Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stuffed Mashed Potato Balls (Papas Rellenas)


Papas Rellenas are a Peruvian dish consisting of mashed potatoes stuffed with ground meat, onions, peppers, olives, and hard-boiled eggs, then deep fried to golden goodness.  I loved the idea of this, so I put my Tex-Mex spin on it, minus the eggs and olives.  The filling is more like a Picadillo filling and of course I added cheese!  These were so good!  My daughter loved them the most.  I hope you enjoy them too!

STUFFED MASHED POTATO BALLS
FOR THE FILLING:
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 C shredded Pepper Jack cheese
Salt & pepper, to taste

FOR THE POTATOES:
2-3 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 eggs
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons garlic powder

FOR THE DREDGE:
1 1/2 C breadcrumbs
1 1/2 C flour
2 teaspoons Lawry's seasoned salt
3 eggs

Peanut oil, for frying

Boil the potatoes until tender.  Drain and let cool slightly.

Cook the onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno in some olive oil in a skillet until tender.  Add in the ground beef, tomatoes, and seasonings and cook until the beef is done, crumbling the beef and tomatoes along the way.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese to melt.

Mix the potatoes, 2 eggs, salt and pepper, and garlic powder together and mash well, leaving no lumps.  Take about 2 T of the mashed potatoes and make a flat disk shape in your hand.  Drop about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the meat mixture into the center of the potatoes.  Seal up the potatoes around the filling, making balls.  Freeze in a single layer for at least 30 minutes.

Set up your dredging station.  Mix the flour and Lawry's together in one bowl.  Beat the three eggs together in another bowl.  Put the breadcrumbs into a third bowl.  

Preheat the peanut oil to 350 degrees.  Dredge the balls into the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then the breadcrumbs.  Fry in batches until golden brown and heated through.  (Keep batches warm in a 200 degree oven until they are all fried.)  Serve with Ranch dressing or cream gravy.

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