Saturday, December 8, 2012

Idaho mashed potato pops

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Okay, friends. This recipe is about to change your life. Sit down.

It's called the Idaho Mashed Potato Pop.

Give the Hanukkah latkes a rest one night and try these fried potato balls of deliciousness.

So how's it done? You make mashed potatoes. You add your choice of mix-ins. You roll the mashed potatoes into little balls and coat them with panko bread crumbs or, for a gluten-free option, dehydrated potato flakes.

And then you fry them and put them on sticks.

It's like a lollipop. Made out of creamy, cheesy, crispy mashed potatoes.

I made three varieties (above, from left): Bacon Mashed Potato Pops, with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and bacon; Greek Mashed Potato Pops, with chopped spinach, feta cheese and dill; and Southwestern Mashed Potato Pops, with red bell peppers, green onions and pepperjack cheese.

Of course, these are just my ideas - you can take these mashed potato pops in any flavor direction you want.

You can serve them on toothpicks or actual lollipop sticks. Can you imagine these at your next cocktail party? Yes, you can.

This is one of the Hanukkah recipes I created for the Idaho Potato Commission. But it's not just for Hanukkah. Idaho Mashed Potato Pops are an everyday food. (At least, my family wishes they were an everyday food. You have never seen such happy boys as on the days I was testing this recipe.)

Are you thinking about flavor combinations for your own Idaho Mashed Potato Pops? What would you put in yours? Leave a comment and let's brainstorm!

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Idaho mashed potato pops
Mashed potatoes combined with your favorite mix-ins, lightly breaded and fried, and served on a stick. The Idaho Mashed Potato Pop may just change your life forever.
  • 2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • For Greek Mashed Potato Pops:
  • 1/2 cup defrosted frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • For Southwestern Mashed Potato Pops:
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 green onion, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, grated
  • a few drops Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • For Bacon Mashed Potato Pops:
  • 1/2 cup sauteed onions
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped (about 2 slices)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs or dehydrated potato flakes
  • grapeseed or canola oil, for frying
  • toothpicks or lollipop sticks
Put the potatoes in a large sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot, empty pot. Add the butter, salt and pepper, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Add desired mix-ins. Let sit until potato mixture is cool enough to handle.In a deep, heavy pot or a deep fryer, heat the oil for deep-frying to 350° F.Scooping out about 1 Tablespoon of the potato mixture at a time, roll the potato mixture into 2-inch balls.Set up a breading station with two shallow bowls and a plate: Beat the egg with 2 teaspoons of water in the first bowl, then put the panko breadcrumbs or dehydrated potato flakes in the second. Roll each ball first in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs or potato flakes; put the coated mashed potato balls on the plate. Repeat until all the mashed potato balls are coated.Drop several of the mashed potato balls at once into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the mashed potato balls on a rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat until all the mashed potato balls are fried.Stick a lollipop stick or toothpick into each ball. Serve hot, with dipping sauce if desired (see below).Dipping sauce suggestions: for Greek Mashed Potato Pops, Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and dried dill; for Southwestern Mashed Potato Pops, ranch dressing; for Bacon Mashed Potato Pops, mayonnaise mixed with Dijon mustard.Time Saving Tip: *4 cups of dehydrated Idaho® potato flakes mixed with 2 cups boiling water can be substituted for the fresh mashed potatoes. Prepare according to package directions, then proceed with recipe as written.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: approximately 3 dozen 2-inch pops


Libbety said...

I'll take 4 each! I need a whole nuther lifetime just to try all of your recipes Erika. The dipping sauces sound great as well.

willy mom said...

would love to try. can these be served room temperature?

Erika Kerekes said...

@Willy Mom - they're really best served hot. However, it takes them at least 10 minutes after frying to go from "so hot your mouth will blister" to "ahh, these are perfect." Hope that helps.

Ellen Harris-Braun said...

Okay, HOW MUCH butter can one put into one's mashed potatoes before they won't stay on the stick? :)

Erika Kerekes said...

@Ellen great question. The softer your potato mixture, the harder it will be to keep it on the stick. So the cheese plays a role, too - more cheese = more melty = less stable. But the coating is crisp and fairly rigid, so that helps.

Sam said...

Where can one buy lollipop sticks THese are perfecgt for my Irish dinner next month instead of boxty!

Erika Kerekes said...

@Sam - you can buy lollipop sticks at any store where they sell candy-making supplies, or Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma, or a restaurant supply shop. Or online from :)

Anonymous said...

can you make these ahead and freeze for later use?

Erika Kerekes said...

@Anonymous good question - I have never actually tried freezing mashed potatoes. My gut says that the answer is yes, if you reheat them in the oven or re-fry them (it definitely won't work in the microwave) but I'm not sure. Anyone else know?

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