Baked Potato Poppers
These crispy potato puffs unabashedly copy, but far surpass, the commercial brand found in the frozen section of your supermarket. Baked rather than deep-fried, they are perfectly crispy on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside. They will fool even the most die-hard tater tot fiend. You can't stop eating them. Panko bread crumbs are essential to the dish's success, providing the crispiest crunch.Excerpted from "Mad Hungry Cravings" by Lucinda Scala Quinn, Artisan Books, March 2013.
- 2 large russet (baking) potatoes (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, with a rack in the middle position. Put a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat. Peel and grate the potatoes, and transfer to a large bowl. Cover with boiling water by two inches. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Squeeze the potatoes to remove excess moisture, and transfer back to the large bowl. Add the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and egg yolk and fold into the potatoes.
Spread the panko on another rimmed baking sheet. With wet hands, pinch off tablespoons of the potato mixture, form into balls, and coat with the panko crumbs.
Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Quickly transfer the poppers to the baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown and crispy. Serve with ketchup.