Friday, January 27, 2012

Loaded Potato Balls


Well this may be one of those "concept" recipes that you use mostly for the idea of it... adding your own twist and flavors.  This would be a good use of left over mashed potatoes - mostly as a novelty for the little ones. I'm so much like my mother, in that when I get an idea in my mind, I feel a great urgency to see it play out to fruition. (She calls it "having a bee in her bonnet.")  Anyway, I had a dream about making these the other day, and I needed to clear them out of my system, or some such catharsis.
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Ingredients:
  • Left over mashed potatoes if you have them.  They need to be thick and stiff, not watery.
  • I had none, so I used 4 russet potatoes....and wow!  That is a LOT!
  • I also used 3 Tbsp butter, a splash of milk (maybe 1/2 cup), salt and pepper
  • Cheddar/mozzarella blend string cheese
  • 1 small bag of real bacon bits 
    • feel free to used real bacon or even crumbled turkey bacon, but I wanted to make this as easy as possible.
  • Chopped chives
  • Panko bread crumbs - they are much lighter and crunchier than regular bread crumbs
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Whatever dipping sauce you want (sour cream, salsa, salsa verde, maybe even ranch dressing)

Step-by-Step:
You can skip half of this whole recipe if you have left over mashed potatoes!
 
To make the mashed potatoes, I peeled and cut the potatoes into medium chunks and boiled in salted water until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.

While potatoes are cooking, Lily got the cheese ready for me.  I used a cheddar/mozzarella blend string cheese because I knew it would have a good "melting" factor..and I wanted something that they could easily help me with.

I chose the bagged "real bacon bits" because after work today, I just wanted fast and easy. Besides, this is much less mess and time than making your own sometimes.

Drain the fork-tender potatoes, then return them to the pot.
Add butter, milk, salt, pepper, chives, and bacon to the potatoes and whip them up by hand or with a hand mixer until smooth.
Add butter and milk.
 Add salt and pepper.

Blend.
Add the bacon bits.
Add some chopped chives.

I added an egg to bind everything together.
  • Allow the potatoes to cool.  Hot potatoes will stick to your hands and make a big mess.  The cool ones like to stick together better.
  • Roll the potatoes into balls.
 



Place a piece of cheese inside a depression in the potato balls and reform the ball around the cheese.
Roll the potato balls in Panko bread crumbs.
Fry for about a minute or until golden in oil (about 375 degrees F). Sprinkle with salt immediately when you get them out of the oil.

Serve hot (while the cheese is all melty).


I did try putting these into the oven to bake as an alternative to frying.  I was MUCH less happy with the result in the oven.  They seemed rather anemic compared to the crunchy, golden ones that had been fried.

You could definitely do these ahead of time, store in the fridge, and fry just before serving.

Try different themes.  For example, for a Mexican theme, consider adding cumin to the potatoes and chilled, taco flavored ground beef inside.

Written Method:
You can skip half of this whole recipe if you have left over mashed potatoes!   To make the mashed potatoes, I peeled and cut the potatoes into medium chunks and boiled in salted water until fork tender.  Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.

While potatoes are cooking, get the cheese ready.  I used a cheddar/mozzarella blend string cheese because I knew it would have a good "melting" factor.  I chose the bagged "real bacon bits" because after work today, I just wanted fast and easy. Besides, this is much less mess and time than making your own sometimes.

Drain the fork-tender potatoes, then return them to the pot.  Add butter, milk, salt, pepper, chives, and bacon to the potatoes and whip them up by hand or with a hand mixer until smooth. Add butter and milk.  Add salt and pepper.  Blend.  Add the bacon bits.  Add some chopped chives.  I added an egg to bind everything together.

Allow the potatoes to cool.  Hot potatoes will stick to your hands and make a big mess.  The cool ones like to stick together better.  Roll the potatoes into balls.   Place a piece of cheese inside a depression in the potato balls and reform the ball around the cheese. Roll the potato balls in Panko bread crumbs.  Fry for about a minute or until golden in oil (about 375 degrees F). Sprinkle with salt immediately when you get them out of the oil.  Serve hot (while the cheese is all melty).

7 comments:

  1. I once ate something similar to this in the Netherlands! My friend and I ordered the only appetizer on the menu without an English translation of the name, so we'd get a surprise. They were delicious. They were stuffed with sauerkraut and some sort of meat, maybe bacon, and there was a seasoned mayo dipping sauce. You brought back memories :) (And your photography is gorgeous! I found one of your recipes through Pinterest, and I'm enjoying browsing the rest.)

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    1. Thanks, Kel... please feel free to keep browsing!! Always fun to have new readers! :-)

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  2. This looks so good!! I can't wait to try and make these!!

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    1. Thanks Renae - just remember.. Your potatoes need to be really stiff so they will hold together. :)

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  3. oh my goodness I MUST try these!!

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  4. I tried making them but as i fried them the potatoes split from itself and was no longer a ball! Any help ?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Aliaa - I would recommend a very stiff potato mixture, and try refrigerating them before frying. Hope that helps!
      Julie

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