Papas Rellenas

Papas rellenas (on Spanish literally: stuffed potatoes) are a popular type of croquettes found in Peru and other Latin American countries. They are similar to a Jewish knish but vary in that the outer layer is mostly mashed potatoes. Knish generally have a much higher flour content to be more of a dough with either little or no potato. The Papas Rellenas have a crisp outside, followed by a fluffy and light layer of mashed potatoes, hiding a delicious, flavourful centre.

I love making these in bulk and watching everyone I make them for devour them. They also freeze really well if you are so inclined.

Give them a try and serve as an appetizer at your next get together!

papas rellenas homemade

Papas Rellenas

Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

12 medium red potatoes, about 3 pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups plain bread crumbs
2 cups vegetable oil

Preparation:

  1. In a large saucepan add potatoes and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cooking until potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and mash with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow to cool.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, in another large saucepan, heat the olive oil over Medium heat. Add onions and green pepper and cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and ground beef and cook until the beef is browned, about 10 minutes. Salt to taste. Break up the beef while it’s cooking so everything is a fine consistency. Drain off any fat.
  3. Add the wine, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and pepper, and cook until the mixture is dry. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.
  4. When potatoes and picadillo are cool, beat the eggs in a small bowl, and put the bread crumbs on a large plate.
  5. Using your hands, form 2 tablespoons of potatoes into a ball and press an opening in the centre. Stuff with meat mixture, then add potato to cover the opening.
  6. Roll to make a neat ball and then dip into the egg mixture. Dredge with bread crumbs to cover thoroughly. Refrigerate the balls for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Add the balls a few at a time and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Sauce Like a Boss

StubbsFajita

Football playoffs are in full swing. If you are fortunate to still be in a city with home games you definitely need to up your tailgating game to new levels of playoff-worthiness grilled food. If you don’t have a home game to head to, you’ve still got a hungry crowd to feed at home each weekend as the games are high-stakes and mandatory viewing. I’m trying to keep things at my place as simple as possible so that I can enjoy the games and the good food with my friends without spending forever outside by the grill. I’m taking inspiration from a recent trip to grill for the masses in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

You see, in Wisconsin they take they’re tailgating seriously. A couple of years ago on a trip to Milwaukee, I decided to take in a Brewers game. I arrived 30 minutes ahead of the first-pitch and tried pulling into the massive parking lot surrounding the stadium. A uniformed attendant let me know that the lot had been full for three hours. Apparently Wisconsinites like to tailgate for EVERY Brewers home game. That’s 81 games, folks!

A whole lotta grillin’ goin’ on.

All the more so at football games in Green Bay…. People arrive early, and tailgate hard. Maybe it’s because of the extreme weather they get, or maybe because there are so many shift workers in the region who don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn the day after a game… But tailgating is at it’s finest in and around Green Bay’s Lambeau field. The moment you turn off of the highway and onto the famed Oneida street, the party is on.

Amateur grillers set up early and have tents and shelters to help protect against the elements. The grills are large, the meat is plenty, and the fans are loud and proud. To win the day and impress people with food really requires some imagination and creativity. I figured if I could do the prep work the day before then I could minimize the time I’d spend making food on game day and maximize the amount of time I could soak it all in and enjoy the day. There is no better food to share with friends over a football game than fajitas. They are delicious, easy to make, and with a little prep work so simple to grill up on game day. To do all of this without sacrificing on any taste I needed some assistance that came in the way of Stubb’s Anytime Sauces. I’ve been a long time fan of their line of BBQ sauces so was really excited when their marinades and ‘anytime’ sauces hit the shelves. Throwing the chicken breasts into a resealable bag with Texas Sriracha sauce and my beef with the Green Chile sauce was as easy as it gets. And getting all of the flavor into my food ahead of time really made grill-time a breeze once a reached the stadium parking lot. As you can see from the pictures the food was a smashing success and if you want to make a whole lot of friends just break out the Stubb’s BBQ sauce as a condiment to dress your fajitas with!

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Easy Tailgate Grilled Chicken and Beef Fajitas

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

2 pounds beef steak
2 ponds boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 oz Stubb’s Green Chile Anytime Sauce
8 oz Stubb’s Texas Sriracha Anytime Sauce
2 tablespoon oil
2 medium bell peppers, cut into thin strips
2 medium onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
16 flour tortillas, (6-inch)
Toppings such as: lettuce, tomato, salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream (pareve works great too!)

Preparation:

  1. Place steak in resealable bag with Stubb’s Green Chile Anytime Sauce. In a separate bag place chicken with Stubb’s Texas Sriracha Anytime Sauce. Seal and refrigerate both bags overnight.
    PicMonkey Collage
  2. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion with salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir 15 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from skillet. This step also works well the day before. Simply refrigerate and the mixture can be warmed up in a foil pan right on your grill!
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  3. On game day place one side of your grill on low heat and warm up your foil pan of peppers and onions until heated through. Heat the other side of the grill on high.
  4. Remove steak and chicken from bags, wipe off any excess sauce and discard the marinade. Grill over direct high heat until desired doneness. Transfer meat to a cutting board and slice into strips.
  5. Spoon meat and vegetables onto warmed tortillas. Serve with assorted toppings and your favorite Stub’s BBQ sauce…. Make lots of friends!

Homemade Beef Jerky & Hamilton Beach® Food Dehydrator Review

Not all counter-top appliances were created equal. When I first started cooking I was all about getting a hold of the latest gadgets and gizmos for my kitchen. The flip-able pancake pan? Check! The active-fry minimum oil fryer? Sign me up! A combination sandwich maker, coffee brewer, and pizza oven? Yes! Yes! Yes!

What I soon learned was that more kitchen appliances is not the merrier. The pancake maker never made great pancakes. When you flip the pan over, the side that had been face up is stone cold and is no position to been cooking your pancake. The minimum-oil french fry maker takes up half the counter space in the kitchen, takes an hour to make french fries, and they taste like, well, french fries that took an hour and weren’t made with any oil. So, yes, as a consumer I often get excited by the late night tv ads showing “must have” products du jour. But sometimes all you need to cook pancakes is a frying pan; and sometimes you need to fry your damn french fries in oil or don’t have french fries to begin with.

All of this is to tell you, I don’t like collecting kitchen appliances for the sake of having them. I’ve learned my lesson over the years. So many appliances collect dust in my basement until I finally give them away. So, when I tell you I can’t live without my food dehydrator – I’m speaking from a place of self-awareness. I’ve fallen for many a pretty juice maker and set of Ginsu knives.

Beef jerky is simply one of the greatest snacks ever invented. It’s beef. It’s delicious. It doesn’t need refrigerating. My kids LOVE it. And did I mention it’s beef? Beef you can travel with in your pockets.

Making beef jerky at home without a dehydrator is not impossible. I’ve made the recipe below in the past without one. You can turn your oven really low and use that but the temperature isn’t quite low enough and the beef cooks as much as it dries out. For me this sometimes results in moldy beef jerky a week after it’s made. An expensive investment with the current price of beef. I’ve also made jerky by rigging up a box fan and laundry basket, drying the beef out in my own mini wind tunnel. But it takes some work, and my wife curses me out every time she goes to fold socks and the laundry basket smells like a butcher’s shop…

HB3

The beauty of a food dehydrator is that it’s multi-layered (meaning you can do a lot of beef at one time), and it does one thing and does it damn well. It slowly dries your beef in a safe environment and ensures perfect results every time. That leaves you time to dream up ways of hiding the delicious results from your kids.  My Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator has five stackable layers with continuous airflow and an adjustable thermometer. So there is no need to rotate the beef or babysit it. I set it and come back four hours later to see how things are progressing.

HB2

Ingredients:

4 pounds lean brisket – have your butcher thinly slice the meat with the grain, into long strips. Meat slices should be no more than 1/4 inch thick.
1 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon honey
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preparation:

  1. Place the strips of meat along with all of the remaining ingredients into a large zip-lock bag and mix to incorporate all of the ingredients. Place the bag in the refrigerator for 6 hours.
  2. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Place beef slices in a single layer on the first tray, leaving space around each slice for proper drying. Fill trays with remaining beef slices.
  4. Stack trays on base with the top tray last. Set the dehydrator to 160°F for 4 to 8 hours. Start checking beef for doneness at 4 hours and then every 30 minutes. Jerky is dry when you can bend it and and the top cracks, but the slice does not break.
  5. Pat jerky dry with a paper towel to remove any surface fats and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
  6. If jerky has been properly dried, cooled, and packaged, it may be stored up to 2 months in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

Photo credit: stalkerville.net

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