Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Potato Poppers

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These little potato poppers are so delicious. They are like baked mashed potato balls -- slightly crunchy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside. I think this would be a very kid-friendly dish, which probably explains why it's such a big hit with us two adults who watch too much cartoons. The original recipe is from the New Laurel's Kitchen, a classic vegetarian cookbook. I have modified it so that the texture is even more fluffy and soft.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 an onion, diced small
  • 1 celery stalk, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 cups of mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs (I use Panko)
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesano Reggiano
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup of cooked short-grain white rice (you can use Basmati or brown rice for this, but the texture may be a little more gritty)
  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste
One note about mashed potatoes -- I clean some baby Yukon potatoes, put them (skin and all) in a large pot filled with cold water. Cover the pot and turn the heat up high. Once the water boils, I set a timer for 15 minutes. Check the potatoes when the timer goes off. If a knife can easily pierce through with little resistance, potatoes are done. Otherwise, return potatoes back in the pot and boil for another 5 minutes. If you use small or medium potatoes, it shouldn't take more than 15 to 20 minutes to fully cook the potatoes. While they're hot, I press them through a potato ricer. The potato skin will not pass through the ricer, so you'll have mashed potatoes without ever peeling the potatoes. Yay for that!

Sweat diced onion and celery in olive oil using a non-stick pan until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, stir to combine all of the ingredients. Form 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls and place them on a greased baking sheet. You'll make about 16 balls. You can make this recipe ahead up to this point.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown on the outside. Serve with some ketchup or barbecue sauce for dipping. Yum.

We also had some grilled veggie orzo salad. It's just grilled zucchini, mushroom and eggplant mixed with some arugula and white navy beans, drizzled with some lemon juice and olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Pretty simple.


  1. Dear Carnivore girl, sounds like youre in love with vegan boy! Your idea of potato poppers sounds so delicious! Cant wait to read what happens with you next! By the way your photos look very professional. Do you take your own photos?
    This site was such a pleasure to visit. Well presented, clean, clear and beautiful photos. I shall be returning for another delicious bite. Thank you for sharing,
    Cheers, Gaby
    You can visit me at

  2. Gaby, thanks for the kind words. Yes, I take my own photos. Nothing fancy, just lots of light and steady hands. Thanks for visiting!