Country Recipe: Potato Balls (our version of Crochette di patate)

As we promised, I'll be sharing some of the recipes we have tried around here, especially those that help to use up items we seem to be overloaded on (namely, eggs, stale bread, and garden stuffs.)  Today, I attempted a countrified version of the Italian Crochette di patate (see an excellent recipe for that at that we lovingly call "Potato Balls."

Our version, of course, had some major variations, but the family LOVED these.

To start, use a thin-skinned, scrubbed potato, so you don't have to peel them.  You can choose to bake them, or for a quick cheat, boil them halfway, and microwave them for the final few minutes.  The rest of our prep work involved dicing up fresh green onions (shallots or chives work nicely, too) and creating fresh bread crumbs from stale 12-grain bread.

Once the taters were cooked and drained, I added a couple tablespoons butter, one fresh egg, salt and pepper to taste, the green onions, and about 1/8 cup bread crumbs.  I was guessing here -- no measurements!  If you like the slightest bit of cheese, fresh shredded mozz works well.

The mixture was nice and stiff; I balled up the potatoes and rolled them in my leftover breadcrumbs seasoned with a bit of garlic salt.

Then they were off to the fryer!  (I use veggie oil at about 400 degrees for just a few minutes.)

Here are my babies straight out of the fryer.

They were delish, and the cheese was gooey.  (Hint: If you let them sit to lukewarm, they firm up even more and have a slightly deeper flavor.)  You can also choose to lightly salt and pepper the outsides of the potato treats, if you feel that they need it.

Have you tried a similar recipe?  I was thinking of adding crumbled bacon next time.  What additions would you make?