Idaho® Mashed Potato Pops

Idaho® Mashed Potato Pops
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Mashed potato pop base
  1. 2 pounds Idaho® potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks*
  2. 2 Tablespoons butter
  3. ½ teaspoon salt
  4. ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Mix-ins
  1. Greek Mashed Potato Pops: ½ cup defrosted frozen chopped spinach, ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, ¼ teaspoon dried dill weed
  2. Southwestern Mashed Potato Pops: 2
  3. Tablespoons chopped red bell pepper, 1 chopped green onion (white and green parts), ½ cup grated pepperjack cheese, a few drops of Tabasco or other hot sauce
  4. Bacon Mashed Potato Pops: ½ cup sauteed chopped onions, ½ cup grated Gruyere cheese, ¼ cup chopped cooked bacon
For frying
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1 cup panko breadcrumbs or dehydrated Idaho® potato flakes
  3. grapeseed or canola oil, for frying
  4. Equipment: Deep-fryer or heavy deep pot; toothpicks, skewers or lollipop sticks
Dipping sauce suggestions
  1. Greek Mashed Potato Pop sauce: Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and dried dill
  2. Southwestern Mashed Potato Pop sauce: Ranch dressing
  3. Bacon Mashed Potato Pops: Mayonnaise mixed with Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Put the potatoes in a large sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot, empty pot. Add the butter, salt and pepper, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Add desired mix-ins. Let sit until potato mixture is cool enough to handle.
  3. In a deep, heavy pot or a deep fryer, heat the oil for deep-frying to 350° F.
  4. Scooping out about 1 Tablespoon of the potato mixture at a time, roll the potato mixture into 2-inch balls.
  5. Set up a breading station with two shallow bowls and a plate: Beat the egg with 2 teaspoons of water in the first bowl, then put the panko breadcrumbs or dehydrated potato flakes in the second. Roll each ball first in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs or potato flakes; put the coated mashed potato balls on the plate. Repeat until all the mashed potato balls are coated.
  6. Drop several of the mashed potato balls at once into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the mashed potato balls on a rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat until all the mashed potato balls are fried.
  7. Stick a lollipop stick or toothpick into each ball. Serve hot with dipping sauce.
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