Wow your family and guests with these fried loaded potato ball. Crispy on the outside, and filled with baked potatoes, cheese and bacon, they make the perfect make ahead appetizer or side dish.
Over the years, I had heard about how good a local restaurant’s Boxty was. Last week, I decided to try the Boxty for myself. It was basically a mashed potato ball with a crispy fried coating on the outside. The Boxty was all right, but not great. It made me think, however, about Stuffed Baked Potatoes that I had perfected years ago. Why not take the stuffed baked potato filling, and turn it into Fried Loaded Potato Balls? Voila – a huge success!
I used the following ingredients for these amazing potato balls: Russet potatoes, butter, sour cream, bacon, extra sharp cheddar cheese, salt, freshly ground black pepper, eggs, milk, all purpose flour, Panko bread crumbs, and vegetable oil for frying. I always use extra sharp cheddar cheese because that’s what the Master Taste Tester likes, but any cheddar cheese or Colby cheese for that matter would work.
Making the Loaded Potato Filling:
As a first step, I crumbled the bacon that I had fried and drained, and set it aside. Next, I microwaved the potatoes until they were well cooked. You could also bake the potatoes in the oven if you wanted. However, I would caution against boiling them because of the amount of water that would be introduced into the filling.
I added the butter and sour cream to a large mixing bowl. After allowing the potatoes to cool for about 10 minutes, I scooped them into the mixing bowl on top of the butter and sour cream. I wanted the potatoes to still be hot so that they would melt the butter. I then added the bacon, salt and freshly ground black pepper, and beat the mixture on high with my electric mixer until it was smooth. For the final addition, I added shredded cheddar cheese, and continued beating the mixture until everything was fully incorporated. I tasted the filling to see if more salt or pepper was needed. It was perfect!
Making the Loaded Potato Balls:
I used my 1-1/2 inch (4 teaspoon) ice cream scoop to partition out the potato mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Then, I rolled the potato mixture into round balls. They were about the size of a golf ball.
Because I wanted the potato balls to be extra cheesy, I inserted a half-inch cube of cheddar cheese into the center, and pinched the mixture to totally enclose the cheese.
When all of the potato balls had been made, I popped them into the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm up the mixture. Next, I set about coating the balls in flour and Panko bread crumbs. First, I rolled each ball in flour. Then, I dipped it in a mixture of egg and milk. I rolled it again in flour, and dipped it again in the egg mixture. Finally, I rolled the ball in the Panko bread crumbs, and placed it on a parchment lined baking sheet.
When I was finished rolling the balls in flour and Panko bread crumbs, I placed them in the freezer until I was ready to fry them. I heated the oil in a small Dutch oven to 350° F, and fried five balls at a time. I let them drain on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
Several of the potato balls fell apart while I was frying them. However, I ended up with two dozen perfectly fried and perfectly delicious loaded potato balls. I refrigerated what we didn’t eat for later use. They reheat beautifully in a 350° F oven for about 15 minutes. They could also be frozen and reheated in a 350° F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Yum!