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This recipe for Layered Potato and Egg Salad by Sandra Gutierrez is this chef’s version of the causa. Like a potato-based egg salad sandwich, this causa will definitely wake people up at your next potluck, with its zingy lime-chile potatoes and a generous topping of olives. Gutierrez, a former food columnist for the Cary News in Cary, N.C., finds three major commonalities between the traditional cuisine of the South and that of Latin America.

The roots of both cuisines come from indigenous people of the Americas, European settlers and Africans from the transatlantic triangular trade who found themselves and their food thrust together in a New World. Second, “we have a similar basket of ingredients that we share,” said Gutierrez, “among them corn and beans and nuts and pork and tomatoes.” Vegans can use crumbled tofu instead of eggs for the filling, and with vegan mayonnaise, you can enjoy this creative new party dish! It makes enough for up to 12 services.

For the Potato Layers:
4 lbs. yellow potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup minced white onion
1/3 cup key lime juice (can use standard Persian lime juice)
1 tsp aji Amarillo paste (can use hot sauce)
2 tsps. salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Egg Layer:
9 hard boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
2 tbsps. minced capers
1 tsp yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch salt

For the Garnish:
1 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives
1/4 cup finely chopped chives

1. Spray or oil a 9x13x2 inch casserole. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and onion and stir. In a medium bowl, combine the lime, aji or hot sauce, salt and pepper and whisk, then whisk in the olive oil.

2. Pour over the mashed potato mixture and stir to mix well. Divide the mixture in half and press half in the pan, reserving the rest.

3. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, chopped olives and capers, mustard, pepper and salt. Spread over the potato layer. Cover the eggs with the remaining potatoes and gently spread to an even layer.

4. Garnish with sliced olives and chives, then cover and chill for at least an hour and up to 14 hours.

About the Author
Emily Crawford Misztal is a freelance writer and photographer working in North Carolina. She earned a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Georgia in 2006. After graduation she worked as a staff photographer for the Benton County Daily Record in Bentonville, Arkansas. In 2009 she joined the Peace Corps and served in Guatemala, fulfilling a lifelong dream to travel and become fluent in a second language. Misztal is also an avid newshound, armchair fashionista, home cook and exercise procrastinator.[/author_info] [/author]