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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Daring Cooks: Papas Rellenas

The challenge for Daring Cooks this month was a great one - Ceviche and Papas Rellenas (Peruvian Style).  We have a small Peruvian restaurant near us that we go to occasionally and always are happy with the food.  It's warm, comforting and delicious (not to mention cheap!).   We really like it.

I chose to tackle the Papas Rellenas, and I'm glad I did.  They were really good, and BIG...one was enough for a serving, and the recipe made 6, so we had plenty of leftovers!

The only thing I did differently was make the potatoes the day before and store them in the fridge...this way, they were easier to handle once I was ready to assemble them.  My friend's mom, who is Puerto Rican and makes these often, gave me that tip...and it definitely helped!

Frank helped me out with this dish by taking charge of the ricer - a much easier task for a big, strong man like him (he's going to eat up that shout-out).  The one I borrowed from my Mom isn't very big and takes some elbow grease, so I was happy to pass that off :)  Next time, he'll also be the one in charge of forming them, since I now know that the bigger the hand, the better they get filled!  Mine didn't make it all the way into the middle...oh well.

These would be great with different types of fillings, too.  We loved them and will definitely be making them again.  Another successful Daring Cooks challenge :)  Can't wait to see what the next one is!

Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenges us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra.

Papas Rellenas
adapted from Bake Like A Ninja

For the dough:

2¼ lb russet potatoes
1 large egg

For the filling:
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ lb ground beef
12 green olives with pimento, chopped
3 hard boiled large eggs, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
½ cup raisins, soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, then minced
1 finely diced jalapeno pepper 
3 cloves garlic, minced or passed through a press
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ cup beef stock for deglazing 
Salt and pepper to taste

For the final preparation:
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash salt
1 cup panko bread crumbs 
Oil for frying (enough for 2” in a medium sized dutch oven)

For the dough:
Boil the potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork.  Remove them from the water and cool.  Once the potatoes have cooled, peel them and mash them with a potato masher or force them through a potato ricer (preferred).  

Add egg, salt and pepper and knead dough thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.  Store in the refrigerator overnight if you can...the potatoes will be much easier to handle that way.
For the filling:
Gently brown onion and garlic in oil (about 5 minutes).  Add the jalapenos and sauté for a few more minutes.  Add ground beef and brown.

Add raisins, cumin and paprika and cook very briefly.  Deglaze the pan with beef stock.  Add olives and cook for a few moments longer.  Take off the heat and add hard boiled egg.  Allow filling to cool before forming papas.

Forming and frying the papas:
Use three small bowls to prepare the papas. In one, combine flour, cayenne and salt.  In the 
second, a beaten egg with a tiny bit of water.  Put bread crumbs in the third.  Flour your hands and scoop up 1/6 of the total dough to make a round pancake with your hands.  Make a slight indentation in the middle for the filling.  Spoon a generous amount of filling into the center and then roll the potato closed, forming a 
smooth, potato-shaped casing around the filling.  Repeat with all dough.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a pan to about 350 – 375° F (175 - 190°C).  Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first roll in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in bread crumbs.  Fry the papas (in batches if necessary) about 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Flip once in the middle of frying to brown both sides.  Drain on paper towel and store in a 200ºF oven if frying in batches.

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At March 15, 2011 at 10:02 AM , Blogger Mommy Dearest said...

That looks delicious!!! Can't wait to try that recipes! BTW, where's the Peruvian restaurant?? We're semi-new to Fair Lawn and always in the mood to try out new foods/restaurants.

At March 15, 2011 at 11:01 AM , Blogger Pam said...

I've never had these before but I am certain I would love them.

At March 15, 2011 at 1:20 PM , Blogger Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

Mommy Dearest, it's in Maywood, on Pleasant Ave...here's the link. It's super casual. Food is delicious.

At March 15, 2011 at 2:36 PM , Blogger Ann said...

Hey there! Just wanted to tell you that I'd like to pass on the Stylish Blogger award to you! Love your blog...you can pick up the award on my blog post:


At March 15, 2011 at 3:56 PM , Blogger Creating Nirvana said...

Great job on this challenge! Your papas have such a nice shape.

At March 15, 2011 at 8:19 PM , Blogger Christina @ Still Lucky said...

These remind me of my dad. He loves making these!

At March 15, 2011 at 8:20 PM , Blogger Ben said...

A big yum, Melissa...these look delicious, and they're really not at all the "usual." Great job!


At March 16, 2011 at 9:51 AM , Blogger Min {Honest Vanilla} said...

Sounds delicious ;) I've honestly not had any Peruvian dishes before but all the bloggers who took up this Daring Cook challenge is really very inspiring to make some myself!

At March 16, 2011 at 10:20 PM , Blogger Abbie said...

So much work -- but they look yummy!


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