Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 14th 2014 Contents September 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
WOW MAGAZINE | 15
By Halcian Pierre
IF THE ABOVE doesn't look familiar to you, obvi-
ously, you didn't play much in the schoolyard, be-
cause that rhyme was used when picking people to
play certain group games. However, it was only
called to mind because of this week's main ingredi-
ent, so I thought, why not? After all, potatoes are
nearly everywhere in Trinbago cuisine, and we enjoy
them in so many different ways, from main meals,
to side dishes and snacks.
Tracing its history, according to the website live-
science.com, "...The potato is an immigrant, coming
from the Andes Mountains in South America or, by
some accounts, possibly from the western coast of
Chile. Potatoes showed up in Europe in the 1500s.
It is by far the most popular vegetable in the United
States. According to the US Census Bureau, 47
pounds of potatoes --- chips, baked, mashed and
fried --- are consumed per US resident every year."
Thankfully, we get our quota of potatoes here at
home through various imports, enough to make our
quota of favourite dishes (and then some). So, this
week's recipes will be a mix of the familiar and the
new, which I hope will get your mouth's watering
for some deliciousness.
(BEEF STUFFED POTATOES)
2 lbs large potatoes (peeled and cut into quarters)
1 lb *picadillo (seasoned ground beef - recipe below)
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1. Add salt to a pot of cold water, and boil the pota-
toes until they are soft. Drain the potatoes, and
then mash them, then set aside to allow them to
2. Separate the egg yolks from the whites in two
bowls. Mix the egg yolks into the mashed potato
mixture, whisk the egg whites for a minute. Take
1/4 of a cup of the mashed potatoes, and form it
into a ball. Make a dent in the ball, to give it more
of a bowl shape. Fill the indentation with a table-
spoon of picadillo, and then reseal it.
3. Reshape the potato as a ball again. Dip the ball
in the egg whites, then roll the ball around in
bread crumbs until it is coated. For a better coat-
ing, or for a crunchier texture, you may dip the
ball into the egg whites again and coat it with an-
other layer of bread crumbs. Refrigerate the po-
tato balls for at least four hours before frying.
4. To fry, pour enough oil into a skillet or frying pan
to cover half of the balls, the oil should be at least
350°. Place several balls into the frying pan and
cook on each side until golden brown, usually 2-
3 minutes, taking care not to overcook. Drain the
stuffed potatoes on paper towels, do not stack
5. The other cooking method is to deep fry the
papas rellenas at 375°F until golden brown; they
cook best deep-fried when they are frozen.
*To Make the Picadillo you will need
the following ingredients:
1 lb ground meat
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small can tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
• In a large skillet, brown the ground meat, onions
and garlic. If meat is not too lean, pour out what-
ever fat you render.
•Turn heat down to medium low. Add the tomato
sauce and wine. While it simmers, chop up the
pimiento-stuffed olives and add to meat mixture.
It is ok to add a little bit of the brine if you wish.
• Adjust the seasonings to taste.
4 large potatoes, Yukon Gold, Russet, etc.
4 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
Salt and pepper
Optional extras: minced fresh herbs, spices,
cheese, bread crumbs
1. Heat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the
2. Scrub the potatoes clean and pat them dry.
Alternatively, you can peel the skins off.
3. Cut slits into the potato, stopping just be-
fore you cut through so that the slices stay
connected at the bottom of the potato.
Space the slices 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch apart.
(NOTE: You can rest the potato in a large serv-
ing spoon and use that as a guide for when to
stop slicing --- slice straight down and when
your knife hits the edge of the spoon, stop slic-
4. Arrange the potatoes in a baking dish.
Brush the potatoes all over with butter or
other fat, including the bottoms.
5. Sprinkle the potatoes generously with salt
6. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes. (At this
point, the layers will start separating.) Re-
move the pan from the oven and brush the
potatoes again with fat --- you can nudge
the layers apart if they're still sticking to-
gether. Make sure some of the fat drips
down into the space between the slices.
7. Bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the
potatoes are crispy on the edges and easily
pieced in the middles with a paring knife. If
you're adding any extras such as cheese,
stuff the slices into the slits and sprinkle the
herbs over the top about 5 to 10 minutes
before the end of cooking. (NOTE: Total bak-
ing time is 60 to 70 minutes for average pota-
toes; if your potatoes are on the small side or
are larger, adjust cooking time accordingly.)
8. Serve immediately: These potatoes are
best straight from the oven while the
edges are at their crispiest.
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