Porto's Potato Balls
Anyone have experience with holding these for a later serving time? We're going to pick up an order at 11 a.m. but guests won't arrive until 5 p.m. Put them in the fridge and just reheat in the oven? If so what temperture and conditions?
Or can they just be held in a warm oven the whole time without drying out. Or since they are fried, can they stay out all that time?
I've been raving about these and want to make sure they're enjoyed in close to peak conditions
I've eaten them at a couple of parties that my friends have thrown recently. I think they put them in the fridge and rewarmed them. I can't compare them to fresh, but they were still pretty darn good eats.
I've put them in the fridge and then reheated them in the toaster oven -- not as good as fresh, but still very good.
They taste the same hours later. I work down the street and we order them in the morning and still have them later in the day....like hours later. You can microwave them after too, just wrap them in a moist napkin. It keeps them from drying out and soaks up the excess oil.
I agree with the other posts so far. My family will regularly freeze huge batches since my parents live so far from Porto's and reheat them in the oven after a quick defrost. If you leave them out all day, they have a tendency to get a bit soggy, so if you don't have room in the fridge, definitely give them a quick toast before serving.
I'm probably one of the few left in SoCal who has yet to try these spuderific wonders, but if they are similar to croquettes then the main issue is the moisture from the potato mixture making the exterior go limp. To reduce the effects of this, I double-fry the croquettes, with some time in between fryings to let the croquettes steam off. Now I know this ain't gonna happen with your gems, but you can roughly duplicate this by placing them on a rack or a cookie sheet. You need to determine the heat based on how delicate the potato balls are. Since croquettes are basically a breaded ball of roughly mashed potatos with other stuff, I usually set the oven around 375 to 400 and put the croquettes on the lower rack. Once the croquettes have warmed, that's when they start to release some steam. You can pull them out, let them steam off for about five minutes or so, then put them back in the oven again - not for too long - to hopefully firm up the outside, relieving it of excess moisture. Another good kitchen appliance that works well is the toaster oven. Of course the batches are smaller, but you can keep a close eye on them, you can heat them as needed in steps, and the electric heating element also has a slight broiling effect, browning things like this nicely - but you do have to keep your eye on it...
Another thing to consider is how you take them home and store them. If you've ever received Chinese takeout on something that is supposed to be crisp, you'll note that most places will cut holes or cut off the corners of the styro clamshell containers to let the steam escape. This will reduce the amount of steam that builds up on the otherwise crispy exterior of the food. If these potato balls are supposed to be crispy on the exterior, you'd probably want to do the same - don't keep the lid tight, especially while they're hot...
That six-hour spread between pickup and serving is a tough call. I don't know if I'd want to leave them out for that long or put them in the fridge. Reason being that if you decide to put them from the fridge into the oven to reheat, then it will take much longer to reheat, and the exterior might dry out...
Like the other posters, I've found them to still be superlative after re-heating. Perhaps a tad less fresh tasting, but still yummy. We get them at work every so often and they usually sit around for a little bit before everyone gets to have them. A short re-heat does the trick. Also, I have gotten them for home, and had success refrigerating and then nuking them just to warm through. Haven't tried the toaster over, because I usually have no patience to wait the extra few minutes - Must have potato ball gratification immediately!