In most of Mexico, these fried patties are made with white potatoes, whereas in Veracruz they are made with sweet potatoes or yucca. This cheese-filled version is more versatile than most, because it can be served as an hors d’oeuvre as well as a side dish.
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- salt to taste
- 1 pound queso fresco, farmer cheese or ricotta (not ricotta salata)
- Corn oil or vegetable oil for frying
Scrub the sweet potatoes, boil in their jackets until tender, cool and peel. Alternatively, prick them with a fork in several places, cook until tender in the microwave, cool and peel.
In a mixing bowl, mash the sweet potatoes, adding salt to taste, with a potato masher or fork to a smooth consistency. Add the flour and combine well. The dough should have a uniform consistency.
Using moist hands, shape into 8 large balls (for side dish servings) or 12 smaller ones (for appetizers or hors d’oeuvres.) Poke a hole into each and stuff it with about 2 teaspoons cheese for the smaller size or 1 tablespoon for the larger. Re-form the dough around the cheese to cover, and gently flatten each ball into a patty.
Fry the patties in about 1 ½” – 2″ hot oil, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Makes 12 as an appetizer, hors d’oeuvre or buffet item.