Any recipe that you can prep in advance and freeze makes life a lot easier. You can freeze these baked potato balls before dipping them in the batter. Once you take them out of the freezer to batter and fry, let them stand at room temperature while you are heating your oil. Be sure to add about 2 more minutes to the frying time. These loaded baked potato balls are a little piece of heaven — cheesy, ooey, gooey and dadgum good!
- 1 pound baking potatoes (about 2 large)
- 1 gallon cooking oil
- 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 packet Ranch seasoning
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- Sour cream and chives (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place potatoes directly on oven rack and bake for 1 hour or until tender. Let cool slightly and mash. You can leave the skin on or off — your preference. If you leave the skin on, make sure you mash into small pieces.
Fill deep fryer halfway with oil and heat to 350°F.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, ranch seasoning, bacon, chives and salt, mixing well. Shape into 1 1/2-inch balls.
In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Stir in eggs and milk, mixing well. Dip potatoes in egg mixture and fry in batches for 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Use a metal slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately with sour cream and chives, if using.