Llapingachos (Ecuadorian Potato Cakes)
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cups Munster cheese, shredded
butter, or oil, or annatto lard or oil
Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and mash. Heat the butter in a skillet and saute the onions until they are very soft. Add the onions to the mashed potatoes, mixing well. Shape the potatoes into 12 balls. Divide the cheese into 12 parts and stuff each of the potato balls with the cheese, flattening them as you do so into cakes or patties about 1 inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. In enough lard, butter, or oil (with or without annatto as you please) to cover the bottom of a skillet, saute the potato cakes until they are golden brown on both sides. The onions may be omitted, or the potato may be mixed with the cheese instead of the cheese being used as a stuffing.
This is one of my very favorite Ecuadorian foods. It’s potato and cheese and peanuts. It’s unexpected and delightful and comforting. Life really doesn’t get much better. I can’t wait to have some in when I am back in December. Literally, I cannot wait! I think I might make some this weekend.