Fancy ‘tater tots’ the whole family will love!
These little beauties were inspired two things: 1) my love of pierogis and 2) a big batch of leftover mashed potatoes. While their taste is evocative of pieriogi filling, they are a whole lot easier to make. I wanted something to serve with grilled sausages and have since made these as a side dish for fish as well, plus as part of a brunch buffet. Because they’re delicious at room temperature, they’d be terrific tucked into a lunch box. You can bake them up ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze, as they reheat beautifully. I chose to add crispy pancetta to my puffs but you could easily use bacon or ham instead, or simply omit for a vegetarian version.
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced pancetta
- 2 cups (500 mL) mashed potatoes, cooled to room temperature
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely minced chives or green onion tops
- 1/4 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper
- To serve: aioli or sour cream and lime wedges
- Cook diced pancetta in a frying pan over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.
- While pancetta is cooking, grease 24 compartments of mini-muffin pans and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
- Put the mashed potatoes in a medium-sized bowl. Add the beaten eggs, cheeses, minced chives or green onions, salt & pepper and cooked pancetta. Beat together with a fork until well blended; it should have a thick, somewhat smooth dough-like consistency.
- Use a cookie dough scoop or two small spoons to fill the muffin pans completely with the potato mixture.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown and cheese has melted.
- Remove the pans from the oven and let cool for 3 – 5 minutes. Carefully remove the potato puffs from the pan using a sharp knife. Serve warm or at room temperature with aioli or sour cream and wedges of lime.
- Leftover puffs can be reheated in the microwave or, wrapped in foil, in a 325F oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
Makes 24 mini puffs.