Monday, March 14, 2011

Daring Cooks March 2011 - Papas Rellenas!

Papas Rellenas

This month was my very first Daring Cooks challenge, and I think I started drooling as soon as I read what it was:

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 decided to make the Papas Rellenas. Do you know what they are? I'm happy I learned of their awesomeness, and I'm pretty sure you will be too. They are basically mashed potatoes stuffed with a delicious filling, breaded, and fried. Well, gee, if you're going to twist my arm about it I guess I'll make and eat them...

Traditionally these are stuffed with a beef filling which sounds delicious, but I decided to make a seafood filling that included lobster, shallots and red bell peppers. I also had some scallions leftover from making champ, so I threw those into the potatoes too. These are definitely forgiving, so get creative!

Papas Rellenas

Papas Rellenas with Lobster filling
Recipe adapted from Kathlyn
 Makes 6-8

For the dough:
2 1/4 lbs russet potato
1 large egg
salt and pepper to taste

For the filling:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp dry white wine
3/4 lb cooked lobster, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp Sriracha
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

For the preparation:
Vegetable oil (about a liter)
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

For the dough: Boil the potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork. Drain and cool. Once cool, peel them and mash them or put through a potato ricer. Add the egg, salt and pepper to taste, and knead until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

For the filling:
1. In a medium skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, red pepper and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the flour and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly. Add the wine, stir, and then add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 2-3 minutes just to warm through and to allow the flavors to meld. Cool to room temperature.

Final Preparation:
1. Gather three small bowls: In one, combine the flour, salt, and cayenne. In the second, combine the beaten egg with a splash of water. In the third, add the breadcrumbs.
2. Flour your hands and scoop up a ball of the potato dough, about 1/6th-1/8th of it. Flatten the dough to a round pancake in your hand, making a slight indentation in the center for the filling.
3. Spoon a generous amount of the filling into the center, then roll the potato dough closed, forming a smooth casing. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
4. Heat 1 1/2 - 2 inches of oil in a pan to 350-375F.
5. Roll each formed papa into three prepared bowls: first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally into the breadcrumbs. Allow to rest on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes to allow the breading to set.
6. Fry the papas in batches of 2-3 at a time for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping once halfway through to ensure even browning.
7. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. You can keep them in a 200F oven to keep them warm as you cook the remaining papas. Enjoy!


  1. Well done on your first challenge, you did a great job!

  2. O M G! Those look AWESOME. Fantastic food photos; and I love how you say "food porn". (I'm Dawn's cuz Deb, from the Cape, btw. I think that makes us cousins-once-removed...?)

  3. Lobster inside of a papa? Sounds great to me. Great job on this challenge.

  4. So... um... when are we having dinner again? Because I'm free this weekend.........

  5. Delicious looking papas! And did you say lobster? Oh wow! Great job!

  6. Seafood papas that is brilliant well done that photo of the filling is stunning.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  7. Wonderful take on the challenge. Lobster anything is delicious in my book. Welcome to the Daring Kitchen.

  8. What a great first challenge! Love the filling, yummy!

  9. Oh my goodness..these look and sound delicious! Great job :)

  10. Wow, wow wow!!!!! They look SO GOOD! Great photos. These remind me of Salmon Croquettes that I had in Ireland a few years back. YUMMMM