Today, Mexico celebrates el día del niño, kids day! A holiday when all the young (and young at heart) are treated to a special day of fun. From a day spent at the park to an all-out school carnival celebration, today is the day we show our appreciation for the little people that make our lives full.
The U.S. is slowly starting to acknowledge kids day as it does cinco de mayo and día de muertos. They are not quite there yet but they have proven, with the popularity of the other Mexican holidays, that they eventually will. I’m guessing that in one to two years we will be attending events and purchasing products that celebrate this holiday.
I’ve celebrated the holiday my entire life. Because I grew up in Mexico, I had the opportunity to experience and participate in school parties and plays. Now that my son is seven years old and understands the holiday, I try my best to make this day special for him and try to experience at least some of the joy I felt on día del niño. Because food is such a big part of our lives, this year, I prepared him a very special lunch: deditos de papa or potato fingers. Made with Idaho Potatoes mashed and crusted with seasoned breadcrumbs, there wasn’t a potato finger in sight when lunch was over. They are THAT good!
These tasty deditos travel well and fit nicely in a bento box. They also make a great snack and appetizers for adults too! Just serve them up with a variety of dips and they’ll be begging for more.
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- ½ cup shredded Munster cheese
- grapeseed oil for frying
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Heat over medium heat and let boil for 25 minutes or until they begin to peel.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Drain.
- Peel potatoes and discard skins.
- In a large bowl, mash potatoes and add garlic salt, pepper and cheese. Continue mashing until all ingredients have combined.
- Scoop out 2 tablespoons of potato mixture and shape into 2-inch fingers.
- Set up a working station by placing beaten egg in a medium bowl and flour and breadcrumbs in separate plates.
- Place enough oil to cover in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Dredge potato fingers in flour, then dip in beaten egg, then cover with bread crumbs.
- Carefully place breaded “finger” in hot oil and fry for approximately 3 minutes or until it begins to brown.
- Remove fried potato finger from hot oil and place in a paper towel-lined plate to absorb extra grease. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Serve in a bento box with Ketchup for dipping, salad greens, fruit and a hard-boiled egg.
Recipe developed for Idaho Potatoes.