As we know, the potato was introduced to Europe in the 16th century by the Spanish, who gave it the name patata – a hybrid of the Taino (language spoken by people of the Caribbean) batata (sweet potato) and the Quechuan (language of people living in the Peruvian Andes) papa (potato).
Many notorious recipes came from the region of South America: papa salada, chupe de papa, papas con chorizo, papas chorreadas. This last dish, for instance, combines and celebrates such common ingredients as onions, tomatoes and cheese.
Selfmade Papas Chorreadas
Cooking it is a mere pleasure of simplicity. Take 6 red-skinned potatoes, cut them in half, place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, take your favourite skillet and put it over medium-high heat: melt 1 tbsp of butter, add 2 thinly sliced onions and cook for 10 minutes, constantly stirring.
Add 2 cans of diced canned tomatoes, 200 g of cheese (preferably queso fresco, but feta, paneer, or mozzarella can make a substitute), 1 tsp of cumin and 1 tsp of smoked paprika. Stir well, season with salt and pepper.
Add the boiled potatoes, mix everything together and plate with a dollop of sour cream. What you’ll get is the sauciest potatoes you’d ever had.
Want to go to Chile?
But you can also go a little further and transform your boiled potatoes into absolutely gorgeous papas con chile. It’s mashed potatoes with some Tex-Mex magic thrown inside.
Let’s say you have your 6 red-skinned potatoes boiled and ready for your cooking. Mash them while they are hot – it’s a lot easier to do right from the stove. Then go get the veggies.
Put a pan over medium-high heat and melt 1 tbsp of butter in it, add 1 sliced onion and sauté it for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add sliced jalapeno, green and red bell peppers (take one of each). Continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes.
Then comes the secret ingredient – a can of diced green chiles. Their subtle and warming heat is an absolute game-changer that makes that dish.
Add the whole can right in there and stir well. Toss the contents into the potatoes along with 120 g of milk, 80-100 g of grated cheddar cheese, and 3 tbsp of butter. Mix everything until well incorporated – a good potato masher will help to finish this work.
Taste and season with salt, add extra milk for more smoothness or butter for richness. Serve warm, garnished with herbs of your choice (consider green onions, cilantro or sage). This dish is so fantastic and yet so simple that it really could become your new favourite.