Rellenitos de Papa with Daiya Cheese

Relleno de Papa

We all make more mashed potatoes than we would like and that is exactly what happened to me yesterday. Our daughter likes potato wedges, fries, and chunks but mashed, not so much. I don’t like throwing left-overs away and decided I would put them in the fridge and eat them the next day.

Snack Time with Rellenitos de Papa

Snack time is around ten thirty and I decided that instead of re-heating the mashed potatoes for lunch, I would make Rellenitos de Papa with Pepper Jack Daiya Cheese. I had already incorporated the Daiya Cheese into the mashed potatoes from the night before and I decided to fill the small little potato balls with more Daiya Cheese.

I remember trying to make Rellenos de Papa with my grandmother one time and I failed miserably. Her Rellenos de Papa were much bigger (tennis ball sized) and stuffed with ground meat. When we fried the ones I made versus hers, mine turned into fried mashed potatoes. Of course her’s stayed in the shape of a ball.

My mistake was that I handled the potato balls too much and my hand warmed them up. Forming the ball and filling them has to be done quickly. My grandmother used canola oil that covered the Rellenos de Papa in a deep pot, at medium to high heat. She has over 80 years of experience making them. She just celebrated her 90th birthday this past July.

This is a vegan version and you could find faux meats to fill  them with or any leftover veggies from the night before and of course make them much bigger. I also did not deep fry but pan fry in olive oil and did not move them around. I browned each side and then with a spoon coated the entire rellenito with olive oil whilst leaving them in place.  These were small appetizer size (golf ball size) and were made pretty quickly.

Rellenitos de Papa

Left over mashed potatoes (cold preferably)

Pepper Jack Daiya Cheese

Olive Oil or whatever oil you use for frying

2 tablespoons of Flour with a sprinkle of salt and pepper (this is to coat the balls)

Dipping Sauce Mayo-Kectchup

1 tablespoon of Vegan Mayo (any brand we used Earth Balance)

1 tablespoon Ketchup (we used Woodstock Organic Tomato Ketchup)

1 garlic clove peeled and shredded (raw not cooked)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooking the Rellenitos de Papa

I made the mayo-ketchup sauce after I had given Raul a test rellenito. He thought it would be a good idea to use this as a dipping sauce. Next time, I will make the mayo-ketchup first so it could really have that garlic taste.

My leftover’s allowed me to make seven, cheesy filled, balls. I quickly formed each ball leaving a little hole in the middle, I put the shreds of Daiya that could fit, closed up, and rolled in the flour. I made sure to coat all sides of the ball. I  heated up the olive oil in a small frying pan (medium heat) and did not turn the rellenitos over until I saw one side was brown. Once both sides were brown, I used a spoon to drizzle the hot olive oil over the rellenito to make sure the flour was cooked. (If you cook the rellenitos too low, they will get mushy. One of them got too soft.)

This really took about twenty minutes to make; this does not include the taste testing in between. This might be something you could do for a party instead of making the huge rellenos that would fill anyone up in no time. We ate them pretty quickly. If you are a vegetarian, you could use regular cheese and mayo.

I really don’t use exact measurements in this recipe, but I am sure that trial and error won’t hurt. The key is not to move the rellenitos too much while frying or you’ll end up with fried mashed potatoes.


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