Recipe for traditional Cuban stuffed potatoes
Papas Rellenas are a classic farmers` court, which is popular not only in the Caribbean, but also throughout South America. For this, a potato dough is filled with mince or vegetables and fried - depending on the country or family recipe the ingredients for the filling vary.
Ingredients (serve 4 to 6 persons)
1 kg floury potatoes
500 g mixed mince
1 red bell pepper
3 garlic cloves
3 tblsp tomato paste
2 cups dry bread crumbs
1 pinch of cumin
1 pinch of nutmeg
¼ TL Mexican Oregano
½ tsp hot paprika powder
500 ml sunflower oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and boil in salt water until tender. Drain potatoes and while still hot, break potatoes down with a masher or wire whisk until free of large lumps, but not completely smooth. Season mashed potatoes with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and set aside to cool until they are easier to handle with your hands.
Core and finely dice the bell pepper. Peel onion and garlic cloves and finely chop them.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion, green pepper, and garlic in the hot skillet until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, and stir in the minced meat Cook and stir until the mince is crumbly and no longer pink. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, paprika powder, tomato paste until the tomato paste has dissolved. Scrape into a mixing bowl, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, and set aside. Pour the bread crumbs and flour into separate, shallow dishes, and set aside.
Form the potato balls by grabbing a handful of mashed potatoes, dip your forefinger in olive oil and press into center of potatoes to make a cavity, without reaching all the way through. Rotate your finger inside to widen cavity. Stuff cavity with the ground meat mixture. Carefully seal cavity by folding mashed potatoes over it. (Make sure that it is evenly sealed to ensure that no stuffing leaks out when frying the Papas rellenas). Gently roll the ball in the flour to coat and shake off the excess flour. Dip into the beaten egg, then gently roll in bread crumbs. Gently toss between your hands so any bread crumbs that haven`t stuck can fall away.
In a frying pan, heat about 3 inches of vegetable oil to 175°C.
Cook the potato balls in the hot oil in batches, using tongs to roll the balls around as they cook to ensure even browning, until crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, remove rellenos from oil, and set aside to drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
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