Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Daring Cooks March 2011Challenge: ¡Me Encanta Perú! - Ceviche and Papas Rellenas

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.

Oooohhhhkay...I'm not so crazy about potatoes but I love fish so I had mixed feelings when I read this challenge. Don't get me wrong--I'm always interested to learn about different cultures and I know that one of the best ways to learn is to taste the food, so even if I wasn't too keen on the papas, I still wanted to do it, and I did!

But first things first...according to kathy...CEVICHE is basically raw fish or seafood that has been "cooked" with a treatment of citrus juice (traditionally sour orange but here we will use lime). Wait...this sounds exactly like a Filipino style of "cooking" which is called Kinilaw. Here in the Philippines, we use Tanguige or mackerel in English for making Kilawin. So, it was what I used for my ceviche.

I also used the local lime here, Calamansi for my "cooking" agent. And the result was really delicious. I had it for breakfast today :)

2 lbs. (about 1 kg) firm white fish (scallops or other seafood may be substituted)
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1 chili pepper, minced (I recommend Aji if you can find it, but Jalapeno or other peppers can sub)
1 cup (240 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (between 8-12 limes) Fresh juice only, no bottled. Can use lemons in lieu of limes.
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (4 grams) (1/8 oz) fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
Salt and pepper (to taste)

  1. Wash and trim your fish. Slice into pieces between ½ inch (15 mm) cubes to 2 inch (50mm) pieces, depending on taste.
  2. Place fish in a non-reactive, shallow pan in a thin layer. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine lime juice, chili pepper, coriander and garlic. Pour mixture over fish. Stir lightly to expose all the fish to some of the lime juice mixture.
  4. Put sliced onion on top of fish as it “cooks”
  5. Let fish stand for 10 minutes. Lift fish out of the lime juice and plate individual portions
Papas Rellenas, Kathy said is essentially a clever way to use up leftover potatoes. The filling is usually made with beef. I stuffed mine with a cooked mixture of onions, mushrooms, tofu and spinach.

For the dough:

1 kilo potatoes
1 large egg, beaten

For the final preparation:
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose flour
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash salt
1 cup dry (240 ml) (110 gm) (4 oz) or fresh (240 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) bread crumbs (you can use regular, panko, make your own or use store-bought)

Oil for frying (enough for 2” (50 mm) in a heavy pan like a medium sized dutch oven


In order to save time, you can boil the potatoes, and while they are cooling, you can make the filling. While that is cooling, you can make the potato “dough.” In this way, little time is spent waiting for anything to cool.

For the dough:

  1. Boil the potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork. Remove them from the water and cool.
  2. Once the potatoes have cooled, peel them and mash them with a potato masher or force them through a potato ricer (preferred).
  3. Add egg, salt and pepper and knead “dough” thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.
  4. While the potatoes cool down before finishing the dough, you can make the filling
Forming and frying the papas:
  1. Use three small bowls to prepare the papas. In one, combine flour, cayenne and salt. In the second, a beaten egg with a tiny bit of water. Put bread crumbs in the third
  2. Flour your hands and scoop up 1/6 of the total dough to make a round pancake with your hands. 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 with all dough (you should have about 6 papas).
  4. Heat 1 ½ - 2 inches (4 – 5 cm) of oil in a pan to about 350 – 375° F (175 - 190°C).
  5. Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first roll in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in bread crumbs.
  6. Fry the papas (in batches if necessary) about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip once in the middle of frying to brown both sides.
  7. Drain on paper towel and store in a 200ºF (95ºC) (gas mark ¼) oven if frying in batches.
  8. Serve with salsa criolla (or other sauce of preference) immediately.
I still don't like potatoes after I tasted the papas I made. But it was a very good experience making this dish. I ate the left-over filling and it was delicious!

You can check out the other Daring Cooks versions of their own papas and ceviches here. Thank you Kathy for this challenge!


Renata said...

Sorry that potatoes aren't your favorite, but your Papas look tremendously delicious, so does your Ceviche. I'm just your opposite, I don't enjoy raw fish very much, but after this challenge I'm getting brave to give it a try, seriously! Great photos!

Annie said...

I prefer calamansi to lime or lemon when making ceviche, too. The croquetas (papas) look great!

FamilySpice said...

I love ceviche, too, but I don't think I could have it for breakfast! The papas look fabulous. Now THAT I could eat for breakfast!

Audax said...

The ceviche looks perfect to me the texture of the fish is so so creamy well done and the papas look so delicious sorry to hear that potatoes aren't your thing and you still made them great work on this challenge.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Tangled Noodle said...

Both your ceviche and papas rellenas are outstanding! My husband was fortunate enough to travel to Peru for business and spent several days enjoying the cuisine. He told me all about it when he returned home, but it just isn't the same to 'hear' about it rather than experience it yourself. But cooking the food is one way of traveling vicariously! You met this months Daring Cooks challenge beautifully and deliciously. Thanks so much for the recipes!

Joy said...

That looks wonderful.

shelley c. said...

That is cool that the ceviche was familiar, and kudos for trying the papas rellenas even though you aren't a fan of potatoes. Great job on the challenge!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Funny how totally distant countries have a similar recipe. The world can be a small place lol.Love the ceviche. I did not do the papas but I am getting mixed reviews lol.

Morgan said...

Your papas look perfect even if you don't like potato :) Love the shots of your ceviche!

Sarah said...

Ceviche for breakfast! Wow! I like it but can't imagine doing that...even though your ceviche looks almost good enough for me to consider trying it. Your papas are so nicely browned too.

pigpigscorner said...

I wish I could find calamansi here! The taste of lime was quite sharp.

Debo said...

I love how you used local ingredients :) I would have never imagined anyone having ceviche for breakfast, lol. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the papas :( but the filling sure sounds tasty.
Thanks for visiting my blog :)

NOORISH said...

I wish I had time to make the Rellenas. Yours look perfectly golden...not too light, not too dark. Beautiful!

Valérie said...

That's funny: most people were hesitant about the ceviche (because it's raw fish), and more enthusiastic about the papas. But kudos to you for trying the papas anyway. I love the texture of your ceviche!

TaGa_Luto said...

I wasn't surprised that you did the Kilawin..as i would if i had the access w/ fresh mackerel and calamansi;) I'm living vicariously through you as i'm reading your blog. I miss the real ceviche! I love your papas as well!

Indie.Tea said...

Yum! I like the way you made the ceviche more to your taste, and the veggie papas rellenas. Yum!

Anonymous said...

I will take every one of your delicous looking papas rellenos and eat them! They look amazing, as does your ceviche (love the calamansi juice)! I forgot about the challenge this month :(

Anonymous said...

They look good!! Very nicely done.

Lea said...

They turned out looks perfect!

Great blog you have here! :)