These crunchy potato nuggets make a savory alternative to a sweet mid-morning or late afternoon snack. They can even move onto the late-night menu, serving as a tasty nibble at the bar, along with a cocktail, beer or glass of wine. Chef Pietromonaco makes the most of the Idaho potato’s texture by mashing some of the spuds and shredding the remainder for a crispy outer coating.
2½ lb. russet potatoes, divided
2 oz. double-smoked bacon, cooked and chopped
6 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
2 tbsp. chives, chopped
1 oz. butter, melted
1 oz. heavy cream
1 tbsp. freshly ground pepper
Salt, to taste
2 cups flour
6 eggs, lightly whipped
2 qt. vegetable oil, for frying
1. Boil 2 lb. potatoes until tender. Cool, peel and mash.
2. In large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, bacon, cheese, chives, butter, cream, pepper and salt to taste; blend well. Roll mixture into 1-oz. pieces; place on wax paper-lined sheet pan and chill overnight.
3. Using a box grater, shred remaining potatoes. Place in shallow bowl.
4. Place flour in another shallow bowl. Roll tater tots in flour to lightly coat, then coat in egg. Roll in shredded potatoes to form crust. Return to sheet pan and chill.
5. Per serving, in a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil to 375°F. Fry potato balls in hot oil until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and serve.
Recipe by Richard Pietromonaco, corporate chef and VP of food and beverage, Heartland Brewery, New York
Recipe courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission