Iraqi Stuffed Potato Balls
Here simple mashed potato is enlivened with feta cheese, chopped hardboiled egg, currants, and spices, then rolled in shredded raw potato and fried until crisp. Serve with on Arabic-style salad of tomato, cucumber, and red onion, with a garlic, olive oil, and lemon dressing.
- 2 tablespoons sweet butter
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 hard-boiled egg, diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons currants, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
and then drained
- 1-1/3 cups warm mashed potato (made without any butter, milk, or cream)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 eggs
- 2 large baking potatoes, peeled
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a small pan, add the onion, and cook until soft and golden. Add the paprika, allspice, and cumin, and cook for 1 minute to infuse the onion with the spices. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the feta, hard-boiled egg, chives, and currants.
In a separate bowl, mix together the warm mashed potato, cornstarch and one of the eggs, then season to taste. Using wet hands, shape into balls the size of golf balls. Make a deep indentation in each one, fill with the feta mixture, and then reshape so the filling is completely covered by the potato. Chill for up to 1 hour.
Using the shredding blade of a mandoline (or a grater), shred the baking potatoes and dry in a cloth. Lightly beat the 2 remaining eggs. Remove the potato balls from the fridge, dip them in the beaten egg, and then roll them in the shredded potatoes, molding them with your hand to ensure they are well covered. Heat some vegetable oil to 325 degrees F in a deep-fat fryer or a deep pot. Fry the potato balls in batches in the hot oil for 5-8 minutes, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towles. Serve.
Tip: If you make smaller potato balls, these can be served as a cocktail nibble.
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A Passion For Potatoes
by Paul Gayler
The Lyons Press 2002
$24.95 hardcover; 176 pages
Reprinted by permission.
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This page created December 2002