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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Got leftover potatoes? Make these!

Recipe for Restaurant Recreation: Arby's Loaded Potato Bites

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and all week I’ve been seeing articles about how to cut the calories in the meal or what to eat so that you don’t consume a bazillion calories. I see it every year and it kinda drives me batty.

Holiday calories don’t count! We all need to splurge a little every now and then. To me, “splurge” means enjoying a piece of pumpkin pie – not three – without any guilt.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is a great way – other than potato pancakes – to use up leftover mashed potatoes. If you’ve ever been to Arby’s and love their Loaded Potato Bites than you are in luck because they were the inspiration for this recipe. And they are pretty spot on too - crispy on the outside, and soft and cheesy on the inside with bits of bacon and scallions. A guilty pleasure for sure, but share them with some friends and I swear you won’t be sorry.

I should have taken a shot of the inside of these babies for you, but I ate them instead.

Loaded Potato Bites
*Makes 18-24 bites depending on size
Print it!

- 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 strips bacon
- 1/3 cup scallions, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 ¼ - 1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs
- Oil for frying
- Salt and Pepper
- Ranch or Honey Mustard for dipping


1. Take potatoes out of the fridge and let sit for a few minutes to take the chill off a bit. Meanwhile shred the cheese, chop scallions, and cook bacon then dice finely. Add potatoes and flour to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine well, then add cheese, bacon, and scallions. Take about a heaping tablespoon of mixture and roll with hands into a small ball. It if doesn’t hold its shape, add a little more flour to make the potatoes sturdy. Repeat until done.

2. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan – or use your fryer – over medium/medium high heat to about 350-375 degrees. Whisk egg into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place bread crumbs in an additional bowl. Dip each ball in egg and then roll in bread crumbs until fully coated. Set aside on a sheet pan.

3. Test oil with one ball. The oil should bubble when potato is in oil and ball should take about 1-2 minutes to brown and cook through. (If takes longer the oil needs to be hotter, if it browned too quickly on the outside and the inside is still cold, the temperature needs to be lower.) Once oil is ready, add potato balls in small batches and fry for 1-2 minutes – it will depend on size. Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper lined plate to allow excess oil to drain off. Repeat until done.

4. Allow to cool for a minute or two and serve with dipping sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turkey Day Favorite: Green Bean Casserole

Let me start by saying it was never my intention to make and post a green bean casserole recipe for this blog. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes out there claiming to be the best, better than Campbell’s, better than your mother’s, and most are completely made from scratch.

The world didn’t need another one. Yet here I am, posting one.


Because I needed to use up a lot of green beans and I happened to like the way it came out.

You see, when Brent and I do our major bulk shopping trips, we always pick up some frozen vegetables. Sure, we prefer fresh, but some nights you just don’t feel like shopping so we keep a few options on hand. We decided it was a totally wise decision on our part to buy a 5lb bag of frozen whole green beans for two people.

It’s been 3 months and we still aren’t through the whole bag yet. So one night I decided to take a stab at making green bean casserole since I had mushrooms to use up as well.

Now I’m not going to tell you it is better than anyone else’s, or the best ever, but I will say this…

I can’t tell you what the hell else I made for dinner that night and I might never make the original version again. Even though I always did doctor that recipe up a bit anyway.

It’s good, maybe not the best, but I did add bacon to it, so it does have that going for it. BUT you can totally leave it out of you are a vegetarian. Just substitute with more butter =) Win-win!

So below is my recipe that I totally threw together and it ended up coming out pretty good. For the record, I was planning on frying my own onions up for the top, but Brent said that was ”ridiculousness” and we decided on the panko topping listed below. Which I thought worked pretty well because you need that crispy onion topping on a GBC.

Also, if you want to use fresh green beans instead of frozen, just blanch them first and you should be good to go.

Green Bean Casserole

*Serves 4-6
Print this recipe

- 1 pound frozen whole green beans, thawed
- 3 slices bacon, cut into strips
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1 extra large garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 3.5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 pinches nutmeg
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Scant ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper


1- In a large saut̩ pan over medium-high heat cook sliced bacon until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon Рleaving the grease in the pan Рand set aside in a medium bowl.
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