Monday, April 6, 2009

Recipe: Papas Rellenos

Last week at a catering event I served my version of papas rellenos. They were the hit of the event and I had many, many requests for the recipe. These are not the quickest food to prepare, but well worth the effort.

Start by getting a cup of green olives - doesn't matter what kind. Place them in a sauce pan with 2 cup of water and 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a low boil and add 1 T. cinnamon, 1 t. nutmeg and rind of one lemon. Boil, covered for about one hour or until you see the consistency of the olives change and become...unusual. Let them cool completely. Place the olives in a processor and chop into a rough cut.

Next, take a handful of dried apricots - I prefer the unsulfurated Turkish ones, but any will do. But them into rough chop also.

In a skillet saute 1 diced carrot, 1 small chopped onion & 1 chopped red bell pepper.

And brown 1 pound of ground bison or beef with the veggies.

Get it all nice and yummy looking and cool to room temp. Boil 2 pounds of potatoes and make them as if you were making your regular mashed potatoes. The only difference will be that when you do the mashing, you want a thick consistency, not whipped and soft. When the potatoes are boiled, place them in a bowl with 2 eggs, 1 T. minced garlic (I use jarred), a bit of salt and pepper, and a half stick of butter or margarine. Using a hand mixer, combine the potatoes and seasoning.

In Peru the papas rellenos that I had were all the size and shape of a baked potato. For this event I prepared bite sized versions - make what you prefer. Take a golf ball sized dollop of potatoes, dust your hands well with corn starch, flatten the ball and put a small amount of filling in the center.

Close back into a ball and shape either round or into the potato shape. Keep your hands dusted!

Once you've formed all of your balls, place them in the fridge to allow them to firm up at least one hour. You'll see that the starch helped to prevent sticking, but also creates a great crust on the papas rellenos.

When you're ready to eat, fill a pot with oil (corn, canola or peanut). Heat oil to a medium-high heat testing by dropping bits into the oil and watching for the bits to sizzle and float. When its ready, carefully place two or three papas in the oil Turn them very gently in the oil to make sure all sides are browned. Inevitably there will be some filling that will ooze out, but ideally the potatoes cover the entire outside and the filling becomes a surprise for your guests.

...a really great suprise!

Feel free to play with the filling, but the sweet salty combination is always a hit. Enjoy!


CalumC said...

Looks great, just like mince and tatties, quite a popular dinner for myself and a flatmate.

I'm not familiar with the standard papas rellenos recipe, what were your modifications?

Lori Lynn said...

I adore Peruvian food! These look fabulous.

Happy Easter Gentlemen!

Manggy said...

Hmm... Those olives don't look green to me! Would jarred spanish olives (ya know, the ones with the pimiento stuffed in them) work? Or are they icky? I'm not an olive-aficionado, sorry! They do look delicious-- must give them a try sometime. I hope the potato crust doesn't fall apart on me, sigh.

Gfron1 said...

CalumC - the modification was in the picadillo. A more traditional Peruvian picadillo (as I remember it from the mountain towns) would have been some mystery ground meat, raisins and nuts. I wanted to up the sweetness, which is why I candied the olives.

Thanks LL

Mark - the jarred green would be rather nasty I think. You're looking for the bulk green with pits typically that are harder and a bit more astringent. The candying process will soften them and turn them that green brown color.

Sarah said...

that looks good and would like to try it, although there are no bisons roaming around here. Looks similar to kubba in fact (middle eastern). I suppose every nation has its own dumpling speciality.

jenven said...

Mine were falling into so many tiny pieces. I didn't refrigerate them overnight I used a different recipe that didn't say that. I put a lot of cornstarch on them as well. This is making me crazy. I was so excited about making them and after 4 I gave up. Please help. What could I do differently next time?

Gfron1 said...

Two things - first, you have to refrigerate because the egg binds it together but can't do that at room temp. Second, make sure your oil is hot enough. You need to really seal in the outer crust right away or it will fall apart.