Rellenos de Papa
Makes about 15

This recipe uses instant mashed potatoes

1½ cups water
7 tbsp margarine
salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 cup milk
4 cups instant potato flakes
1 egg
3 tbsps. corn starch (for dusting rellenos)

Prepared cooked picadillo (ground beef and/or pork seasoned with sofrito)
- make sure not too add too much liquid. ½ lb ground meat, salt and pepper, and sofrito, add 2 tsps tomato sauce and cook until done. The meat should be dry but moist and tasty.

oil for frying

Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add margarine, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and milk. Stir until the margarine is melted. Add potato flakes. The mixture should be pretty thick and dry (should stick to spoon), if not let it cook uncovered for a bit longer. Cool slightly then add a sligthly beaten egg and mix well.  Let the potatoes sit to cool down.

This is the method of assembly . . .

You can evenly divide the potatoes first by half, then each half in half, etc, until you achieve the size ball you like. Oil your hands and pick up one ball at a time, rolling it into shape first, then make an indentation for the stuffing. Place a tablespoon of prepared picadillo in the middle carefully folding the sides over the meat until it is completely sealed. Roll the stuffed balls in corn starch - this will help keep the mixture together during frying. Now you can refrigerate until ready to fry.

Fry over medium-high heat until golden. Serve as appetizers, as a side dish, or for lunch with a salad.

Here is a different method How to assemble with step by step photos click here.

Hints . . .

See this link to see step-by-step pictures click here

Use an ice cream scoop to measure the potatoes and make even size balls. They can be prepared a day ahead and fried before serving. If you wait until the mixture has cooled down it will be easy to roll into a ball.
This recipe uses very little meat so save left over picadillo or even stew meat to use for stuffing rellenos. This is the very same stuffing used in making alcapurrias.
Use a small pan to fry using enough oil to cover the balls at least half way so they only have to be turned over once. Use a smaller frying pan or pot to save in oil.

Yes, sometimes the rellenos will begin to come apart in the oil, just push it together with a large spoon. This happens when the potato is not dry enough - too much liquid was added. Make the potatoes pretty dry.

To use fresh potatoes. Peel, boil, and cube 1½ lbs. potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes. Drain and mash, and add the rest of the ingredients - go easy with the milk and only use what you need.

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