Papas Rellenas and Octopus Ceviche for March Daring Cooks

This  months Daring Cooks challenge is taking us to Peru. Two classically Peruvian dishes are suggested for us by Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja. Papas Rellenas and ceviche.

I learned to make ceviche many years ago and make several versions fairly often. Usually I make it in a more Mexican style. Basically combining fish marinated in lime juice with pico de gallo.  My go to fish is halibut but I have also done it with several types of rockfish, tilapia, and even salmon on occasion. This time though I was looking for an opportunity to use up some octopus from a VERY successful fishing trip last summer.

Yes I used this same photo in my previous blog about grilled octopus and spaghetti with garlic confit. It is one of those days out on the water with my friends that I will remeber for the rest of my days.

Look to that post to see all the details of how the octopus is slow braised. It takes a long time to become tender but is worth being patient. After braising I just cut the tentacle up into small cubes and toss with lime juice. Then to that was added very finely sliced red onion that had been soaked in cold water before draining and adding to the octopus. I took a risk here and went with habanero chile for the heat. This one did not overwhelm.

Then finish off with some cilantro, chopped tomato, green onion, and some sweet corn that was seared off in just a bit of butter to get some color before cooling. I also like to drizzle the ceviche with just a bit of olive oil to balance out all the acid from the lime.

I usually serve this kind of thing with white corn chips. However in Peru it served with boiled and then cooled sweet potato. It is an interesting mix of flavors that I will have to try again. I think that the sweet potato mellows the heat of the habanero. I will do this kind of ceviche again and will be on the lookout for more Alaskan octopus.

Just a little sidenote. I did pour off the excess lime juice and marinating liquids before serving. This is traditionally served alongside of a ceviche and called Leche de Tigre (milk of the tiger). It is said to either be a hangover cure or even be good for the yang. Methinks it is better just tossed out because all that acid is hard on even my iron stomach.

Next up are the Papas Rellenas. These things are impossible not to love. Basically they are a meat filling wrapped in mashed potatoes that are then floured, dipped in eggwash, then breadcrumbs, and deep fried. I cooked up some Arancini for another Daring Cooks challenge and these papas are very similar.

For my take on these I wanted to use some kind of game meat. I thought a friend of mine had given me goat chorizo but it was actually a cajun spiced sausage made from mountain goat. I ended up adding that to sautéed sweet onion, fresno chiles, jalapenos, and garlic.

I also used Alaskan gold potatoes from Vanderwheele farm up in Palmer. They are peeled boiled, and then mashed and cooled. Add in a little egg yolk if you like, season with s&p, and then mix it all together. I just went in for a handful of potato that I shaped into kind of a thick patty. Then spoon in as much filling as you think you can squeeze in there and then gently shape it into the shape of a potato.

Then I put these together like fried chicken. First into flour seasoned with s&p and lots of hot paprika. Next into some beaten eggs seasoned with lots of Frank’s hot sauce. And finally into breadcrumbs that I made in the food processor from toasted baguette. These were all fried up in peanut oil at about 360 F until golden and crunchy.

The relish is actually called salsa criolla. It is a very simple thing. The red onions are again very thinly sliced into half moons and soaked in cold water for 20-30 minutes before they are drained. Then put the onions in with some chiles, I used jalapenos, and season with s&p, some cider vinegar, and the juice of one lime. I was really surprised at just how good that combination of ingredients matched with the papas. If you make papas rellenas then definitely make the salsa criolla.

One more time I am happy to be involved with Daring Cooks. Excellent food is usually the result.

 blog checking lines: 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.

~ by climbhighak on March 14, 2011.

21 Responses to “Papas Rellenas and Octopus Ceviche for March Daring Cooks”

  1. Oh yum…that looks delicious, love the colors of the ceviche. I’m also intrigued with the filling you made for the papas…yummy!

  2. Your octopus ceviche is just beautiful. I am always so jealous of all the great and super fresh foods that you have access to – great job on the challenge!

  3. As always, you are a true inspiration for all of us with all your daring twists to the recipes! Beautiful photos!

  4. Those papas rellances look delicious but really how can you fail with deep fried mashed potatoes. Beautiful pictures well done

  5. Your ceviche looks so good. I wish I had access to fresh octopus here in Ontario – memories of Greece. Nice looking papas and salsa criolla!

  6. You have made me want to start climbing out of my shell to try to make octopus.
    You have 2 very beautiful dishes here Robert… the Papas Rellenas
    is something i would love to have.. right now.. for breakfast.

  7. I just LOVE inspirational takes on the challenge recipes and I wasn’t disappointed at all. Firstly I’m so envious of the fish you can get and that fishing trip looks like so much fun. The ceviche sounds so delicious and the colours are smashing. And you would be the only person I know to have wild goat sausages in the freezer LOL. The papas look so elegant and the crust looks perfect to me. Great job as always on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    Robert I might be visiting your nick of the woods during high summer July if I do I might look you up (if you don’t mind that is of course).

    • My work schedule is never determined in advance. That being said, I know this state like very few others. Message me, climbhigh at and I will get you my other contact information.

  8. What a fishing trip indeed! Wow

    And I love the idea of octopus ceviche. Great job all around!

  9. Mountain goat and octopus! Yes! It all looks so yummy! I think that I need a tissue to wipe up the drool on my desk from the closeup of the ceviche. Beautiful job.

  10. Robert – I always look forward to seeing the ingredients you use in your dishes, especially when they include fish and game you’ve brought home from your adventures! Can’t wait to see what you come up with when I host the May Challenge 😉 because I know it will be fabulously unique and awesome.

  11. Your ceviche looks so colorful and yummy! My mouth is watering!

  12. What an amazing ceviche! I’ve never had octopus, but I can’t wait to give it a try now! And your chorizo papas? WOW! Fabulous job. Hope the margarita hits the spot!

  13. Beautiful photos, and that ceviche looks delicious!

  14. Ohh WOW! Octopus? That sounds amazing! Your paps rellenas are super gorgeous! Great Job!

  15. Catching the seafood you used for the ceviche makes your end result all the more impressive. Octopus ceviche sounds great!

  16. I adore octopus, and that ceviche sounds delicious; I also love how colourful it is. And why am I not surprised you caught your own octopus? 🙂

  17. Mountain goat (They look so cute).. wonder if they taste like the regular goat. And you made your own bread crumbs, added red sauce to the egg wash…sweet!!! I know your papas should be very good!

    As for your ceviche what can i say…my hats off to you!! You made them from scratch..that octopus..YUMM!!! i love them grilled as well.

  18. Your ceviche is just outrageously gorgeous, and octopus, awesome! Don’t even get me started on your papas rellenos – I actually forgot about the challenge this month, and I’m bummed because I was looking forward to putting a twist on them. Will do it soon, but not as soon as I’d like, due to time constraints. Fantastic job, Robert.

  19. Oh my goodness! You actually CAUGHT the octopus you used in your ceviche? That is hard core. I guess I wouldn’t expect anything less from Alaska. Now you have given me expectations that I fully expect you to meet every challenge. Above and beyond! I kid. Good job. Your papas look awesome!

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