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Ecuadorian Llapingachos - stuffed potato patties

What's the big idea?

As with Churrasco, these tasty snacks are traditionally made into a full meal via the addition of a whole host of extra "trimmings". So cook your llapingachos as described below, and serve with all of the following:

  • Peanut suace (peanut butter will do!)
  • A fried egg
  • A simple salsa made from chopped tomatoes, red onions and fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • Sliced avocado
  • Spicy sauce - Tabasco will do, or the nearest equivalent to the Ecuadorian dish might be something like Colombian Hot Sauce - Aji Picante

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need (in addition to the above accompaniements):

  • About 3lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground achiote *
  • 100g quesillo or mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper
* Achiote - also known as Annatto - is a spice native to the Caribbean and central America. It is made by roasting and grinding Annatto Seeds , and is often used to add a yellow colouring to food, and an "earthy" flavour. If you cannot obtain it from either a specialist grocer or online, the nearest equivalent is probably turmeric, but I would reduce the quantity in this recipe to ½-1 teaspoons

What To Do

  • Boil the potatoes until cooked. Drain and set aside
  • Heat half the the oil over a medium high heat in a large frying pan, add the onions and achiote, and cook for about 5 minutes
  • Mash the potatoes, season well and add to the frying pan
  • Mix well, remove from the heat and cover. Allow to rest at room temperature for about an hour
  • Make small balls with the potato (golf ball sized is about right)
  • Using your finger, make a hole in the middle of each ball and fill with the grated cheese
  • Seal the holes with a little extra mashed potato. Flatten the balls into thick patties
  • Leave to rest in the refrigerator for about an 1 hour
  • Heat the remaining oil in a clean frying pan, and fry the patties until browned on both sides, being careful when turning as they will be very delicate
  • Serve with all the trimmings, as described above

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