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.