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Seeking out genuine Black Forest ham to make these Little Puffed Potato Balls is a worthy mission because the ham will contribute its own particular smokiness to them. But examine the package to make sure you are getting the real thing. Otherwise, buy another ham, one with an honest name—some prosciutto or Smithfield brand, for example.
You will also need:
1. A blender or food processor is useful for grinding the ham coarsely, but the ham could also be chopped up with a knife.
2. A medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot.
3. A wooden spoon.
4. A baking sheet.
5. A sheet of parchment paper to line the baking sheet.
Making the potato balls:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Grind the ham coarsely in a food processor or blender or chop it up by hand.
3. Pour the milk in the pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the potato flakes. When they are well combined with the milk, stir in the butter. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
4. Add to the potato mixture the ground ham, the grated cheese, the beaten egg, the grated nutmeg, the chopped green onions or chives and a few grinds of black pepper and salt.
5. With your hands, form the potato mixture into small round balls (about a rounded tablespoon of mixture for each ball). The mixture is not sticky and is easy to form. From it you can make at least 20 balls. Place them on the baking sheet as you make them. They do not expand as they bake so you can place them close together.
6. Bake the potato balls for 20 minutes. Then crack open the oven door to allow steam to escape and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve the potato balls while they are still warm.
An Acknowledgement: This recipe is adapted from one in the September 2009 issue of the French cooking journal “Guide Cuisine”.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!