A couple of weekends ago, we ate at a popular chain restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah. After a canceled flight and spending half my morning talking with the airlines, we decided to get our grub on at this chain restaurant. The menu of this restaurant is literally a book with front and back pages. I’m not sure why I actually go page by page when I know what I want before I even sit down at the table. I always get the chicken salad sandwich with a half salad and soup. Not sure why this is the lunch combo when it literally can feed 2-3 people. However, I was so hungry on this trip that I decided to check out the small bites on the menu. Loaded tater tots caught my attention; I proceeded to tell myself that I had to have them.
One week later and I am still thinking about those loaded tots. So much that I decided to make them my own way to satisfy any cravings that may occur while at home. Loaded potato bites were born. The best part is that these babies only have 5 ingredients in them.
– 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
– 2 tablespoons of flour
– 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
– 3 strips bacon
– 1/3 cup scallions, chopped
– 1 egg
– 1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs
– Oil for frying
– Salt and Pepper
– Ranch or Honey Mustard for dipping
1. Take potatoes out of the fridge and let sit for a few minutes to take the chill off a bit. Meanwhile shred the cheese, chop scallions, and cook bacon then dice finely. Add potatoes and flour to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine well, then add cheese, bacon, and scallions. Take about a heaping tablespoon of mixture and roll with hands into a small ball. It if doesn’t hold its shape, add a little more flour to make the potatoes sturdy. Repeat until done.
2. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan – or use your fryer – over medium/medium high heat to about 350-375 degrees. Whisk egg into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place bread crumbs in an additional bowl. Dip each ball in egg and then roll in bread crumbs until fully coated. Set aside on a sheet pan.
TIP: Alternatively Bake in the oven until golden brown at 350-375 degrees for a lower fat option
3. Test oil with one ball. The oil should bubble when potato is in oil and ball should take about 1-2 minutes to brown and cook through. (If takes longer the oil needs to be hotter, if it browned too quickly on the outside and the inside is still cold, the temperature needs to be lower.) Once oil is ready, add potato balls in small batches and fry for 1-2 minutes – it will depend on size. Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper lined plate to allow excess oil to drain off. Repeat until done.
4. Allow to cool for a minute or two and serve with dipping sauce