Fried Mashed Potato Balls

January 10, 2011

Holidays at our house always means tons of food and leftover mashed potatoes! I have a rotating mix-in for the mashed potatoes, depending on who’s making it, but they’re usually choke full of butter, garlic, and sour cream. This recipe was just something that I came up with on my own while trying to rejuvenate our leftover mashed potato. It is great addition for breakfast, brunch, and of course dinner–and even better for just an afternoon pick me up snack. Sometimes I add different things like leftover bacon bits or ham, or cheese… but they’re also great just with a handful of chopped green onions. I have always made them with panko instead of regular bread crumbs, which I think really helps the mixture stay together and not fall apart during frying. They’re so addictive and versatile that sometimes I throw in extra potatoes when making mashed potatoes to ensure that I have leftover for these….Happy eating!!

EDIT: A great sauce to accompany these wonderful little snacks is Garlic Mayonaisse that I used  with my Sweet Potato Fries w/ Basil Salt.

Ingredients
3 cups stiff mashed potatoes (preferably cold)
2 medium-size eggs
1/4 cup of sliced green onions
1-1/2 cups of panko
Oil for frying

Directions
Heat about 1-1/2 inch of flavorless oil to about 375 degree in a shallow frying pan (you want something with a pretty good surface area since the balls need to be fried in smaller batches to ensure that they’re not crowded).

Beat the two eggs lightly in a medium-sized bowl. Mix in the mashed potatoes and green onions. Using a 1-1/2 inch ice-cream scoop, make potato balls. Roll them onto a plate of panko.

Fry the potato balls a few at a time, and let each side turn into golden brown color, about 2-3 minutes total. Don’t attempt to flip them until the crust is developed and browned. Then flip to the other side, and let brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 28 potato balls

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Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

December 28, 2010

This is probably the easiest, yet the most loved and requested appetizer among my friends and family. Every single guest who comes for a visit at our house requests this appetizer.  I love how easy this dish is to make, and can be prepared ahead of time. I will just have all of the ingredients mixed together a few hours before I need it, and just before the guests arrive, I can throw this into the oven. As the guests are arriving and settling in –this dip is ready to be served. I don’t usually have a lot of leftover and I love serving it with baked tortilla chips. This recipe makes about four cups, and I say that it serves about six guests. In reality, I have seen four of us devouring this to the last bit. So if you have several spinach and artichoke dip lovers, it may be good to double the recipe.

I do want to warn you though, this is not for the faint of heart. I do try to make it ehmm… a little bit lighter by using light sour cream and mayonnaise, and don’t go overboard with the cheeses. If you don’t have a dip recipe you love yet, I encourage you to give it a try. Happy eating!

Adapted from Paula Deen via Food Network

Ingredients
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 (14-ounce) cans whole artichoke hearts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (or sometimes I use cheddar, whichever I have on hand)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop them.

Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the greased casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.

Serve with bagel or tortilla chips.

Yield: 6 servings