Smoky Bacon Burgers w/ Deep-Fried Potato Balls

Tonight I revisited my Smoky Avocado Burgers, this time with the bacon I missed in the first go. I also breaded and deep-fried some leftover mashed potatoes.

Smoky Bacon Burgers
The burgers were true to my first recipe, except that I didn’t have buns and just toasted some honey oat bread instead. Just like last time, I was the only one to partake of the avocado spread. We topped 'em with more of that lovely smoked gouda, and we used arugula instead of spinach. It’s great both ways. Mostly protein, so while it isn’t exactly heart-healthy it was low-carb.

Deep-Fried Tater Balls
I had a huge bowl of leftover mashed potatoes. They already had cheddar cheese and green onions mixed in. I began by making golf ball-sized nuggets, poking a hole in the center, and adding more cheese & green onions before pinching it shut. That got old very quickly.

Having abandoned the “proper” method, I just mixed all the ingredients together. (Taters, oregano, thyme, cheddar, romano, & green onions.) Roll 'em up into slightly bigger than bite-size balls. Roll in flour, dust off the excess. Roll in egg wash, roll in bread crumbs, stash on a baking sheet. Once they were all done, I put them in the fridge so they’d be firmer at fry time. Mom helped after a while, taking over the flour process. Even working quickly, my hands became coated with a veneer of mashed potato. Much easier to do just that part of the assembly line.

They were very good. Fried 'em in canola oil for 3-4 minutes at 350º. In retrospect, I’d make them smaller. Bite-size, rather than two bites. I’d also bread them twice. Put 'em in the fridge in between so the breading will set, then treat them to another round of egg wash & bread crumbs. (No need for more flour. The first round of bread crumbs will give the egg wash plenty of sticking power.) I think the second coat and a higher frying temperature would make them crunchy. They were good, but crunchy would be better.

They key, if you’re going to do the fried tater balls, is in portion control. The mashed potatoes were red potatoes, so they were marginally lower in starch. I think I ate 4 of them. Making them in 1 tbsp portions and crunchy would help make fewer tater balls feel more satisfying.

Just curious–have you tried baking the tater balls? wonder how that wouldwork…If no one had treid by then maybe while I am on vacation next month I will try—

I’ve baked similar things, but I’ve only made these tater balls twice now. (Twice successfully, anyway. We won’t talk about the first time. These are not the droids you’re looking for.)

Everything’s already cooked, so crust is the only consideration. I’d say do the double breading, drizzle 'em with a little olive oil or (even better) annatto oil, and bake 'em at 425º for 7-10 minutes. If they’re not golden brown & delicious, go a little longer. It shouldn’t take much.

You could also push a chunk of cheddar or a little piece of zucchini into the center. This same preparation would work for rice balls, as long as the rice is sufficiently moist to stick together. Over the course of the meal, we brainstormed. I’m looking forward to experimenting further. grin

I neglected to explain the avocado spread. It’s just 50/50 avocado & sour cream, with a little cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper mixed in. As always, save the avocado pit and keep it in the spread to slow down the nasty browning process.