Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cheesy Potato Tots

Forgive me in advance for this recipe. It is completely unhealthy and extremely unfriendly to your figure. But I feel that if Paula Deen can make deep-fried mac and cheese, I can make deep-fried cheesy potatoes. Only make this recipe if you have a written note from your physician telling you it's OK.

First of all, I'm going to ask you all to step forward and admit that at one time or another, you've made cheesy potatoes. You know the kind I'm talking about, made with frozen hash browns, canned cream of chicken soup, sour cream and cheddar cheese. If you don't admit to it, I'll understand, but I'm going to have to call you a bold-faced liar and then we'll just agree to disagree, K?

Cheesy potatoes are kind of my signature dish. They're often requested for family get-togethers and potlucks. Who am I to deny family and friends of their favorite potato dish even though it's totally Sandra Lee and requires no culinary skills whatsoever. I comply with their request and accept the accolades. Done deal.

Well, a few weeks ago I got a little over zealous with the old cheesy potatoes and decided to make a double batch. One batch was going to work with hubby for a take-in lunch, and the other batch was to be used as a side dish for the "fish extravaganza" weekend I was going to have with my friend. Needless to say, I had cheesy potatoes coming out my ears (great visual, eh?) and I needed to find a way to serve them that would be different and interesting. Thus the birth of the deep-fried cheesy potato tot. And can I just tell you? (said in my best Sandra Lee voice) that these are to die for. I plan on tucking this recipe away and making these for my Christmas Eve appetizer buffet. I'll most likely have to forge the written note from my physician, however.

Cheesy Potato Tots (makes about two dozen)

2-3 cups leftover cheesy potatoes, cold
pickled jalapeno slices, optional
1 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
2 whole eggs, whisked with a couple of tablespoons of water and a couple of dashes of hot sauce
2 cups panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil

Roll cold cheesy potatoes into 3/4" balls. If you're feeling sassy, place a slice of jalapeno pepper in the center.

Place potato balls onto a plate that has been lined with wax paper. Place balls in freezer for a least an hour. This will make them much easier to handle when you coat them.

Heat approximately 4 inches of vegetable oil in heavy pot or deep fryer to 375 degrees.

Place flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.

Place whisked eggs in another shallow dish.

Place panko bread crumbs into a third shallow dish.

Dredge potato balls in the flour, then dip them into the egg wash, then coat them with the panko crumbs. Gently drop the balls into the heated oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

22 comments:

Arnold said...

Totally decadent but they look so great. I never thought REAL recipes like this still exist. I am definitely going to give these a try. Thanks.

Laurie said...

Oh Mags, you had me at potato! Like you, I adore the glorious spud and I happily admit to making cheesy potatoes (which go really well with baked ham). Love them. I love the jalapeno addition to this recipe too. I have held off buying a deep fryer because, quite frankly, I don't trust myself not to deep fry everything (hello Paula Deen!! lol). I will give these a try though. They look delish!

June said...

Oh my goodness Mags this is brilliant! Talk about taking leftovers to a higher level and with jalapeno too!

Nanan said...

I love that you took something perfect and made it even better by adding a jalapeno and then deep frying it - brilliant!!! Totally brilliant!!!!!

Lyndsey said...

I'm sorry but I have to admit the I absolutely LOVE that hashbrown casserole!! Yum! These look awesome and you do have to eat like this once in a while. I know I couldn't do the deep fried mac and cheese though! Tje one thing that I eat at school here is the "tater-tots" you gotta have your tots! So thanks for this recipe!

Kat said...

Well, Mrs Stupid her doesn't know how to make the cheesy potatoes that I will need to make the Tots. LOL! I want to make them this Saturday.
I just noticed the highlighted recipe for the cheesy potatoes, so just ignore this comment!!!!

Julie said...

Why certainly I've made the cheesy potatoes and blogged about them!

I had leftovers last time, if only I had this recipe!!! I am going to have to make the again soon, so I can have leftovers!

Reading food blogs can be hazardous to your health!!!

Barbara Bakes said...

This is a killer idea! Here in Utah we call them funeral potatoes and add sour cream to the sauce. I know I'd love your deep fried, spiced up version. How fun.

megan @ whatmegansmaking said...

what a great idea! They look awesome :) And yes, someone in my family makes cheesy potatoes for every holiday!

Moogie said...

Hey... these would be great served along side of my deep fried oreos.

Moogie said...

By the way, I gave these a lovely little stumble.

Nanan said...

OK - I just came back from the store getting the ingredients to make the cheesy potatoes for supper so I can make these in a few days - hahahahaha!!!!!

Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food said...

Oh, you've done it again Mags. Although, luckily I've never had to do a 12-step program, I'm willing to stand up and say "My name is Barbara and I love cheesy potato tots (and even regular old tater tots too)." Are you possibly what's called an enabler?"

Sue said...

Mags, You crack me up:) I'm a little too wimpy for the jalapenos, but the rest sounds YUM! Yes, cheesy potatoes are a family favorite, but we call the dish Potato Cheese casserole and we don't use frozen potatoes. Sometimes we add cubed ham:)

scrambledhenfruit said...

Cheesy potatoes are my youngest son's favorite! Your little tots look fabulous, especially with the pepper inside!

Amanda said...

OMG, my husband would die for these. They look so yummy, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing this.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Oh... Those look good!! I love the jalapeno in there. My hubby would just die if I made these!

Maria said...

What a fun recipe! Will be trying these!

Kristen said...

Oh my - those look incredible!

oliemommy said...

Oh My.
Sounds wonderful.

stonemaven said...

Our version is hashbrowns, sour cream, green onion, cheese, salt and pepper. Sooooo good and yet soooo bad for you. Thank heaven for our health that we only get it around the holidays and funerals.
You are the devil leading me into temptation ;-) Now I must go make cheezy potatoes - and then these.

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

It's OK, sometimes we just need to "go there" and here you certainly have. These cheesy potato tots look awesome!