If you are looking for a way to use your leftover Idaho potatoes and ground beef, this is the recipe for you... ¡Papas Rellenas!
Papas Rellenas, or stuffed potatoes, is an amazing Latin dish that I have never heard of until last week. Wait... can that be true?
I have spent my entire life here —on the Southwest border —personally checking all Latin dishes for deliciousness. How did this little beauty pass under my nose without notice? I must be more vigilant!
Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks' March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenged 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.
It was a hard to choose between the two dishes. I love ceviche. In fact, we almost live on ceviche during the hot summer months. So, I decided to challenge myself with the dish I have never made before, Papas Rellenas. The mashed potatoes can be stuffed with just about anything. And while we were encouraged to be creative with the filling, I decided to see if Papas Rellenas would make a good dish for leftovers.
That IS creative for me. I'm not really a "leftover" fan. Usually, I go out of my way to make sure I don't have any leftovers at all. But, every once in a while... there they are. This time, I actually made extra mashed potatoes and ground beef taco filling for other meals so that I would have enough leftover ingredients to see how Papas Rellenas would taste as a "round two" dish.
Let me tell you right off the bat... I'm going to make this dish again. And again... and again. My family loved it and kept asking, "How did you get the beef in there?"
What can I say, they are easily impressed. But, I do think your family will like Papas Rellenas, too. So, plan for extra mashed Idaho potatoes and ground beef filling so that you will have a great remake dish in a busy week... your family will never know that the Papas Rellenos are made out of leftovers!
Kathlyn gave us a wonderfully authentic Peruvian recipe so, if you are making the Papas Rellenas from scratch, please do give her recipe a try. I used garlic mashed potatoes leftover from Sunday dinner and the leftover filling from our tacos Monday night.
How to make Papas Rellenas or Stuffed Potatoes
The authentic way to form the papas rellenas is in the palm of your hand. I had trouble with the potatoes sticking to my hand so, I changed the technique a little. I recommend cutting squares of plastic wrap or parchment about 10 inches long. Dust the squares with flower. You may skip the plastic wrap if using your hand works well for you.
Divide the potatoes into six portions. Spread mashed potatoes into rectangle a little larger than the palm of your hand. Spoon your filling into the center of the rectangle (if you are using leftovers, be sure to reheat the filling). Leave a ½ inch rim around the potatoes to seal the potatoes.
Lift one side of the plastic wrap and "fold" it towards the opposite edge.
Here is the genius to my madness... Bring the plastic wrap together to seal the edges, be careful not to get the filling in the "seams."
Twist the ends to tighten the plastic and shape the papas into... well, a papa (potato). Let the "potato" rest while you shape the remaining papas rellenas.
Prepare a breading station with three plates; one with flour, one with a slightly beaten egg and milk, one with panko.
Season the flour! Salt and pepper is great or think about flavors that will complement your filling, like a spice mix.
Gently. Roll the "potato" in seasoned flour.
Then, the egg mixture.
Finally, roll the "potato" in the panko or breadcrumbs.
Heat ½ inch canola or vegetable oil in a frying pan. The oil is hot enough when you add a little bit of potato and see bubbles.
Fry the "potato" until golden brown on all sides—don't forget the ends.
Drain on a paper towel.
Isn't it cute? It looks like savory "Twinkies!"
Sauce the plate and place the Papas Rellenas on top to "show them off." You may cut them on the bias (diagonal)... or leave them whole and let the filling be a surprise.
Olives and raisins are ingredients in the authentic recipe so, I used them as a garnish. I liked the flavor with the ground beef... it gave the leftovers a different flavor profile than the night before. Next time, I'll try adding the raisins and chopped olives to the taco meat when I reheat it for the Papas Rellenas.
Recipe for My Leftover Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2 ½ pounds Idaho russet potatoes, peeled and cut into equal sized pieces
3 tablespoons butter
⅛ to ¼ cup warm milk
4 to 5 cloves roasted garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
Directions for Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Put peeled, diced potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender. Drain and return the potato chunks to the hot pan. Place on the burner and evaporate the remaining moisture. Turn out the potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
Add butter, roasted garlic and half of the milk. Beat with an electric mixer until just blended, adding enough of the remaining milk to make them fluffy and light.
Season with salt and pepper.
Recipe for Ground Beef Taco Meat
16 oz ground beef
1 diced poblano pepper, seed and ribs removed then diced (may use 1 can diced green chile )
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chile powder (Santa Cruz or red New Mexican would be nice)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Directions for Ground Beef Tacos
Add ground beef to a cold skillet. Gently bring up the heat in the pan to saute the beef. This will render out much more of the fat and you won't have to add oil. Saute until about halfway done. Drain off the fat. Add chile, onion and minced garlic. Drain again if necessary.
Season with chile powder, cumin. Salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the Papas Rellenas as shown above.
Here are some other Papas Rellenas with interesting takes on fillings that you may want to try:
Papas Rellenas with Lobster Filling by Cheese and Chocolate
Vegetarian Papas Rellenas with Sweet Potatoes by Bake Me Away
And the many variations of Audax Artifex
Recipe for Papas Rellenas
For the authentic Peruvian Papas Rellenas please visit Kathlyn at Bake Like a Ninja
-posted by Sandy
Love the presentation photo, clear directions and SW ingredients in this Daring Cooks post. You've caused me to rethink my tepid response to the challenge dish. Two thumbs up on this one.
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
Thanks for visiting my blog Sandy. You have a lovely blog. I've never tried a Peruvian recipe, and this looks so delicious 🙂
I made these a couple nights ago & they were a hit!
Yay! So happy you liked them, Kristi!