Rellenos de Papa . . . How to assemble with step by step photos

Although from all these pictures it might seem like too many steps to make these delicious traditional Puerto Rican rellenos, in reality they are very easy to prepare.

Once the potatoes and the meat are ready, the rest is just as easy - 'un guame.' Use an ice cream scoop or 'disher' to help make the balls. The balls can be prepared ahead and refrigerated to be fried later. After frying put them in a warm oven until ready to serve. Left overs can be warmed up in the microwave. See our recipe

Use an ice cream scoop to measure out even amounts of mashed potatoes so that the rellenos will be all the same size. Use the edge of a knife to wipe off excess. This scoop or disher has a 1/3 cup capacity.

Pour a bit of oil in a small bowl. Dip your index finger in the oil and
make an indentation in the middle of the potato.

The hole should look like this and is now ready to stuff.

Use the smallest spoon you can find to stuff the ball (still in the scooper), press lightly down. As you press down on the meat the potato will rise above the scoop edge. You can then carefuly begin to push the potato to cover the filling.

Just work the potato over the meat as much as possible. Here the
hole is getting smaller.

Grease both hands with a bit of oil before placing the ball on your hand.

Now gently continue to close the hole

Once the hole is closed, roll the ball between both hands to get a
nicely shaped ball

Next roll the ball in corn starch

Now roll the ball in your hands again to loosen any extra corn starch.

Use a very large spoon to drop each ball carefully in the hot oil.

They should brown quickly, all you have to do is continue to roll the balls around every few minutes until they are golden all over. Drain in paper towels. If they are not so round any more they can be reshaped a bit once fried using your hands.

Photos by Javier Figueroa and Ivette Farah