12small round potatoessuch as baby white potatoes, scrubbed clean, skin-on
1cupshredded 4 cheese Mexican blendor use your own blend of Mexican-style cheeses, the sharper the better
½cupplain bread crumbsor panko
Freshly ground black pepper
Bacon and Chili Sour Cream:
2scallionssliced, plus more for garnish if desired
¼ to ½teaspooncayenne pepper or ancho chili powder
2slicesbaconcooked and crumbled
Fill a Dutch oven 2-inches full with the oil and heat to 350 to 375°F.
With a paring knife, lightly score 1 potato on its side and then slice it in half perpendicular to the score mark. This will help you know exactly which way to replace the potato halves. Use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to scoop out the inside of each potato half, leaving no more than ¼-inch of potato inside the skin.
Season the inside of each half with kosher salt, and then densely pack each half with ½ to 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese (that’s about 1 to 2 packed tablespoons per potato), depending on the size of the potato and its cavity (pack the cheese really well because when it melts it will shrink).
Place the halves back together, using the score mark as a guide, and secure with a couple toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
Using a slotted spoon or spider skimmer, gently place a few of the stuffed potatoes at a time into the hot oil. Fry for about 8 to 10 minutes or until tender (a toothpick should be able to pierce through the potatoes easily). Remove fried potatoes to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining potatoes in batches. Carefully remove the toothpicks, and allow the potatoes to cool slightly before proceding.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by stirring together the sour cream, sliced scallions, and cayenne pepper.
Fill one bowl with flour, one bowl with the beaten egg, and one bowl with the bread crumbs. Season them all with salt and pepper, and season the bread crumbs with some cayenne pepper as well. This will be your breading station. One by one, dredge the potatoes in the flour mixture, shake off excess flour, coat with beaten egg, allow excess to drip off, and then finally coat with the bread crumbs. Set aside on a plate until ready to fry.
When all the potatoes have been breaded, and the oil is back to the correct temperature (350 to 375°F), use the slotted spoon or spider skimmer once again to gently lower the breaded potatoes into the oil. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes until golden. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt to season.
Serve with the chili sour cream and crumbled bacon, and garnish with more scallions if desired.