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George Wesley & Bonita Dannells

Lil's Stuffed Potatoes

Here’s a recipe from my cousin Lil, who is an excellent cook even if she doesn’t think so. The filling that lurks within these potatoes and the way they are assembled is really una maravilla. Plan on preparing at least two per person -- one will never do! They are that good!


  • 1/2 pound lean beef ground round
  • 1/2 pound uncooked ground turkey, white meat only
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts or pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup sliced pimiento - stuffed olives
  • 2 tablespoons small capers
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • Hot sauce
  • 4 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Water
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Sprig of parsley
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced


In a mixing bowl place beef and turkey; mix to blend with a fork. In a large skillet, non-stick and with cover, brown meats until red disappears. Drain well in colander. Return to skillet; dribble with oil. Add onion and next 7 ingredients, ending with green bell peppers. Cook, stirring with wooden spoon, until onion appears translucent.

Add nuts, olives and capers; cook 3 minutes. Combine tomato sauce, wine and vinegar. Add to meat in skillet. Mix well. Cook 2 minutes; now add salt and hot sauce al gusto. Lower heat, cover skillet and cook 20 to 30 minutes, or until almost (not quite) dry. Set aside to cool.

Put potatoes in a 3-quart saucepan with a lid. Cover with water and add salt. Bring to a boil. Cook, covered, at reduced heat for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain and transfer to a wide mixing bowl. Sprinkle cheese over potatoes. With an old-fashioned potato masher or large fork, mash the potatoes, but good! Cool slightly.

To assemble: Scoop 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes into your left hand. Knead a few seconds. With the back of a spoon, press potatoes to form indentation down center. Fill with 2 tablespoons of filling. Cover with another 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes. Work with your hands to form a smooth oblong roll, about 2 inches long. Make sure filling is contained within the mashed potatoes. Repeat this until all ingredients are used.

Beat eggs with water in a deep plate until frothy. Spread bread crumbs in a shallow plate. Roll finished product first in crumbs, then in egg mixture, and again in crumbs. Gently shake off excess. Start with 3 tablespoons canola oil. Heat in a large non-stick skillet. Place stuffed potatoes in skillet. Do not crowd. If the skillet is a roomy one, you can do 6 potatoes in a batch. You will be surprised how very little oil it takes to brown these.

As they brown, transfer to a large shallow platter, lined with paper towels. You will not need more than 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil for browning with plenty leftover. This beats deep frying, where they would soak up lots of grease, no es verdad? Remove paper towels from platter. Garnish a capricho with parsley and slices of lemon and oranges banking the potatoes.

Yield: 12 potatoes.

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