(Ecuadorian potato-cheese patties)
Yield: 4-6 servings
Achiote powder (see notes)
Salsa de Maní (Peanut Sauce)
1 1/2 cup
Peanut butter, natural, unsweetened
Basic Steps: Boil → Mash → Chill → Form → Sauté → Garnish
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with salted water and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Cook potatoes until done and knife pierces center evenly. Drain potatoes and let steam dry one or two minutes.
- Mash potatoes or put through a ricer till smooth. Season with salt to taste. Form into balls of about 1/3 cup and chill in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, start your maní sauce: Simmer milk with the onion in a small saucepan for about 10 minutes. Do not boil. Remove the onion and stir in the peanut butter and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer till thickened. Should be thick like heavy cream. Add a little more milk or peanut butter as needed. Set aside.
- Remove potatoes from the refrigerator. Mix the cheese and scallions together and stuff each ball with about 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Flatten the balls with your hands to form patties.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the patties a few at a time till browned on each side. Remove to a warm oven till all patties have been sautéed. Serve with salsa de maní.
- Use finely minced white onion instead of scallions.
- Mix the cheese and scallions in with the potatoes instead of stuffing them.
- Ecuadorans typically use a young white cheese called queso blanco, but you can use Monterey jack or mozzarella.
- Add a little cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce to the to the peanut sauce if you'd like some heat. Or add a little ground cumin for extra flavor.
- Llapingachos (yah-peen-GAH-chos) are a popular food in Ecuador. They are often served with fried eggs and a simple salad of lettuce, tomato and sometimes avocado. Sometimes sausages and a side of rice are added.
- The achiote gives the patties an orange color. If you don't have achiote, add a teaspoon or two of paprika for color. Or just leave it out altogether.