Pan-fried potato puffs have lightly crisp outsides that give way to soft middles that melt in your mouth. Along with Parmesan cheese, they’re lightly seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder. Plus, my secret fry sauce for dipping.
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- coarse salt
- vegetable oil, for frying
- ¼ cup barbecue sauce
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and maintain a simmer until they are fork tender.
- Drain them and put them back in the pan, set it over the heat, cook for a minute or two to dry up the excess water on them.
- Mash them with a potato masher or pass them through a ricer into a large bowl. Stir in the egg, butter, Parmesan, flour, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Season well with salt - about a heaping teaspoon.
- Lightly flour your hands and roll into 1 to 1 + ½-inch sized balls.
- Heat about ½ inch of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once it starts to shimmer add one of the potato puffs - the oil should bubble and sizzle immediately, if it doesn't let it heat up a little longer. Cook the puffs in batches, don't crowd them because they will pouf up a little as they cook.
- Cook about 2 minutes a side or until golden brown, then turn and repeat, then turn and repeat again if needed so you can get all sides of the puffs nice and golden brown. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
- Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Serve hot or at room temperature with fry dip (just whisk equal parts barbecue sauce and mayonnaise together) or ketchup.
Copyright ©Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved
Pan-frying is a must. See those pale, insipid looking things in the back? I baked them because inevitably, I knew you’d ask. They came out flat, dense and unappetizing. It was hard to believe they were even made from the same mixture, so different they were from the fried ones.
Frying magically poufs them up and out giving them light and creamy interiors with beautifully browned outsides, exactly how I imagine something called a “puff” ought to be like. The insides remind me a little of tater tots, but the outsides don’t have quite the same crunch. They’re crunchy enough, just not tater tot crunchy.
Now for my favorite fry dip, my go-to that I’ve been making forever. Barbecue sauce and mayonnaise, equal parts mixed together. Nothing fancy. It’s creamy, tangy, rich and addictive. Good on fries, onion rings, crispy chicken of any kind, and burgers.
You can serve these as a side or appetizer. For appetizers make them a little ahead of time and keep them warm in a low oven.
Originally published in Feb. 2014.