Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Las Papas Rellenas de Miriam (Stuffed Mashed Potato Balls)

We spent a fabulous Sunday afternoon at Miriam and Gladys’ house when we went for the Papa Rellena lesson - it was a big group this time. As usual, before and during the cooking lesson we drank wine and enjoyed snacks - this time it was Spanish omelet, cheese, olives and crackers. Yum!

This time Miriam’s triplet granddaughters joined us, so the recipe and lesson were truly shared with two generations!  There's two of the granddaughters, Michelle and Kristen in the picture with Miriam.

While you can find larger Papas Rellenas or stuffed potatoes in restaurants and bakeries, traditionally they are a staple for parties or as a “merienda” or snack. If you want to make a meal of these, you can serve them with rice and salad.

At parties they’re usually smaller than these and are served alone as finger food. If you’re eating them as a snack they’re often accompanied by Saltines or Cuban crackers. Some people have them with ketchup.

This recipe makes approximately 20 golf ball sized papas rellenas.

Oil to Fry (Miriam used Canola)
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbs Grated Parmesan
3 Lbs Red or White Potatoes
1 Egg
3 ozs Cracker Meal
½ Lb Picadillo (Cuban Style Ground Beef)


  • Set aside ½ Lb of left-over Picadillo, or prepare it using this recipe , the picadillo portion of this recipe, or your own recipe.
  • Peel and lightly salt the potatoes.
  • Steam - DON'T BOIL - the potatoes to fork tender.

    • Mash the potatoes while adding the butter and cheese. Taste the mix and add salt and pepper as needed.
    • Place the mash in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
    • Beat the egg adding salt and pepper to taste.
    • Roll the mashed potatoes into golf ball-sized balls.
    • Make a thumbprint dent into the potato ball.
    • Stuff with about a tablespoon of picadillo.
    • Reroll the potato to enclose the picadillo
    • Dredge the ball in the beaten egg.
    • Roll the potato ball in the cracker meal
    • In a frying pan heat oil to about 350 degrees. Add potato balls leaving enough room so they can be rolled easily.
    • Roll the balls continuously in the hot oil until evenly browned.
    • Place the fried potato balls on paper towel to drain.
    The final product should have a firm consistency with enough picadillo so you can get a good burst of flavor.

    Try the papas rellenas and share with friends!

     ¡Buen provecho!