Monday, March 14, 2011

Daring Cooks March 2011: Papas Rellenas

One day this past summer, my older sister called me to rave about this fantastic new dish she had tried.

My mother had thrown a housewarming party for her new house and the guests brought some dishes to the party.

One of the dishes was ceviche.

My older sister told me how delicious this dish was. It was light and fresh. Citrusy from the lime juice with the perfect amount of heat from the jalapeno. It was soft and delicious served atop a crunchy tortilla chip.

The whole family loved it and made it several times over the course of the summer...calling me each time to tell me that I needed to make this as soon as possible.

I drug my feet. I asked them to send me the recipe. I never got around to making it.

Then comes this month's Daring Cooks challenge:

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.

Sounds great right??? The perfect opportunity to make the dish that had been on my "to make" list for at least 6 months.

Unfortunately, my dreams of ceviche came to a screeching halt when I remembered that whole 'being pregnant' thing.

I posted on the Daring Cooks site asking if it would be safe for me to eat. After's "cooked" right??

I held my breath when I read the researched response to my query. The answer I received was that it is safe as long as you have a reputable fish source. Great right??

Wrong! I live in the Middle of Nowhere Midwest. Where am I supposed to find a reputable fish monger?

Yeah...I'm not.

Fortunately, Kathlyn thought ahead and offered up an alternative Peruvian recipe for the vegetarian and vegans in the Daring Kitchen. This recipe allowed me to actually participate this month. Woohoo!

That being said, The Hubble would never allow a meatless meal in our home (while he's around anyway) so I put my own spin on the recipe provided to us.

I did a "Southwest" themed papa. And let me tell you...these were awesome! They were relatively easy to make (just a bit time consuming) and super delicious. I can totally see how these would make a wonderful handheld street food to Peruvians.

I love texture, so the crunch of the outer shell followed by the tenderness of the potato and meat filling was out of this world.

As we sat around the table eating these handheld delights, we talked about the different fillings we could stuff these with. Needless to say, we WILL be making these again.

Thanks for the fantastic challenge Kathlyn! These will be a staple in our house from now on!!

And now you can make this treat in your own home. Let's get cooking:

You will need: potatoes, ground turkey, minced garlic, onion, jalapeno, green bell pepper, Southwestern corn, chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, cornstarch, bread crumbs, eggs, all purpose flour, salt, pepper and seasoned salt.

Boil the potatoes, whole and unpeeled, until tender when poked with a fork. Drain and allow to cool.

While the potatoes are cooling, we can start on our filling. Heat some oil in a large skillet. Toss in the onions and caramelize them for about 5 minutes.

Toss in the jalapeno, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until the bell pepper and jalapenos are tender, about 3 minutes more.

Now toss in the ground turkey. Cook that bad boy up until it's not longer pink and it is totally cooked through.

Now add the corn, paprika, chili powder and ground cumin. Mix it all in until well combined.

Stir in the cheese until it is melted. Take the mixture off the heat and set it aside to cool.

Now let's head back to our potatoes. They should be cool by now so peel them and toss them back into the pot you cooked them in. Mash them up then add the cornstarch, salt and pepper. Knead and mix it all until the seasonings are thoroughly mixed through. Don't be afraid to taste it to make sure the potatoes are seasoned to your liking.

Now that we have our filling and 'dough' made we are ready to start preparing. Throw some oil in a pot to heat to about 350-375 degrees F.

You need three shallow bowls. One with flour, seasoned salt and chili powder. One with the eggs mixed with water. And the third with the bread crumbs mixed with salt (I know it seems like a lot of salt but you want these things seasoned well or they will be bland).

Take about 1/12th of the potato mixture and flatten it into your hand. Make an indention in the center.

Spoon a generous portion of the filling into the indention.

Close up the potato around the filling.

And roll them into potato shaped forms.

Now take them and roll them in the flour...

Then the egg...

Then the breadcrumbs.

And fry them up until they are golden brown. This took me about 2-3 minutes on each side.

When they are all fried up, drain them on paper towels and keep warm while frying the rest.

Serve and enjoy!!! We enjoyed our with salsa and sour cream.

Papas Rellenas de Carne
Adapted from The Daring Kitchen

Printer Friendly Version


For the dough

  • 5 pound bag russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the filling
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1-2 jalapenos (depending on preferred heat)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Southwestern corn
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
For the final preparation
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • salt (to taste)
  • chili powder (to taste)
  • seasoned salt (to taste)
  • oil for frying (2 inches worth)

For the dough
  1. Boil unpeeled potatoes whole until tender when poked with a fork. Drain and let cool.
  2. When potatoes are cooled, peel and mash them (or force them through a potato ricer).
  3. Add cornstarch, salt and pepper. 'Knead' dough until all ingredients are mixed through and evenly distributed.
For the filling (best prepared while potatoes are cooling)
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Caramelize diced onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add garlic, diced jalapeno and diced bell pepper. Cook until jalapeno and bell pepper are tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add ground turkey. Cook until thoroughly cooked through.
  4. Add corn, ground cumin, paprika and chili powder. Mix until well combined.
  5. Mix in cheese until melted.
  6. Set aside to cool.
Final preparation
  1. Use three small bowls (or shallow containers) to prepare the papas. In one, combine flour, seasoned salt and chili powder. In the second, combine egg and water. In the third, combine bread crumbs and salt.
  2. Heat oil to about 350-375 degrees F.
  3. Flour your hands and scoop up 1/12th of the potato mixture. Flatten the mixture in your hand like a pancake and make an indentation in the middle for the filling.
  4. Spoon a generous amount of filling into the center and roll the potato closed, forming a smooth, potato shaped casing around the filling. Continue with the rest of the potato and filling (you should have 12 papas).
  5.  Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first the flour, then the egg and finally the bread crumbs.
  6. Fry the papas (in batches) until golden, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  7. Drain on paper towels and keep warm while frying the remaining papas.
  8. Serve with salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!!
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