Papas Rellenas are a type of croquette popular in many Latin American countries. In this recipe, the crispy potato croquettes have a savory, sweet, and spicy eggplant filling that's surrounded by creamy mashed potatoes. They're then paired with a creamy and irresistible avocado sauce for dipping. These are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, but it's also worth making mashed potatoes just to experience this flavorful appetizer.
Papas Rellenas: Eggplant and Potato Croquettes [Vegan]
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
For the Filling:
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 poblano pepper, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 2 cups eggplant, diced (about 1/2 eggplant)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup goji berries (can be substituted with dried cranberries or raisins)
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
For the Zesty Avocado Sauce:
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 avocado
- 2 green onions
- 1/3 cup sliced green olives
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup water
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
For the Breading:
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- Mix potatoes and scallions together. Set aside.
- In a large pan, on medium heat, heat oil. Sauté onions, peppers, tomato, eggplant, and garlic until vegetables become soft.
- Add goji berries, lime juice, tomato paste, and spices. Cook down until liquid is no longer collecting in the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer filling into a bowl.
- Take a spoonful of potatoes and roll into a golf ball sized ball. Flatten in your hand. Place about two tablespoons of filling into the center of the potato. Roll up the potato, around the filling, and carefully shape back into a ball.
- Repeat until all of the potatoes are used up.
- In a food processor, add lime juice, cilantro, avocado, green onions, olives, garlic, water, salt, and red pepper flakes. Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth, green sauce. Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together chickpea flour and almond milk, until smooth.
- In another shallow dish, spread out bread crumbs.
- Roll each potato ball in the chickpea flour mixture, and then roll in the breadcrumbs.
- To cook the potato balls, heat 4 cups oil in a large cast-iron skillet. When the oil is hot, place 3-4 balls in. Use tongs to roll the balls around to ensure even browning. Remove from oil when golden brown. Place on paper towel to soak up any extra oil. Repeat in batches until all your potato balls are cooked.
- Serve immediately with zesty avocado sauce.