Sunday, March 21, 2010

Papas Rellenas: Meat Stuffed Potatoes

I've been cooking all week. It's Sunday and even though it would be only temporary, I'd like to leave the kitchen spotless. My husband has been bugging me for papas rellenas for a while now. He loves this ... it's meat and potatoes, duh! Unfortunately, this is one of those recipes with which you could make a really big mess. You have been warned, but I'm going to try to make this as simple as I can.

We'll start with instant mashed potatoes. Figure on 1 serving = 1 papa rellena. I'm making enough for 12 (to make it worth my while). Follow directions on the box. You want these mashed to be firm not creamy, so you may need to add a little more potato flakes than called for.  Refrigerate the mashed potatoes for a couple of hours.

Take out the potatoes and sit them on the counter. Remember that picadillo from yesterday? Take that out and sit it on the counter. Grab 3 bowls and line them up: in the first, pour all purpose flour; in the second, beat 2 eggs, add 2 tbsp water; in the third, pour bread crumbs. Wash your hands well, this is a hands on project.

To form a papa rellena, take a large tablespoon (or serving spoon) of mashed potatoes and put it in the palm of your hand. Make a dent in it. With a slotted spoon (we don't want the liquid from the picadillo) take some of the picadillo and press it into the dent. Now take another tablespoon of mashed potatoes and put it as a lid on top. Seal the sides with your fingers to form a ball. Set it down into the flour bowl, roll it around to coat all sides. Dip it in the egg wash (you can use a spoon for this). Gently roll it around then pass it into bowl #3 with the bread crumbs. Coat on all sides. Wash your hands and do the next one.

Repeat this process until you've used up all the mashed potatoes. At this point you can refrigerate them, to fry at a later time or you can freeze them for another day.

To fry, fill your fying pan with about 1/2 inch vegetable oil. Bring the heat up to medium high, Place the papa rellena in the oil. Let it brown on one side (if it's browning too fast, reduce the heat) then roll it, and then roll it, etc. Place on plate with paper towel. Don't fry too many at one time you need enough space to freely roll the papas in the oil.

That's it. They're ready to eat or you can make these in advance and warm them later in the oven, and my kitchen is now clean ... at least until dinner!


  1. Yumm those look delicious! And what a clean kitchen!

  2. Can i bake them instead of frying??

  3. Anonymous, I've never baked them, so I can't say for sure that baking will give you the same results. I suppose if you grease the bottom of the pan and rotate them, it may work. But really, you don't need much oil to fry them.

  4. If you bake them they'll fall apart. They need to be deep fried.

  5. Was looking for a Papa Rellena recipe online and stumbled upon your blog! I look forward to trying your recipes so thank you for posting and the detailed pictures! Never made Papa Rellena and miss them since I moved from Miami. I was under the impression they were 'breaded' with Galleta Molida so I'm glad I found your blog and been 'schooled' :). What bread crumbs did you use?

  6. Juldy, they are traditionally breaded with galleta molida and if you can find it you can use it instead, but I have to make do with what is at hand. I just used plain bread crumbs found in the spaghetti section of the supermarket.