Boil the potatoes as if making mashed potatoes. When fork tender, mash them leaving some chunks. Fry the bacon until crisp, remove and drain. Crumble in the bowl with the mashed potatoes. Lightly saute the onions in the bacon grease. If omitting the bacon, use olive oil to saute the onions in. Remove and add to the potato/bacon bowl.Don't mix yet, since you don't want the potatoes to becomed too mushy. Beat the egg in another bowl until very light. Add to the potato mix. Add everything else, except the shredded wheat and the oil. Now fold everything with the flour until you can roll it into a ball in your hand (think of a meatball). This is the stage when you use your judgement on how the potato mix holds together. Add more flour if it isn't holding together in a palm sized ball.
Have ready on a seperate plate the shredded wheat, crushed. I usually add a little more garlic powder and salt with the shredded wheat.
In a medium sauce pan bring the oil to the proper tempature for frying. Don't let the oil smoke. Roll the potato balls one by one in the shredded wheat and drop them quickly into the hot oil. I usually only do two or three at a time, as they cook very fast. Don't let the cereal get too brown. Drain on paper towels.
It makes it easier to complete the balls if you have one person doing the rolling and the other doing the frying. That is how fast this stage goes. I try to do only enough for that meal; although I do freeze them if there are left overs in my seal a meal, they become a bit mushy when reheated.
I serve them with my warmed homemade pepper jelly. While I have never done so, I bet that a small chunk of jalapeno pepper stuffed in the middle of the ball would be off the chain in these! And yes, we love the hot stuff around our house!