Monday, March 14, 2011

Mar 14, 2011: Daring Cooks Pervian Food

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.

[Eat4Fun: Fun! We cook Peruvian food! Never cooked nor have I had papas rellenas. Video of my cooking experience and results.]

Recipe Source:
- Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by my Spanish teacher Mayra.
- Vegan Papas Rellenas recipe adapted from the Vegan Good Eats blog (, written by Joel Luks.
- The Salsa Criolla recipe also comes from Joel’s blog.

Mandatory Items: Make at least one of the two recipes. If you chose the ceviche, it must be made with raw seafood and it must be “cooked” according to the method outlined in the recipe. If you choose the papas rellenas, you must make the “dough” according to one of the two recipes, shape the “potatoes” around a filling per the recipe instructions, and fry them in oil. If you choose both, you’re in for a tasty treat.

Papas Rellenas (de carne):
Makes 6


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

For the filling:
2 tablespoon (30 ml) of a light flavored oil
½ lb (250 grams) ground (minced) beef
6 black olives, pitted and chopped (use more if you love olives)
3 hard boiled large eggs, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup (240 ml))
½ cup (120 ml) (90 gm) (3 oz) raisins, soaked in 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water for 10 minutes, then minced
1 finely diced aji pepper (ok to sub jalapeño or other pepper – if you are shy about heat, use less)
2 cloves garlic, minced or passed through a press (if you love garlic, add more)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) (1/8 oz) ground cumin (use more if you like cumin)
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) (2 gm) (1/16 oz) sweet paprika
¼ c. white wine, water or beef stock for deglazing
Salt and pepper to taste

For the final preparation:
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose flour
Dash cayenne pepper
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:
1. Gently brown onion and garlic in oil (about 5 minutes).
2. Add the chili pepper and sauté for a couple more minutes.
3. Add ground beef and brown.
4. Add raisins, cumin and paprika and cook briefly (a few seconds).
5. Deglaze the pan with white wine.
6. Add olives and cook for a few moments longer.
7. Add hard boiled eggs and fold in off heat.
8. Allow filling to cool before forming “papas.”

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

I've never has Papas Rellena. We found a local restaurant which had the dish. It even came with the Salsa Criolla. Very Tasty

The Papa Rellena I made for the challenge.

Flavors were not as bold as the restaurant one's. I think I would need to double up on the spices and the salt and pepper. Also, I noticed the homemade ones had a very strong mashed potato flavor while the restaurant one's were not as potatoe-y. A lot of potential in this dish. :-)


Renata said...

I always enjoy so much watching your videos! Your Papas are mouth watering, and everything just came together perfectly! By the way, I LOVE your ground beef masher!

Audax said...

John it is always a pleasure to go to your blog and seeing the video of the challenge recipe. Well I think your papas look just as good as the restaurant ones. Great to hear that you liked the challenge so much and you are thinking of tweaks to it even now.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

shawn said...

Wow! These look so yummy. Great video presentation John.

Joel Luks said...

These are always awesome. Have the best memories of eating Papas Rellenas as a child. Even was inspired to create my own vegan version. Hope you enjoyed it!