Papas Rellenas with Garlic Aioli (Stuffed Fried Potatoes)

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Papas Rellenas with Garlic Aioli (Stuffed Fried Potatoes)

Servings 12 Servings


  • Mashed Potatoes:
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Picadillo:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably 93% lean
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, halved
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Garlic Aioli:
  • 2 small or 1 large garlic clove
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Papas Rellenas:
  • 5 eggs, beaten with 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups oil, for frying


  • Mashed Potatoes:
  • In a large saucepan filled with water, over medium heat, boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer the potatoes to a bowl. Add milk, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Mash until smooth but not too soft. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
  • Picadillo:
  • In a Dutch oven or large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 20 to 30 seconds. Stir in the beef, bay leaf, tomato sauce, wine, cumin, oregano, salt, sugar, paprika, and pepper. Continue cooking for 15 minutes. Add the olives, capers, and parsley. Cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Set aside to cool.
  • Garlic Aioli:
  • Smash garlic and salt into a paste and transfer to a small bowl. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil, and mustard; whisk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Papa Rellenas:
  • Scoop 2 tablespoons of cooled mashed potato into the palm of your hand. Add 1 tablespoon of picadillo to the center. Shape the potato around the filling, forming a 2-inch ball. Repeat with the remaining mashed potato and filling. Makes approximately 36 potato balls.
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with the water. In a second shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the flour. Dip each ball first in the egg wash and then coat in the bread crumb mixture, then dip in the egg wash again and coat in bread crumb mixture again. Cover and refrigerate the potato balls for 2 to 4 hours before frying.
  • In a Dutch oven or large frying pan, heat the oil to 350°F with enough oil to cover the balls halfway. Working in batches, fry the balls for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately with garlic aioli. Enjoy!