Monday, March 14, 2011

Daring Cooks March 2011 Challenge: ¡Me Encanta Perú!

Salmon Ceviche
Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenged us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra.

I love ceviche and was excited to learn how to make my own at home. It was incredibly easy and I will be serving this as an appetizer at many dinner parties in the future. The really neat thing about this dish is the way citric acid "cooks" the fish by denaturing the proteins. The papas rellenas were also good (and perfectly fried I must say), although we all agreed they could have used a little more spice.

Recipes after the jump!

Salmon Ceviche

2 lbs. fresh salmon (you don't need the skin, so ask the monger to take it off for you)*
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately 8 limes) *Fresh juice only, no bottled. Can use lemons in lieu of limes.
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Avocado (cubed)

1. Cut (approximately 1/2 inch cubes)** the fish and place fish in a non-reactive, shallow pan in a thin layer. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Combine lime juice, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic. Pour mixture over fish. Stir lightly to expose all the fish to some of the lime juice mixture. Put sliced onion on top of fish as it “cooks”

3. Let fish stand for 10 minutes. Add cubes of avocado and spoon into individual plates.

* It is important to use high quality, really fresh fish. You can use previously frozen, but it’s not as good. The better your fish, the better your ceviche.
** The fish is going to “cook” in the lime juice – how thick you make the pieces will determine how much the fish cooks, so keep your own preference in mind when you are cutting the fish up.

Papas Rellenas

Papas Rellenas
Serves 6


For the dough:
21⁄4 lb (1 kg) russet potatoes 1 large egg

For the filling:
2 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄2 lb ground (minced) beef
6 black olives, pitted and chopped (use more if you love olives)
3 hard boiled large eggs, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1⁄2 cup raisins, soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, then minced
1 finely diced jalapeño
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin (use more if you like cumin)
1⁄2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1⁄4 cup white wine, water or beef stock for deglazing
Salt and pepper to taste

For the final preparation:
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash salt
1 cup dry bread crumbs
Oil for frying (enough for 2” (50 mm) in a heavy pan like a medium sized dutch oven)


In order to save time, you can boil the potatoes, and while they are cooling, you can make the filling. While that is cooling, you can make the potato “dough.” In this way, little time is spent waiting for anything to cool.

For the dough:
1. Boil the potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork. Remove them from the water and cool.

2. Once the potatoes have cooled, peel them and mash them with a potato masher or force them
through a potato ricer (preferred).

3. Add egg, salt and pepper and knead “dough” thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.

While the potatoes cool down before finishing the dough, you can make the filling:
1. Gently brown onion and garlic in oil (about 5 minutes).

2. Add the chili pepper and sauté for a couple more minutes.

3. Add ground beef and brown.

4. Add raisins, cumin and paprika and cook briefly (a few seconds).

5. Deglaze the pan with white wine.

6. Add olives and cook for a few moments longer.

7. Add hard boiled eggs and fold in off heat.

8. Allow filling to cool before forming “papas.”

Forming and frying the papas:
1. Use three small bowls to prepare the papas. In one, combine flour, cayenne and salt. In the second, a beaten egg with a tiny bit of water. Put bread crumbs in the third.

2. Flour your hands and scoop up 1/6 of the total dough to make a round pancake with your hands. Make a slight indentation in the middle for the filling.

3. Spoon a generous amount of filling into the center and then roll the potato closed, forming a smooth, potato-shaped casing around the filling. Repeat with all dough (you should have about 6 papas).

4. Heat 1 1⁄2 - 2 inches of oil in a pan to about 350 – 375° F.

5. Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first roll in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in bread

6. Fry the papas (in batches if necessary) about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip once in the
middle of frying to brown both sides.

7. Drain on paper towel.

8. Serve with salsa criolla (or other sauce of preference) immediately.

Salsa Criolla

2 medium red onions, cut in half and very thinly sliced (as half-circles)
1/2 chili pepper (your preference)
1 tablespoon vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Soak the onions in cold salt water for about 10 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the onions with the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and

3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the onions to macerate and the
flavors to combine


We had a lot of meet filling leftover, and didn't want it to go to waste. The next night, we made empanadas by wrapping the filling in store bought pizza dough, brushing with egg wash, and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.


  1. WOW both look great but the ceviche is especially delicious the texture is so creamy and the colour on the papas is perfect great work on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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