Papas Criollas (Colombian Creole Potatoes)
Did you know that potatoes actually hail from South America? In fact, there are so many varieties of potatoes you’re sure to find some you’ve never even seen before. In Colombia, where I am currently, these little creolle potatoes as they are known are wildly popular. Papas Criollas, or Colombian Creolle Potatoes, are extremely simple to cook, and will surely impress guests at your next dinner party.
My favorite thing about Colombian creolle potatoes is just how rich and creamy they are. It is almost like popping a ball of creamy mashed potatoes in your mouth, yet this recipe calls for no cream at all!
How To Make Colombian Creolle Potatoes
The first step to this recipe is obviously buying a bag of creolle potatoes. These can be difficult to find outside of Colombia, but your best option is to look at your local Latin market as they should have them. If you can’t find them you can substitute with European style ‘new potatoes’ which should cook the same even if the flavor and texture is a little different.
One of the signatures of papas criollas is the easily recognizable crinkly skin. To achieve this you need to cook the potatoes in oil that is just hot enough. We aren’t trying to deep fry these little things. After washing your potatoes add them to a pan and then add oil about halfway up. I recommend a basic cooking oil like sunflower, but if you want to add extra richness you can use olive oil as well.
Turn on the heat and bring the oil to a simmer. You don’t want to put it on max heat so if the oil starts to get violent just turn down the heat a bit more. What we are trying to do here is essentially slow poach the potatoes in the hot oil so the insides get rich and creamy without making the skin hard and deep fried.
After roughly 15 minutes remove the potatoes from the hot oil and place them on a paper towel lined plate. Shake the plate a bit to absorb most of the excess oil, then move the potatoes to a bowl. Traditional seasoning for papas criollas is just salt, but I like to add freshly cracked black pepper and some dry oregano as well. Of course, season how you like – you’re the one who’s going to be eating them!
I like to serve my papas criollas with different dipping sauces depending on how I am feeling, but one of my favorite to use is just mustard-ranch (50/50 dijon/ranch). Colombian Creolle Potatoes make an excellent tapas dish as well if you want to add a little inauthenticity to your next Spanish tapas night!
Papas Criollas (Colombian Creolle Potatoes)
- 500 grams Creolle Potatoes can sub 'new potatoes' if creolle are impossible to find. Note that the taste and texture will be different
- Oil for frying
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper freshly cracked, to taste
- Oregano optional, to taste
- After washing you potatoes add them to a walled pan so they cover the bottom, do not let them stack.
- Pour in oil enough to cover 1/2 of the potatoes
- Turn on the heat and let the oil come up to a simmer. If the oil gets too hot reduce the heat, we only want a light simmer so the potatoes cook on the inside without burning the outside skin.
- After about 15 minutes remove the potatoes and put them on a paper towel lined plate to absorb extra oil. Move to a bowl and season with the sale and pepper and oregano if you wish. Feel free to get creative with your seasonings and change it up often.
- Serve with your preferred potato dipping sauce (I enjoy mustard-ranch)
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