Lutong Bahay: Easy Mashed Potato + Ham and Cheese Potato Balls

Saturday, October 07, 2017
Mashed potatoes have been one of my favorite potato side dishes growing up, apart from fries and hash browns. And as I started to get acquainted with the kitchen, you can expect that I just had to try my hands on recreating my favorites. While it's not that hard to make mashed potatoes, I found the process a little too tedious. As much as I love this nightshade crop, I'm just not a fan of boiling anything for more than 15 minutes. And that's just to prep the ingredient!

Luckily, we now live in an era where everything has been made more convenient. So today, let me share with you the easiest way you can make mashed potatoes, as well as a recipe using the former which will surely be a hit as a snack or party treat.

Ham and Cheese Potato Ball Recipe

While I love using raw potatoes for a number of recipes, there are some recipes that just call for a different variant. I've been a fan of using frozen US potatoes for meal prepping, but today, let me introduce you to a type of dehydrated US potato -- the potato flakes.

Frozen and Dehydrated US Potato

The first time I learned about dehydrated US potato, I was actually surprised that such a thing exists. Yeah, I may have been very ignorant with food technology at that time. But I'm glad I'm now an enlightened potato lover!

Although the flakes may be far from the shape of the potato we know, dehydrated US potatoes are real potatoes with the water removed. It's versatile and can be used from soups and salads to main dishes and desserts. In the Philippines, it's mostly used for baking (that's why it's mainly available in baking supply stores), and yup, you've guessed it, for making mashed potatoes.

Dehydrated US Potato Flakes
This is how the standard US potato flakes look like.
Now let's transform this...
Mashed Potato using Potato Flakes this easy-to-make mashed potato!

  • 1 cup water or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups US potato flakes
  • A pinch of salt and black pepper
  • A pinch of garlic and onion powder

  1. Boil water or stock in a sauce pan. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine US potato flakes, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
  2. Add boiling water or stock to the US potato flakes mixture, then stir in milk and butter.
  3. Adjust the measurements to get the mashed potato consistency you like. If it's too dense, add more water. If it's too runny, add more US potato flakes.
  4. As with everything related to cooking, adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  5. Scoop the mashed potato in a bowl or on a plate as a side dish. Enjoy!

Seriously, this is such an easy side dish to make, especially with the US potato flakes! You can play around with the ingredients too, to come up with the mashed potato taste that suits you. I've seen some people using sour cream instead of milk. I've yet to try that out, but you can get creative with your mashed potato without the hassle of boiling and actual mashing.

Ham and Cheese Potato Ball using Dehydrated US Potato

And now that you're a pro at making mashed potato, here's a recipe you can try if you want to enjoy your mashed potato in a different way. Whether you use leftover mashed potato for this, or make a new batch, your friends and family will be sure to enjoy this treat. The kids will especially love this too!

  • 4 cups mashed potato, cooled
  • 3/4 cup cooked ham, chopped (I used spiced ham)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. each of salt, black pepper, garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • Cheese of your choice, cubed (I used cheddar)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (I used Japanese panko breadcrumbs)
  • Oil for frying
  • Chopped green onions for garnish

  1. In a bowl, mix mashed potato, chopped cooked ham, salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
  2. When you're good with the seasoning, add 1 egg and mix well.
  3. Pick up a tablespoon size potato mixture and flatten it to form a small pancake. Add in the cube of cheese in the middle and wrap the potato mixture to make it to a ball (or any shape of your preference). Repeat until you finish the potato mixture.
  4. Prepare 3 bowls -- one for the flour, one for the egg wash (beat the remaining egg), one for the breadcrumbs.
  5. Coat the potato balls in flour, then dip in egg wash, and coat with the breadcrumbs. Repeat this step until you've coated all the potato balls.
  6. Heat oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. You can place the coated potato balls in the fridge as you wait for the oil to heat up.
  7. When the oil is ready, fry the potato balls in batches until golden brown.
  8. Transfer the fried potato balls on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  9. Serve on a plate and garnish with chopped green onions. You can also serve with sour cream or ketchup. Enjoy!

Ham and Cheese Potato Ball

These Ham and Cheese Potato Balls are pretty easy to make. If you have friends and kids in the kitchen, this can also be a nice and yummy activity to do. Apart from ham, you can also use chopped cooked bacon. I'm sure either way, this will be a hit as an appetizer, snack, or party treat!

From making mashed potato, to ham and cheese potato balls, everything has been made easy with dehydrated US potatoes. I'm sure there are even more dishes where potato flakes can be used. But for now, I'm very happy even with just these. Prep time has been cut by more than half, but the satisfaction and time for everything else have been doubled!

Dehydrated US potato is available at All About Baking, The Baker’s Co., Best Value Factory Outlet, Gourdo’s and S&R. For more information about US potatoes in the Philippines, please refer to Potatoes USA Philippines.


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