Last week I brought you the first installment of a new football-inspired party food series I'm doing with Josh's famous baked beans. Now this week, it's time we fry something.

Have you ever fried.... mashed potatoes?

Yeah.

I said that.

And totally did that.

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If there was ever a good excuse to try and fry mashed potatoes it is obviously for a football party so let's just roll with this...

I recently came into a bunch of garden fresh jalapeños (thank you, Tommie and Mark!) and was looking for a creative way to use them other than the typical, yet also very delicious, jalapeño popper.

I also wanted an excuse to make massive amounts of mashed potatoes the night before for dinner, so the stars aligned and these little fried ditties came to be.

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The key to this working is your mashed potato base. They need to be thick enough to hold up in the fryer.

Any avid Chopped watchers out there? You know when they try to fry something with a ton of butter in it and Alex Guarnaschelli looks over at Scott Conant like, "You know that's not going to work."

Well we don't want this to be you and your buttery mashed potatoes so listen up.

I included my go-to mashed potato recipe below so you'll have a good starting point. A good rule of thumb for these - if your potatoes can stand up on a plate without sinking into a blob, you're golden.

If you have trouble in the fryer, add a bit of flour, mix and fry, fry again.

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I promise the effort will be worth it for these crunchy-on-the-outside and decadently-soft-on-the-inside little balls of magic.

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Fried little clouds of carbohydrates.

Mmm hmmmmm.

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Mashed Potato Poppers

Makes enough for a party
Recipe adapted from Foodie with Family


Ingredients

Mashed Potato Base

5 red potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup sour cream
Splash of milk or heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Poppers

4 cups cold left over mashed potatoes
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup flour, plus more if needed
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese, monterery jack or cheddar
2 jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, finely minced
3 green onions, ends removed, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for finishing
2-3" canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. For the mashed potatoes, boil the potatoes in salted water until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the water and mash down the potatoes over low heat with butter, milk, salt and sour cream. Taste and season as needed. Save and cool 4 cups in the refrigerator for the poppers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the beaten egg and flour into the cold mashed potatoes. Add the jalapeños, green onions, cheese and salt and mix well.
  3. Bring oil to 350˚ over medium heat. Drop a test popper in the oil using a small cookie scoop or spoon and see how it holds together. If it falls apart, add 1/4 cup more flour to your potato mixture. Once your poppers seem to hold in the oil, fry them for 3-4 minutes until they are golden brown in color. Make sure to stay close because they can burn quickly. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt immediately.
  4. Serve the poppers right away or keep them warm in the oven until ready to serve. If you're serving later, you can freeze them and then reheat in the oven at 400˚ for 10-15 minutes.

They are delicious on their own or serve with ranch or ketchup if you like to dip-it-good.

Go Redskins!