The mayonnaise-based sauce in this hearty vegetable and cheese sandwich from Pasquale Hermanos, chef Gaston Acurio's chain of sandwich shops based in Lima, Peru, is flavored with ground fresh rocoto, a spicy South American chile. This recipe first appeared in our April 2011 special Sandwich Issue with the article Chef's Special.
- 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 cup rocoto paste
- 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 ají amarillo or banana pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 6 white button mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 (1"-piece) ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 (6") rectangular ciabatta buns, split and toasted
- 1 cup arugula
- 1⁄4 cup cilantro leaves
Whisk together mayonnaise, rocoto, and lime juice in a small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a 14" wok or skillet over high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and ají amarillo; cook, stirring constantly, until soft and blistered at edges, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Place mushrooms in wok and cook, stirring constantly, until browned, 2–3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook for 1–2 minutes. Add soy sauce and vinegar, cook for 30 seconds, and transfer to bowl with onions and peppers. Add tomatoes to bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
Place 2 slices of cheese on the bottom half of each bun, and top with half the vegetable mixture. Pour rocoto sauce over vegetables, and top with arugula and cilantro. Cover with top buns.