custom cakes/cookies

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vegan Papas Rellenas

A few weeks ago I had a pot luck brunch with friends. The agenda was to plan a community garden in my backyard. There was still snow on the ground, but I was thinking warmer thoughts of digging up dirt and pushing in seeds. My contribution to the meal were these fried Peruvian potato thingys over mixed salad greens. While a more traditional version would be filled with spiced beef, I chose the vegan route and filled them with quinoa, beans, raisins and kale. Sounds like a weird combination, but it works. A dash of hot sauce and a topping of pickled onions (salsa criolla) add a whole lot more flavor.

Not sure how many to feed, I doubled the recipe. I don't recommend this unless you enjoy potato ricing or have an army of kitchen help. Though after peeling and ricing (gives the best texture, so worth it) 10 pounds of potatoes the night before, I learned how to finally use my ricer properly, it's a bit of a struggle if you overstuff it.

Vegan Papas Rellenas
Makes about 1½ dozen

For the dough:
5 pounds russet potatoes
½ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper

For the filling:
olive oil for sautéing
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
½ chili pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
1 cup cremini mushrooms, small dice
2 cups cooked cooked beans
½ cup raisins, soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, then minced
1 handful kale, roughly chopped
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

For the final preparation:
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
3 tablespoons water
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash salt
1 cup bread crumbs

Canola oil for frying

For the dough:

1. Boil unpeeled potatoes whole until tender when stuck with a fork. Let potatoes cool.
2. When potatoes are cooled, peel them and either mash them with a potato masher or force them through a potato ricer.
3. Add cornstarch, salt and pepper and knead “dough” thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.

While potatoes are cooling, make filling:

1. Cook onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes, until soft.
2. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook several minutes more.
3. Add the cumin and paprika and cook briefly.
4. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
5. Add beans and raisins.
6. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add kale and wilt.
7. Add the quinoa and season with salt and pepper.
8. Allow filling to cool before forming “papas.”

Finishing the dough and forming the papas:

1. Using a food processor or blender, emulsify the ground flax seed with the water. Allow the mixture to stand for a few minutes before using.
2.Use three small bowls (or other shallow containers) to prepare the papas. In one, combine flour, cayenne and salt. In the second, combine the flax seed emulsification and a bit more water to thin the solution. Put bread crumbs in the third
2. Flour your hands and scoop up a fistful of the dough about the size of a baseball. Make a round pancake with your hands. Then 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 will all dough.
4. Heat 1½ - 2 inches of oil in a pan to about 350 – 375° F.
5. Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first roll in flour, then dip in flax seed emulsion, then roll in bread crumbs.
6. Fry the papas in batches about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip once in the middle of frying to get both sides.
7. Drain on paper towel and store in a cool oven 200°F until ready to serve.
8. Serve with salsa criolla (see recipe below) and your favorite hot sauce.

Salsa Criolla

2 medium red onions, cut in half length-wise and very thinly slice.
1/2 chili pepper
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 and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the onions to macerate and the flavors to combine.

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.


Heather said...

What a creative twist on this recipe! These sound really tasty.

Amanda said...

I was in attendance for this feast, and those little potato things were yummy! I am a potato fan, so it's nice trying them in ways I normally wouldn't make myself. :)