Llapingachos

Ecuadorian Entree

LLAPINGACHOS
(Potato Cheese Patties)

INGREDIENTS – POTATOES

½ small white onion (½ small onion more later)
2½ pounds russet or brown potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (additional ¼ cup vegetable oil later)
½ tablespoon achiote powder
3 green onions
¼ teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 cup queso blanco, queso fresco, quesillo, or mozzarella cheese
¼ cup vegetable oil (or ¼ cup per batch)

INGREDIENTS – SALSA DE MANI

1¼ cups milk
½ small white onion (See? I told you it would show up again.)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
¼ teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSIL

potato masher

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION – POTATOES

Dice ½ small white onion. Peel potatoes. Cut each potato into eight pieces. Put potato pieces into large pot. Add enough water to cover potato bits. Bring water to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Remove potatoes and let cool.

While potatoes and then cool, add 2 tablespoons oil, onion, and achiote powder to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Drain potatoes Mash potatoes with potato masher. Mince green onions. Add white onion, green onion, and salt to mashed potatoes. Mix with fork until well blended.

Form mashed-potato mix into 16 balls. Insert 1 tablespoon queso blanco into center of each potato ball. Close hole in potato ball and flatten slightly to make llapingachos. Add ¼ cup oil and llapingachos to pan. Heat oil using low-medium heat. Do not let llapingachos touch. Sauté for 7 minutes or until golden brown. Gently turn over once. Repeat for each batch.

PREPARATION – SALSA DE MANI

While potatoes cook and then cool, slice ½ small white onion into 4 pieces. Add this white onion and milk to pan. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Stir frequently to keep milk from burning. Remove onion and discard. Add peanut butter and salt. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until peanut-butter sauce, salsa de mani thickens. Spread warm salsa de mani over llapingachos.

TIDBITS

1) Ever get deja vu? Like you read this recipe some twenty years ago? Or maybe you knew tonight’s dinner would be pot roast? Okay, maybe you knew that because today is Tuesday and you always have pot roast on Tuesday. But what about the time you saw Spiffy the Squirrel win the Boston Marathon and only you had known he’d win because you somehow had seen it happen a week ago?

2) Anagram scientists know now that deja vu is not merely a feeling but instead that alga, the stuff that grows on the surface on ponds, are trying to communicate to us from the future. It’s true! Fishermen, golfers, and politicians will tell you the same. Look at the name of this dish, Llapingachos” That word is an anagram for “alga phonics.”

3) In 2032, internet providers, locked in ever increasing competition search looked frantically for faster and faster ways of data transmission. On April 2nd , Timothy “Timothy” Harris, Ph.D and CEO. of Harris Labs dropped his cell phone in an alga-ridden pond. To his surprise, it still dried out instantly! It still worked! It even worked 38% faster than before! Timmy’s brain swirled with exclamations marks. He’d win a Nobel Prize! Then his phone stopped transmitting. The screen stayed on, but the wallpaper switched to pond scum. Dr. Harris slapped his forehead. But, of course, the alga now in his phone had dissolved and replaced its the precious metals. The phone would now only send forth images and concepts the alga understood.

4) Indeed the alga, relatively dim witted due to their single-cell existence and, to be frank, lack of any secondary education to speak of, couldn’t comprehend even the simplest text messages such, “lol” or “smh.” Clearly, alga needed to up their linguistic skills. But how to do this?

5) Timothy had another “aha” moment. Didn’t there, wasn’t there, a program called “Hooked on PhonicsTM? Did they ever make a version for alga? They had! It was still out there on EBayTM. Would this program work on specific single-celled organisms? It would! Harris Labs’ revolutionary cell phones took the communication world by storm. However, Dr. Harris feared industrial espionage and never wrote down the specifics of his invention. But how would he remember to process to make his phones? After all, he was scatter-brained after all.

6) Simple. For in 2033, he had a flash of insight. Could phonics-enabled alga send messages back in time to people’s brains if they were first coded in anagrams? Yes, yes, it proved to be so! Who knew? All you had to receive this message was to walk by a stagnant pond. So yes, whenever you experience deja vu, it is really coming from alga way into the future.

7) “Remember, alga phonics,” thought Dr. Harris. What was an anagram for “alga phonics?” Why no other than the Ecuadorian dish, llapingachos! The great scientist fed this word to his alga who keep forwarding the recipe back in time to us. This is why we keep hankering for this recipe.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Llapingachos

  1. Back to the future, algae version!

  2. Hmm. Looks finger licking good!

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