Monday, March 14, 2011

Daring Cooks Challenge March, 2011; ¡Me Encanta Perú! - Papas Rellenas

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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.

I decided to skip making the Ceviche de Pescado primarily because I was too lazy to try and figure out where I could get absolutely the freshest fish/seafood here in Dallas. I imagine it would most likely have involved quite a bit of driving.

The Papas Rellenas however did not disappoint; they were delicious!


For the dough:
2¼ lb (1 kg) russet potatoes
1 large egg


1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 green onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
6 stuffed pimento olives, chopped
2 tbsp dried currants
2 tsp capers
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
pinch cloves
pinch cinnamon
2 tbsp tomato paste
salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add the rest of the ingredients and fry the meat mixture, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks for 15-20 minutes or until done. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Allow the mixture to cool completely before using as a filling. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

For the final preparation:
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose flour
Dash cayenne pepper
1 large egg, beaten
Dash salt
1 cup dry (240 ml) (110 gm) (4 oz) or fresh (240 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) bread crumbs (you can use regular, panko, make your own or use store-bought)

Oil for frying (enough for 2” (50 mm) in a heavy pan like a medium sized dutch oven)


In order to save time, you can boil the potatoes, and while they are cooling, you can make the filling. While that is cooling, you can make the potato “dough.” In this way, little time is spent waiting for anything to cool.
For the dough:
  1. Boil the potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork. Remove them from the water and cool.
  2. Once the potatoes have cooled, peel them and mash them with a potato masher or force them through a potato ricer (preferred).
  3. Add egg, salt and pepper and knead “dough” thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.

While the potatoes cool down before finishing the dough, you can make the filling.

Forming and frying the papas:
  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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 (you should have about 6 papas).
  4. Heat 1 ½ - 2 inches (4 – 5 cm) of oil in a pan to about 350 – 375° F (175 - 190°C).
  5. Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first roll in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in bread crumbs.
  6. 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.
  7. Drain on paper towel and store in a 200ºF (95ºC) (gas mark ¼) oven if frying in batches.
  8. Serve with salsa criolla (or other sauce of preference) immediately.

Salsa Criolla:


2 medium red onions, cut in half and very thinly sliced (as half-circles)
1/2 chili pepper (your preference)
1 tablespoon vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Soak the onions in cold salt water for about 10 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the onions with the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the onions to macerate and the flavors to combine


Simones Kitchen said...

O, I probably skipped the papas sort of for the same reason... :) Thinking it would be so much work and the ceviche, is delicious and so easy, but yes, you would have to have fresh seafood for sure! Your papas looks great though!

Creating Nirvana said...

Nice job on the papas. Great job on the challenge.

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