Cold Leftovers Make For The Best Fried Mashed Potato Balls

potato croquettes on plate
potato croquettes on plate - SerPhoto/Shutterstock

After a hearty Thanksgiving dinner (or a festive occasion any time of year), there's a good chance you'll have leftover mashed potatoes. You could turn them into Irish pancakes, waffles, or even bread -- but one of the easiest and tastiest ways to use them up is to make fried mashed potato balls, aka potato croquettes. These snacks are pretty simple to whip up since all you need to do is mix them with a few ingredients, roll them into balls, coat them in breading, and fry them. The only problem? Depending on what type of mashed potatoes you made, things can get sticky and messy very quickly.

To avoid ending up with more mashed potatoes on your hands than in your fried spheres, keep your spuds cold while you're making this dish. When potatoes are cold, they're thicker, denser, and much easier to keep in one piece, and mashed potatoes may be especially difficult to keep together because of the butter and cream involved. You don't necessarily want your spuds to be cold when you're making mashed potatoes initially -- but when it's time to use them as a binding agent for other ingredients in your fried balls, you're going to want them chilled. Luckily, you most likely stored your leftovers in the fridge already, so it shouldn't be too difficult to accomplish this.

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

How To Keep Your Mashed Potatoes Cold

mashed potatoes in bowl
mashed potatoes in bowl - John Shepherd/Getty Images

To keep your mashed potatoes cold while you're making your croquettes, wait until the last possible minute to pull them out of the fridge. That means you'll want to prep everything else beforehand so it's all ready to go. If you're adding in bacon bits, for example, cook and crumble your meat ahead of time; if you're cutting onion or garlic, shredding cheese, or chopping herbs, make sure you do all that while the spuds are sitting in the fridge. Then when you pull them out and mix them up with your other ingredients, try to work as fast as possible before they get warm.

In the same vein, avoid using your hands as much as you can, since the warmth can transfer onto the mashed potatoes. Stir everything up with a spoon, and use an ice cream scoop to make evenly sized balls when it's time. You may need to use your hands to roll them into perfect ball shapes, however, and if your spuds aren't quite cold enough, dust them or your hands with a little flour. It takes a little extra effort, but you'll be rewarded with tasty croquettes that don't fall apart.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.