It’s like Italian food…but for Jews

For dinner tonight I made Pastelicos with Spicy Meat Filling.

‘Um,” C said, “What’s that?”

“They’re kinda like Italian Rice Balls – but with mashed potatoes on the outside, no cheese, and ground beef with onions in the middle.”

“So, they’re nothing like Italian Rice Balls, are they?”

They *look* all nice and delicious.Deceiving little f**kers

They *look* all nice and delicious….
Deceiving little f**kers

Pastelicos with Spicy Meat Filling by Nina Rousso

Printable Recipe HERE

Dairy-FREE, Toddler-APPROVED



2 cups Mashed Potato Flakes

3 Eggs

3 Tablespoons Potato Starch

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Pepper to taste


1 Large Onion, chopped

4 Tablespoons Oil

1 lb. Ground Beef

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

1/2 teaspoon Turmeric

1/2 teaspoon Paprika

2-3 drops Tabasco (optional)

2 eggs, beaten

Oil for deep frying

How To:

1- Mix mashed potatoes with eggs, starch, salt and pepper. Refridgerate for 20 minutes. **Refrigerating the dough was stupid. The cold made it crumbly and dry. Instead, let it rest on the counter – makes it much easier to handle if the dough remains at room temp.

2- Saute onions to oil. Add in ground meat and all the spices and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. **After the meat was cooked through, I drained it and let it cool on a large flat dish.

3- Put a little oil on the palms of your hands and shape the potato mixture into balls. Flatten balls between both hands **hee hee!

4- Put 1/2 Tablespoon of meat filling on the dough, fold the edges of the dough over the filling and pinch to seal the edges. **I couldn’t figure out how to do this well. I winged it and just kept going.

5- Dip the pastelicos in the beaten egg and deep fry for 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Sooooo not worth the effort.

Sooooo not worth the effort.

End Results:

WHAT A WASTE OF TIME. Seriously, these tasted of nothing. C looked at me and said, “These don’t even taste like MEAT. I don’t get it. The recipe has turmeric, cumin, TABASCO – you can taste NONE of it.” The outside tasted of…again, nothing. Not even of potato. I wanted to like them. I wanted them to taste good too… but that didn’t happen. *craaaaaap*

#2 – The recipe claimed it yielded 15 balls. I was able to form 7 and had used only 1/4 of the meat. I quick quick made up another batch of the dough – this time rolling the balls flatter so I’d get more outta the recipe. Even rolling the dough balls smaller and flatter, I still only got 12 balls outta the dough and I’ve still got half the meat left.

C said, “Leave it. After Passover is over we’ll add some seasoning and buy some shells. We’ll make Tacos.”

The crazy thing? R had seconds – she loved them! She ate 3 halves!

All doughy. Not great.

All doughy.

Did I mention that I followed the recipe EXACTLY?

Like exactly exactly. No substitutions. No adjustments.

C said, “You win some, you lose some.”


Lately I feel like I’ve been losing a lot.


Tossed with a little Balsamic and Olive Oil.Meh.

Side Dish: steamed and then tossed with a little Balsamic and Olive Oil.
Even this was Meh.





One thought on “It’s like Italian food…but for Jews

  1. I’m sorry this didn’t work for you but I laughed out loud twice at this one. There might have been a snort in there. I’m not going to say….

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