Name: Llapingachos (Ecuadorian potato-cheese patties)
Llapingachos (yah-peen-GAH-chos) are a popular side dish in the
highlands of Ecuador. They are often served with fried eggs and
a simple salad of lettuce, tomato and avocado.
Sometimes sausages and a side of rice are added to make a full and
typically Ecuadorian meal.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with salted water and
bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat.
- Cook the potatoes until a fork pierces them easily. Drain the potatoes
and set them aside to steam dry for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Mash the potatoes until smooth or put them through a ricer.
Add Achiote powder and scallions when mashing.
- When cool enough, form 1/3 cup portions of the mashed potatoes into balls
and set on a baking sheet.
- Chill potato patties in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes;
this will make the patties much easier to handle.
- While the potatoes are chilling, start your maní sauce:
Simmer the milk and sliced onion in a small saucepan for about 10 minutes. Do not boil.
- Strain the onions from the milk and discard.
- Whisk the peanut butter into the warm milk and season with cumin.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, 4-5 minutes.
The sauce should be the consistency of heavy cream. Add a little more milk or peanut butter as needed. Set aside.
- Remove potatoes from the refrigerator, and stuff each ball with
about 1 tablespoon of the cheese.
Flatten the balls with your hands to form patties.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Sauté the patties, a few at a time, until browned on each side.
- Remove to a warm oven until all patties have been sautéed.
- Serve topped with the salsa de maní.
- The achiote powder gives the patties an orange color.
If you don't have achiote, add a teaspoon or two of paprika.
Or just leave it out altogether.
- Ecuadorans typically use a young white cheese called queso blanco
for stuffing llapingachos, but you can also use mozzarella.
- Use finely minced white onion instead of scallions.
- Mix the cheese and scallions in with the potatoes instead of stuffing them.
- Add a little cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce to the to the
peanut sauce if you'd like some heat.
Comments: 1/26/2012 - Two potatoes (abt 1.6 lbs) gave seven patties.
The whole process took about an hour and 55 minutes, pretty much non-stop.
It took 24 minutes for the potatoes cut in small pieces to become soft.
It took about 28 minutes to stuff the patties, and 16 minutes to
brown them. I had leftover filling and sauce.
3/20/2012 - I used pre-shredded mozzarella, cut back on the amount of
milk in the sauce, and added cumin to the sauce. Our achiote is in
the form of small grains, but needs to be powdered. Modified the
recipe to match my best experience.
4/23/2013 - I used 8 small red potatoes to make 6 ½-cup sized patties.
I mixed the cheese - Mexican blend shredded cheese - into the potatoes and
that saved a little time.
I ground the achiote with a mortar and pestle for a long time, but only
got a little powder; the unground grains were softened in the cooking process.
In the sauce, I substituted almond butter for peanut butter, used less onion
and more almond butter; it thickened up rapidly.
Source: Modified from
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