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Daring Cooks March 2011|Me Encanta Perú! (Ceviche y Papas Rellenas)

Howdy bots!

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.

Wait…Kathlyn…that’s me!

I was so honored to host this month’s Daring Cooks challenge.  To be asked was just the tip of the iceberg; putting recipes out there and seeing what this fantastic group of cooks came up with to rise to the challenge was…well, at the risk of sounding corny, it was humbling, but it was also an awful lot of fun!

If you aren’t familiar with Peruvian food, it is some of the best stuff on Earth.  Hearty, flavorful…the food reflects the people of the country, who are warm and generous and lovely to pass some time with, especially if it means eating a meal.

A special thanks to my muy guapa Spanish teacher Mayra who generously typed up recipes for me while I was in Perú in preparation for this challenge.  She is an unforgettable woman who is welcome at my house any time!

And thanks also to Lis for asking me to be a part of this first round of DC hosting – being included in this group of people was really special!

Perú, te hecho de menos, te quiero y espero que volver pronto – tu comida es tan rica, tu país es tan bonito y tu gente es tan amable.  Besitos!!

Saludos!

 

Cheviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche):

Serves 6 as a “starter” or lunch portion. Serves 2 as a dinner.

Ingredients

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)

Garnish:
1 large sweet potato
1 large ear of corn
Lettuce leaves

Directions:

  1. Boil sweet potato and corn (separately) if using for garnish. Allow to cool. (Can be done hours or even a day in advance)
  2. Wash and trim your fish. Slice into pieces between ½ inch (15 mm) cubes to 2 inch (50mm) pieces, depending on taste.**
  3. Place fish in a non-reactive, shallow pan in a thin layer. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. 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.
  5. Put sliced onion on top of fish as it “cooks”
  6. Let fish stand for 10 minutes.*** Lift fish out of the lime juice and plate individual portions ,**** garnishing with lettuce, slices of sweet potato and slices or kernels of corn if using.

* It is important to use high quality, really fresh fish. You can use previously frozen (I’ve been using it because I am too cheap to buy this much sashimi grade fish), but it’s not as good. The better your fish, the better your ceviche.
** The fish is going to “cook” in the lime juice – how thick you make the pieces will determine how much the fish cooks, so keep your own preference in mind when you are cutting the fish up.
*** I have looked at recipes all over the interwebs for ceviche, and they all have different “cooking” times – I am going with 10 minutes because that’s what my Peruvian cookbook says. While I was in Lima, all the ceviche I ate was just barely white, and basically raw. I may cause a raging debate about ceviche by saying this, but I think that is most traditional. However, you can thoroughly cook the fish by letting it sit much longer – a few hours or even overnight. When I did this, it made the fish taste of nothing but lime and it was a bit rubbery, so it’s not what I would recommend.
**** The portions can vary; personally I prefer to have ceviche as I mostly ate it in Lima – as a starter, in a fairly small portion. It’s very light and a lovely way to start off before eating something else. You can also eat a full meal portion of it if you want – I think that’s too much, but if you love it, don’t let my taste stop you!

Here is a photo of a full plate of ceviche I ate in Lima – you can both see the size of the portion (it was all I had for lunch and dinner that day) and how “cooked” the fish is – this is typical of Peruvian ceviche (in my experience). The fish is just slightly white around the edges, while most of it is essentially raw.

Papas Rellenas (de carne):

Makes 6

Ingredients

For the dough:
2¼ lb (1 kg) russet potatoes
1 large egg

For the filling:
2 tablespoon (30 ml) of a light flavored oil
½ lb (250 grams) ground (minced) beef
6 black olives, pitted and chopped (use more if you love olives)
3 hard boiled large eggs, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup (240 ml))
½ cup (120 ml) (90 gm) (3 oz) raisins, soaked in 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water for 10 minutes, then minced
1 finely diced aji pepper (ok to sub jalapeño or other pepper – if you are shy about heat, use less)
2 cloves garlic, minced or passed through a press (if you love garlic, add more)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) (1/8 oz) ground cumin (use more if you like cumin)
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) (2 gm) (1/16 oz) sweet paprika
¼ c. white wine, water or beef stock for deglazing
Salt and pepper to taste

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)

Directions:

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.

While the potatoes cool down before finishing the dough, you can make the filling:

  1. Gently brown onion and garlic in oil (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the chili pepper and sauté for a couple more minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and brown.
  4. Add raisins, cumin and paprika and cook briefly (a few seconds).
  5. Deglaze the pan with white wine.
  6. Add olives and cook for a few moments longer.
  7. Add hard boiled eggs and fold in off heat.
  8. Allow filling to cool before forming “papas.”

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.

Papas Rellenas (vegetarian/vegan):

Makes 6

Ingredients

For the dough:
5 pounds (2¼ kg) (3 large – 4 medium) russet potatoes
½ cup (120 ml) (75 gm) (2 ⅔ oz) cornstarch (called corn flour in some countries)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) (1/5 oz) salt, or to taste
Lots of pepper

For the filling:
1 cup (240 ml) (150 gm) (5⅓ oz) diced onion (any color)
4 cloves garlic
½ chili pepper (Aji recommended)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) (1/8 oz) ground cumin
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) (2 gm) (1/16 oz) sweet paprika
1 cup (240 ml) (115 gm) (4 oz) cremini mushrooms, small dice
½ package tempeh, thin cut and quasi crumbled (Or you can use cooked black beans)
½ cup (120 ml) (90 gm) (3 oz) raisins, soaked in 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water for 10 minutes, then minced
1 handful spinach
1 cup (240 ml) (185 gm) (6½ oz) quinoa (Or you can use another cooked grain, like buckwheat)
¼ c. white wine, water or beef stock for deglazing
Salt and pepper to taste

For the final preparation:
1 large egg, beaten (for vegetarian version) OR egg replacer equivalent to one large egg (for vegan version)
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)

Directions:

For the dough:

  1. Boil unpeeled potatoes whole until tender when stuck with a fork. Let potatoes cool.
  2. When potatoes are cooled, peel them and either mash them with a potato masher or force them through a potato ricer (preferred).
  3. Add cornstarch, salt and pepper and knead “dough” thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.

While potatoes are cooling, make filling:

  1. Caramelize onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook.
  3. Add the cumin and paprika and cook briefly (a few seconds).
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
  5. Add tempeh and raisins.
  6. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add spinach and wilt.
  7. Add the quinoa and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Allow filling to cool before forming “papas.”

Finishing the dough and forming the papas:

  1. Use three small bowls (or other shallow containers) to prepare the papas. In one, combine flour, cayenne and salt. In the second, combine the egg replacer and 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 will all dough (you should have 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 replacer, 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 get both sides
  7. Drain on paper towel and store in a cool oven 200°F (95°C) (gas mark ¼) if frying in batches
  8. Serve with salsa criolla (or other sauce of preference) immediately

Salsa Criolla:

Ingredients

2 medium red onions, cut in half and very thinly sliced (as half-circles)
1/2 chili pepper (your preference)
1 tablespoon vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Soak the onions in cold salt water for about 10 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the onions with the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the onions to macerate and the flavors to combine

Pisco sour:

Serves 1

Ingredients

3 ounces (90 ml) Pisco puro
1 ounce (30 ml) cane syrup, OR 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (8 gm) (¼ oz) powdered sugar
1 ounce (30 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 large egg white
4 ice cubes, crushed

Garnish:
4 drops of Angostura bitters or a pinch of cinnamon (not necessary, but tasty and pretty)

Directions:

  1. Blend egg white in blender until really foamy (not stiff)
  2. Add all ingredients except bitters/cinnamon and blend until smooth (ice chunks disappear)
  3. Taste and add additional sugar or lime juice as desired
  4. Pour into glass and top with bitters or cinnamon*

* I like to let the foam settle a bit and rise up to the top. This is more like what I had in Lima, with a layer of foam on top and the “drink” at the bottom. But you can drink it right away if you’re impatient – cheers!

22 Comments

  1. Simone says:

    Thanks so much for this fun challenge! I loved making the ceviche (trying to lose weight so thought it would not be so good to make the papas..:)) and it tasted so much better then I had thought it would. I will definitely be making the papas at a later stage too!
    Simone´s last blog post ..Think pink – It’s smoothie time!!

  2. Renata says:

    Kathlyn, thank you so much for hosting this delicious challenge in such a lovely way. I loved to be introduced to Peruvian food and though I’m not a fan of raw fish I have to admit that I really want to try the Ceviche someday. And the Papas were so delicious!
    You did a wonderful job!
    Renata´s last blog post ..PAPAS RELLEÑAS – Desafio Daring Cooks – Março-2011

  3. Thanks, Kathlyn, for this fantastic challenge. I had a great time trying these dishes, which were brand new to me. My friends who have lived in Peru, loved them! Cheers!
    sarah, simply cooked´s last blog post ..Peruvian dishes- ceviche and papa rellenas

  4. I want to say thanks for such a great and fun recipe for the Papas Rellenas! I wanted to give the ceviche a try but I couldn’t bring myself to do it without fresh fish. I promise that when I get access to some seafood right off the boat (within the next 2 months) I’ll be sure to give it a try 😀
    Rochelle (Acquired Taste)´s last blog post ..Peruvian Papas Rellenas – The turkey that wasnt loved – A Daring Cooks Challenge

  5. Shelley C says:

    Thank you so much, Kathlyn, for this wonderful introduction to Peruvian food! This was a really great challenge, and you were a fabulous host – so helpful, responsive and enthusiastic. These were wonderful recipes and I was so happy to cook with you! 🙂
    Shelley C´s last blog post ..March Daring Cooks Challenge – Ceviche and Papas Rellenas

  6. Thanks for a great challenge. I love ceviche!! The papas will have to wait until I can share the calories with friends and family. Thanks again for hosting!

  7. Thanks for the wonderful challenge. I made it for my Spanish class and it was a big hit – especially with my teacher from Puerto Rico.
    A Cooking Dad´s last blog post ..Daring Cooks- Papas Rellenas

  8. […] to original recipe: Me Encanta Peru! (Ceviche y Papas Rellenas) by Baking like a Ninja The filling (minced meat, onions, chillies, boiled […]

  9. […] to original recipe: Me Encanta Peru! (Ceviche y Papas Rellenas) by Baking like a Ninja Ceviche marinating in lime, chillies, coriander and garlic Possibly related posts: (automatically […]

  10. I enjoyed this challenge, I tried them both and they were delicious. I had had ceviche in the past but I had never tried papas rellenas, so thanks a lot for this opportunity of trying these new recipes!
    De (au)Gustibus´s last blog post ..Ceviche by Daring Cooks

  11. This looks amazing! But one question, what are some examples of a “nonreactive” pan?

  12. Kathlyn says:

    Hola chica! A non-reactive pan would essentially be a non-metal pan – so glass or pyrex works well. Although, honestly, I’ve seen video of chefs using metal, so it might not be a big deal. I just don’t like to use acidic stuff (like citrus) on metal.

  13. Ruth H. says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful challenge! I had never thought to explore Peruvian food, and I am so glad that you gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons. I loved the flexibility of the recipes, and the encouragement you offered was a huge part of my enjoyment of this challenge! I look forward to making these recipes again! Thank you so much!
    Ruth H.´s last blog post ..Daring to do it- Ceviche and Papas Rellenas

  14. […] Recipe adapted from Bake Like A Ninja. […]

  15. Peta says:

    thanks for this great challenge, I loved the Papas I just posted on my blog too. Love your work.
    Peta´s last blog post ..THE DARING COOKS’ MARCH- 2011 CHALLENGE- ¡ME ENCANTA PERÚ! CEVICHE &amp PAPAS RELLENAS

  16. outoftheoven says:

    Thanks for hosting such a great challenge. This was a wonderful introduction to Peruvian food, and I look forward to exploring more in the future.
    outoftheoven´s last blog post ..March Daring Cooks – Ceviche and Papas Rellenas!

  17. Thanks for the challenge I loved the Papas rellenas, I would certainly make them again.

  18. Thank you so much for hosting this month’s challenge and a special thanks to your teacher for typing up the recipes.

    What a brilliant challenge so simple and easy yet the results are so tasty and elegant the ceviche is something I have never heard but I love raw fish so I adored it.

    And I went to town on the papas I made a lot of different types wonderful snack and picnic food.

    Your interpretations are delightful thank you so much again.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.
    Audax Artifex´s last blog post ..Mar 2011 DC Challenge Peruvian Papas Rellenas &amp Ceviche

  19. Thank you for the challenge. I truly enjoyed the challenge!
    Pia (Taga_Luto)´s last blog post ..Papas Rellenas Cuban Style

  20. […] de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau and Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, […]

  21. Ahmet says:

    Being able to walk away from a love that deep is pretty darn stonrg, lol you SHOULD feel great! And, yes, a coffee or tea fix is perfectly fine pretty much what I will always tell myself

  22. It’s a real pleasure to find someone who can think like that

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