Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dill-icious Potato Rolls (formerly known as Hong Kong Potato Roll Thingies)

My Venture into Bad Recipe Names

Hong Kong Potato Roll Thingies. The name doesn't exactly roll off your tongue. I developed this recipe years ago and never made the effort to properly name it. That's why I need your help. At the bottom of this page, you will learn more about a chance to win a US$25 gift certificate to Bed Bath and Beyond by thinking of a great name for this yummy recipe.

I've been to Hong Kong several times and used to frequent a western-style bakery that served the best French breads and pastries. One day, I tried one of their roll-looking things that were filled with, what looked to me like, shredded potatoes and dill. They were SO tasty and elegant looking. I had no idea what they were called because all of the signs in the bakery were in Chinese. The employees would not give any hint as to how they were made so I had to guess what was in them. Although I saw these in a bakery in Hong Kong, there is absolutely nothing Asian about them. This recipe is my attempt to recreate those wonderful potato roll thingies from just the memory of how they tasted.

On one of my frequent visits to that bakery over the years, I was in a hurry because I had several errands to do before a big meeting. It was raining cats and dogs but I braved the weather anyway just to get one of those tasty treats. The bakery was located inside a large department store. About 15 feet inside the store, you had to go over a 1-inch step. Well, it wasn't so much a step as it was a lip since it was only about an inch high. Over the years, I had seen my fair share of people tripping over it when they entered the store. What purpose did that little step serve? I have no idea. If the store had been located in the U.S., it would have been sued a million times.

In my haste, I wasn't watching where I was walking and my foot caught the edge of that little lip in the floor. Unfortunately, there was an old, Chinese lady who was walking toward me when I tripped. As I fell uncontrollably toward her, her eyes widened and she got the most horrified look on her face. You know, the same kind of look you'd have on your face if you looked up at the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the day it decided to fall on you. Somehow, I managed to pivot my big patootie out of the way and only grazed her as I fell face-first onto the floor. I hit the tile with a thunderous SLAP and then slid across the rain-slick floor for what seemed like a mile. The frightened old lady mumbled something in Chinese, whacked me with her umbrella, and walked out the door. Not speaking Chinese, I took that to mean "Oh, you poor man. Are you alright?"

I hurried and got up – confident my fall had set off seismometers 1200 miles away in Japan. I tried to look nonchalant as I picked up my glasses, which had been thrown off in the fall, and realized that I was no longer wearing my right shoe. I looked around the crowd of shoppers, who had witnessed my acrobatics and were trying not to laugh, but I could not find my shoe anywhere. Who would steal a size-11 penny loafer with scuff marks and uneven wear? I mean really! A shoe that big would fit a family of four in Hong Kong! Some nice girl approached me and said that my shoe had flown onto the nearby escalator and was on its way up to the second floor. I rolled my eyes and got onto the crowded escalator – worried that my fall had been caught on security cameras and the footage would be posted on the internet by nightfall. On my way up to the second floor, I looked up and could see people furrowing their eyebrows trying to figure out why there was a single shoe bouncing up and down at the top of the escalator without anybody around to claim it. I put on my shoe, gathered up what was left of my dignity, and made my way to the bakery – undeterred in my quest for those wonderful potato roll thingies. That day, I even bought two…and savored every bite.

After countless attempts to create a clone of those potato roll thingies, this is the closest I have been able to come. Sadly, that bakery is now closed so this recipe is my only tie to those WONDEFUL treats I used to buy in Hong Kong. You HAVE to try making them! Don't forget that I need your ideas for a recipe name! Scroll down to the bottom of this page to learn how enter the contest for a chance to win a US$25 gift certificate. Enjoy – and happy falling for this recipe!

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Dill-icious Potato Rolls
(Formerly known as Hong Kong Potato Roll Thingies)
(Printable Version)

2 TBSP butter
1 bunch scallions, minced (white and light green parts only)
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 TBSP crème fraîche or sour cream
¾ TBSP chopped fresh dill
½ c freshly grated parmesan cheese (or Romano cheese)
1 tsp kosher salt (or ½ tsp of table salt)
½ tsp black pepper
1½ c refrigerated hash browns (or frozen hash browns that have been thawed in the fridge)

9 Rhodes Roll Dough balls, defrosted in the refrigerator

Lightly spray a dinner plate with cooking spray. Place 9 frozen dough balls evenly spaced out on the plate – making sure that the rolls are not touching. Spray the rolls with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to slowly defrost for about 5 to 6 hours or overnight.

After the rolls have been defrosting for 5 to 6 hours, preheat the oven to 350F. Start the filling by melting 2 TBSP butter over medium heat in a small skillet. Add the scallions and garlic and cook until the onions are tender – about 4 minutes. Add the scallion mixture to a large bowl. To it, add the crème fraîche, dill, parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper then stir to combine. Add the refrigerated hash browns and gently mix thoroughly. Divide the filling into 6 portions.

Butter or spray six wells of a muffin tray.

Take the rolls out of the refrigerator and cut 3 of the rolls in half. Pick up a whole roll and one of the halves and use your palms to smash them together. Do this with the remaining dough. You will have six flatted dough disks when finished. Next roll out one of the dough disks into a 4 1/2" circle. You should not need to use any flour. If the dough wants to stretch back, let the disks sit for about 5 minutes and then reattempt to roll them out. Place the rolled out dough in your cupped palm and add 1/6 of the filling to the center of the dough. Gently place the dough and potatoes in one of the muffin cups making sure that the dough is evenly spaced around the sides of the muffin cup. The potato mixture should be open at the top and should not be covered with dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until the dough is well browned. Serve them warm or at room temperature (they are great either way). Before serving, add a small amount of dill to the top as a garnish. Want to be daring? Add some chopped smoked salmon to the potato mixture before filling. Yum!

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

1) You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
2) The prize is a US$25 gift certificate to Bed Bath and Beyond. Only one prize will be awarded.
3) Entrants must think of a name for the above recipe and email me their best idea. Be as creative as you would like. Only one entry per person. Send your idea for the name of the recipe to Remember – only one entry per person. Your email should include:
a) Your ONE idea for the name of the above recipe
b) Your complete first name and the first initial of your last name (such as
Michael J.)

c) The city and state where you live (international entrants should also include their country)
4) The winning name will be chosen by me after consultation with my mother. It is theoretically possible that two different people may submit the same idea for a recipe name. In the event this occurs and I chose that recipe name as the winner, the prize will go to the person who submitted the recipe name first.
5) Ideas must be submitted by Friday, August 28, 2009 at 11:59 pm (Central U.S. time). Entries after that date and time will not be considered.
6) I will post the winning recipe name, the winning contestant's partial name, and his or her location in my blog on Saturday, August 29. The winner will also be notified by email. In that email, I will request the winner's full name and mailing address for the gift card. The winner's full name and mailing address, however, will not be posted on my blog.

Ready to enter? Just email me at with your recipe idea and the other information required in #3 above. I look forward to reading your emails!


  1. 2 things. 1 - I NEVER get tired of hearing that story... it just makes me laugh! and 2 - when the HELL are you making those for me? Carbs stuffed with carbs, drowned in fat? SWEETIE!?!!? I mean... um... yeah, I have to give that recipe a try soon... lol

  2. These look seriously yummy and easy to make! (easy + yummy = dangerous combination!)

  3. I laughed until I cried when I read your funny story! You really must send it to Reader's Digest!!!!! Thanks! I needed a good laugh!

    Brenda Marquez

  4. As I wiped my tears (of laughter) away from my cheeks and actually read the recipe, I discovered that you are a Rhodes man! Oh bless you--not just for the Rhodes--but for the use of my favorite food group (potatoes)AND for the recurring chuckle that will get me through the afternoon.

    Giggling like a 13-year old,

    Patty P


A moderator reviews all comments before they are posted. After submitting your comments, please check back in a few hours to see if they were added.

Related Posts with Thumbnails