eggs
1 cup sliced green olives
mayonnaise to taste
salt and pepper to taste