Street Corn Mashed Potato Poppers with Ancho-cado Dip

I'm not sure how or why, but 2016 has been unbelievably kind to me! 
I really have never been one to make new years resolutions, but this year I decided to really buckle down and try as hard as I could to bring my contesting to a whole 'nother level. To keep a schedule, enter as many quality recipes as I could and work on my photography to have my pictures really sell my dish. I guess hard work and prayer really does pay off, because for the second time this year I've won an amazing trip to New York!
I literally could not believe when I received this email and I have re-read it roughly 1,376 times just to make sure I wasn't dreaming:
Hi Lauren,
 On behalf of Food Network Magazine and the US Potato Board, I would like to congratulate you on being the WINNER of The Ordinary Extraordinary Potato Recipe Contest. Please confirm receipt of this email ASAP so we can coordinate prize details!

You and a guest will be flown to NYC for a Food Network Magazine’s Small Bites Event on Tuesday 3/15 at Butter Restaurant where your dish – Street Corn Mashed Potato Poppers with Ancho-cado Dip – will be served to attendees. 

In addition, US Potato Board would like to feature your recipe on their websitePotatoGoodness.com.

Looking forward to hearing from you! Be sure to reach out with any questions.

Best,
Steven & The Food Network Magazine Team 
PS – Your recipe was by far the favorite – I can’t wait to try it at the event J

 Street Corn Mashed Potato Poppers with Ancho-cado Dip
Street Corn Mashed Potato Poppers:
3 pounds russet potatoes
4 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 ears corn
1 jalapeno pepper
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup cilantro, chopped
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons Mexican crema
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese

Ancho-cado Dip:
1 large avocado, skin and pit removed
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Mexican crema
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder

6 cups vegetable oil
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Peel and cut potatoes into ½ inch cubes and add to a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Season the water with 2 teaspoons of the salt, and cook until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to hot pot to dry.  
While the potatoes are cooking, grill the corn and jalapeno. Heat a large grill pan over high heat. Brush the oil all over the corn and jalapeno, place on the hot grill pan, and cook turning frequently until charred on all sides. This will take about 8-10 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle. 
In a large bowl, scrape the corn kernels off of the cob with a sharp knife and using the back of the knife, scrape all the corn milk into the bowl as well. Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeno, dice it and add it to the corn. Add the cilantro, cheese, eggs, flour, pepper, garlic powder, crema, cotija and remaining 2 ½ teaspoons of salt. Stir until the mixture is evenly combined. Add the potatoes and stir, slightly mashing, until the mixture is evenly blended. Place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes. 
While the potato mixture is chilling, make the dip. Add the avocado, cayenne, salt, mayonnaise, crema and chili powder to a small food processor. Blend until smooth and set in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Heat the oil to 375 degrees in a large, high sided pot over medium-high heat, fitted with a candy thermometer.  
While the oil is heating, use a small cookie scoop to spoon 2 Tablespoons of the potato mixture out. Roll into panko until well coated on all sides. Working in batches, fry for 3-5 minutes, until deeply golden brown and crisp. Remove poppers from the oil and place on a large paper towel lined cookie sheet to drain. 
Place the poppers on a serving platter, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges and dip. 
Mixture makes 70 poppers.


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