Papas rellenas, or stuffed potato balls, offer a great respite to the repetitive nature of leftovers. Like a perfectly baked loaf of crusty bread, the crunchy, golden fried crust of the papas rellenas leads the way to a soft and delicate interior and the meat filling is the surprise within a surprise. Traditionally stuffed with seasoned ground meat, papas rellenas can just as easily be stuffed with shredded leftover brisket or any other protein of choice.
BRISKET-STUFFED PAPAS RELLENAS
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
salt and pepper
1 pound leftover shredded brisket
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
oil for frying
Cover potatoes with cold water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain completely, add garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, and mash until smooth. Set aside to cool completely.
Create a breading station by adding the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs to individual shallow bowls. Form a patty using two heaping tablespoons of the cooled potatoes. Add one heaping tablespoon of the leftover brisket to the center of the patty, and mold the potatoes into a ball, covering the brisket. Coat in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in eggs, then cover with breadcrumbs. Set on a cookie sheet until all the potato balls are coated.
Heat oil in a skillet to about 375 degrees, and fry balls in small batches for about one to two minutes, or until golden brown and heated through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Yield: Six to eight servings