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?”
Pastelicos with Spicy Meat Filling by Nina Rousso
2 cups Mashed Potato Flakes
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
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.
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!
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.