Papas rellenas con queso: Stuffed potatoes with cheese
This delicious, cheap South American street food is fantastic for those looking for a quick snack before/during/after lunch. Best fried and filled with cheese (although outside of Sucre, the Bolivia capital, it is far more common to be filled with ground meat or chicken).
Total cooking time: 45 minutes.
Ingredients (for approximately 8 fried potatoes):
- 1 kilo of potatoes (red or golden)
- 250g cheese of your choice (mozzarella seems to work best)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 cup of breadcrumbs
- Salt pepper, oil
- Peel the potatoes and place them in a pot of water with a good pinch of salt.
- Boil the potatoes for 18-20 minutes (or until they are soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork).
- Drain the potatoes and let them cool.
- Cut the cheese into approximately 2x3cm size pieces (one per potato).
- Grate or mash the boiled potatoes. There should not be any large pieces and should be a firm, maleable, puree. Add a large pinch of salt and pepper to the mix.
- With floured hands, take a handful of potato and form a ball- then split the mixture roughly in half. Place the cheese in the centre of one of the halves and cover it with the remaining half of the potato.
- Beat both eggs with a large pinch of salt, in a bowl. Also place the flour and breadcrumbs in separate bowls.
- Pass the filled potatoes first through the flour, then the beaten eggs and finally through the breadcrumbs until the balls are evenly covered.
- Heat up the oil in a frying pan ready for a shallow fry.
- Once hot, place the filled potatoes in the centre of the pan and turn regularly until golden brown all over.
Filled potatoes should be served immediately in order to keep their outer crunch as well as the cheese inside melted and stringy. They are fantastic as a snack with a fresh chilli salsa and/or garlic mayonnaise. Due to the simple nature of this South American street food there is lots of room for adding other ingredients: Chives, ground meat (cook before filling the potato and frying), diced tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs, chicken, pitted olives… the list goes on and on.
We decided to fry some chorizo sausages and eat our papa rellanas with a delicious fresh salad. Enjoy!
If diving into strange culinary street food delights is your thing, check out the expedition on offer with Quest Overseas. There is so much to try!
Author Bio: Matty is a charity project manager and expedition leader for Quest Overseas in Peru and Bolivia. Graduate from University College London, BA History. Currently residing in Colombia and always looking for new adventures to lead his teams on.