Years and years ago, we went on vacation in Northern California. I am pretty sure it was when we just had the two boys, and they were like - oh, 3 and 4 or something like that. While we were there we visited the family of a lady who was then caring for Alif's grandma. They had a lovely home, sweet children, and they were so, so hospitable.
They spoke hardly any English, having come recently from Bolivia, but Alif's parents did their best to translate and Alif and I picked up what we could with our limited knowledge of Spanish. The husband prepared a huge, delicious breakfast. He was gregarious and smiling as he wielded a spatula in one hand and a beer in the other, both for drinking and for pouring bits into the meal as needed.
We so enjoyed the breakfast and more than that, we enjoyed our time with these new friends. Before we got into our car to leave, they hugged us and said, in Spanish, "we are family now!" When we were settled and on our way, we smiled at each other and wished we lived close to this family. They would certainly be among our closest of friends if we lived nearby.
Once we were home, I googled and googled for a recipe for the grand meal they'd served us. I knew the name of it but not how to spell it, and my finest efforts were unrewarded. As silly as it sounds, every so often that dish comes to mind and I wish yet again that I knew how to make it. Finally last weekend I asked Alif to call his parents and ask if they remembered what all was in it. They didn't, but they did know that the family we'd met was Bolivian.
Well, armed with this knowledge and my best friend google, I finally came up with the meal! Pique Macho!! YES! That's IT! There are dozens of variations, so I just cobbled together the best version I could, drawing on my limited memory and what simply sounded good. Here's how we did it . . .
Get a bag or two of frozen steak fries, and pop 'em in the oven to bake while you work on the topping. Potatoes are the basis for this recipe.
Your topping will include:
spices (I used salt, pepper and cumin)
vegetables (I used onion, bell pepper, garlic and tomatoes)
meat (I used spicy sausage hot dogs, but strips of beef, regular hot dogs, breakfast sausage - anything like that would work)
eggs (I boiled and sliced mine, but fried eggs would be good too)
Next time I will probably add some beer. We do not drink - at all - but I think the beer would add something special!
Serve each person a little mound of potatoes, slop on some of the topping, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Oh, baby. Yes.