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Llapingachos con Salsa de Maní

Since I’m heading to Miami ING half marathon in a few days, I wasn’t sure if  I’d have time to post. Snow-bound this weekend, Iwas looking for a project when I turned to Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz’s The Book of Latin American Cooking and found a great pre-run option that I could just about get in.  I’ve always had a weakness for around the world books and this one’s been a resource for awhile though I haven’t included it until now. I’ve rarely see Ecuadorian recipes so I decided to make Llapingachos. Essentially potato cakes combined or stuffed with onions and shredded cheese then browned on both sides. I was most attracted to the sides – salsa de maní, lightly dressed tomatos, browned chorizo, fried eggs or bananas to name a few. More delicate than they seemed, when I actually got them to the griddle they wouldn’t turn easily. Other sites had warned me and Laylita’s Recipes suggests chilling them after they’re shaped so they hold their form when heated. Setting them over a higher heat gave me a smooth crust right away making them easier to manipulate. It was only when I started playing around with the heat that it got messy. Fortunately, I had several tries to get it right. Llapingachos con Salsa de Maní
Adapted from The Book of Latin American Cooking by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz.
2 lbs. russet potatoes
2 tablespoon annatto/achiote oil (plus more for frying)
1 medium white onion, diced
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese or mozzarella
Cilantro, finely chopped to garnish

Lightly score each potato around its circumference. Place potatoes in a large, heavy pot with enough cold water to cover and a 2 heaping tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil then adjust heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until tender, about 20-30 minutes depending on the size. To test, pierce the potatoes with a sharp knife. An undercooked potato can be pulled from the water with the knife but a cooked potato will drop off and remain submerged.

Drain the potatoes. When cool enough to handle but still warm, peel the potatoes by pulling off the skins (scoring beforehand makes this easier). Pass through a ricer or food mill into a large mixing bowl.  Blend in the sautéed onions.  Add the shredded cheese and blend well. Allow potato mixture to rest at least 30 minutes before shaping.  Shape into even discs, about 1/2 cup per cake.  Chill until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.

Heat skillet to medium high heat. Brush the skillet with annato oil and place on skillet until well browned. Brush the tops of the cake with annatto oil and carefully turn to brown the other side.

Serve with salsa de maní, chopped tomatoes, avocado, fried eggs, maduros or chorizo.

Makes 8-10 individual cakes.

Salsa de Maní

2 tablespoon annatto/achiote oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
3/4 cups of milk, plus more as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

Combine peanuts and milk in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.  Set Aside.

Heat annatto oil in a heavy skillet over medium.  Add the onions and garlic and sautée until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the peanut-milk mixture and bring to a simmer, about 2-3 minutes. It should pour easily like cream, stir in milk as needed to get the right consistency.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Next time you decided to cook up another project (like this one) call me over because these look incredible.

    25 January 2012
  2. Gorgeous! Good luck this weekend – I’ve always found food to be the best part of running.

    27 January 2012
  3. schmeckts77 #

    Hey, I just did “yuca frita, beef and rice” with salsa de maní, serving ” a la huancaina” -style (it´s in my blog…).
    If you would like to try bolivian recipes I´m doing these once in a while out of reasons of family happiness and then post them in my blog. I don´t know if you read german but we can traduce them to English if you´re interested. Nobody seems to know about Bolivian food although it is really tasty!
    I really like your blog, especially the possiblity to browse for countries. We are so centered on Bolivian food we only occasionally try something Chilean, but that´s it. You are really an inspiration!
    Greetings from icy cold Berlin: Maria

    31 January 2012
  4. These look delicious. My mouth is watering looking at that salsa. Hope you did well in Miami!

    2 February 2012
  5. You had me at “potato cake”.

    17 March 2012
  6. Your photos are amazing. Love these recipe too. I want to try it without onions. Do you think that would take away too much flavor?

    – Madi

    24 March 2012
    • hungrysofia #

      Personally I like the flavor the onions add but if you don’t then definitely skip it. Or if it’s just too much onion than you can garnish with scallion or chives. Either way let me know how it turns out!

      24 March 2012

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  1. Ecuador: Encebollados, Llapingachos and Aguardiente | Nation Plates

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