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Daring Kitchen: Papas Rellenas

March 17, 2011

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It’s the 17th of the month, which means it’s Daring Kitchen challenge reveal date. 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 chose to make the Papas Rellenas (Stuffed Potatoes).

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There are only a handful of steps required to make this dish, and none are particularly difficult. The bulk of the recipe is just assembling the Papas. You first need to combine ingredients individually for both the potato shell and the meat filling and then the trickiest part is actually creating the “Rellenas” (stuffed) part by wrapping some of the filling in mashed potatoes. It gets easier from there by coating the Papas to ready them for frying.

The concept of this recipe can be translated into many different directions. Feel free to play with the flavor profile by changing the meat or any of the components in the filling or in the shell. I had thought about doing a sweet potato shell, or maybe a pork filling.

So, let’s go! For that outer shell: Steam 1 kg potatoes (or other root veg), and then mash and season them. Allow the mash to cool before creating a dough from the potatoes by adding in an egg or two. Thoroughly mix the egg into the potatoes.

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For the filling, sauté 1/2 an onion for a couple minutes and then add in 1/4 LB of ground beef and a couple of garlic cloves and cook until the meat is browned through. From here, add in whatever other flavorings you like. The recipe called for 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon paprika, a 1/4 cup of soaked raisins (though I used cranberries), and also 6 olives and a boiled egg, chopped up.

The next part is tricky and it gets a little sticky. You must encase the filling in potatoes. Pat out a bit onto your palm, add in a small heap of filling and attempt to wrap the potato over the filling. It will stick to your fingers. It will seem impossible, but persevere. Take more potato and cover up any open patches. Keep on going until you have enough to feed your family.

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Next it’s time to encase the Papas in breading that will become crispy and delicious. While you’re doing this, heat up your frying oil to frying temp (350). Set up three bowls as your dredging stations: flour, egg, then breadcrumbs. I fancied a mix of breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs, and I highly recommend you do the same. Once you’ve battered them all up you can either let them hang out in the fridge or go ahead and fry them. Fry them for about two minutes total until golden on both side. Salt them liberally and devour. Quickly.

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