TIP OF THE DAY: Potato Croquettes Turn Ordinary Potatoes Into Treasure-Filled Treats | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures TIP OF THE DAY: Potato Croquettes Turn Ordinary Potatoes Into Treasure-Filled Treats | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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TIP OF THE DAY: Potato Croquettes Turn Ordinary Potatoes Into Treasure-Filled Treats

Stuffed potato croquettes. Photo by AJA
Photo | IST.
  Last night, Chef Johnny Gnall made potato croquettes for dinner. He liked them so much, he made them a Tip Of The Day. His report follows. If you have questions or suggestions for tips, email Chef Johnny.

Potatoes are a food known for their versatility, a good staple to have around. They pair well with virtually any protein, from ribeye to halibut, and can be cooked however you like: boiled, braised, fried or roasted.

But beyond their role as a go-anywhere side, these ubiquitous tubers can be made into a dough.

You’re probably familiar with gnocchi, the Italian dumplings whose dough is made up of potatoes and flour. But did you know you that can hold the flour (great for those who want to avoid gluten) and create a dough out of just potatoes?

With a little patience and bit of whatever ingredients you have lying around, you can turn simple boiled potatoes into stuffed potato croquettes, with the crunch of fries, the softness of mashed potatoes and a delicious “surprise.”

They impress when served with a special-occasion main dish such as rack of lamb, and they’re also a treat with everyday meals.

How To Make Potato Croquettes

1. Peel the potatoes. Figure that one large russet potato will give you roughly two croquettes. Russets are tried and true for this recipe, but there’s no reason you can’t use whatever potatoes you have lying around (check out the different types of potatoes). Once your potatoes are knife-tender (meaning they are soft enough to stick a knife into with no resistance), run them through a food mill, just as you would if you were going to make mashed potatoes.

2. Put the mashed potato “fluff” back into a pot. Continue to cook for another few minutes at medium heat to eliminate as much moisture as you can. Stir constantly to prevent the potatoes from burning (lower the heat if you begin to see brown), but the more moisture you can take out now, the easier the next step will be.

3. Shape the croquettes. Once you’ve dried out the potato fluff, cool it down just enough so that you can handle it without burning yourself (feel free to use gloves if you have sensitive hands). In the palm of a cupped hand, press about a half cup of potato fluff to form an open pocket roughly a half-inch thick. Gently press 2-3 tablespoons of filling into the pocket, then cover with more fluff. Use both hands to gently form the croquette into as even and round a shape as you can (perfect spheres are not necessary, and oblong or somewhat cylindrical shapes work well). Your finished product should be the size of a large egg.

This technique will probably take a little bit of practice. The key is pressing hard enough to compact the croquette into a stable, solid piece, but not so hard that it cracks or squashes. Pay close attention to how the croquettes behave as you apply pressure, so that you can learn to squeeze them just right. If you ever made snowballs as a child, you’ll have a head start on this process!

It may also help to work on a floured surface (all-purpose flour is ideal, but if you need to go gluten-free you can use rice flour), and use a bit of flour to keep your hands dry, in case there is excess moisture in the potato fluff. Just don’t go overboard and start smothering them in flour.


4. Fry the croquettes. Once you have assembled the croquettes, fill a pot with frying oil high enough so that the croquettes can be completely submerged, plus about a half-inch more. (I prefer rice bran oil due to its high smoke point.) Heat the oil to around 375°F, then gently drop in the first croquette.

  • It’s always a good idea to do a tester when deep frying to help give you a sense of how long the process will take.
  • What you’re looking for is golden-brown and crispy all over the surface of your croquette, which will probably take between 3-5 minutes.
  • Once you’ve had a successful tester, fry 3-6 croquettes at a time; overloading the pot will drop your oil temperature, as well as make it hard to move your croquettes around without breaking them apart… so don’t do that.
  • Try to leave the croquettes alone for the most part, stirring gently every minute or so. When they’re golden-brown and crispy delicious, carefully remove them with a slotted spoon or a spider strainer, and rest them on paper towels.
    Photo by Deramaenrama | Wikimedia.
  • Season the croquettes liberally with salt and a little pepper as soon as they’re on the paper towels; doing so while your croquettes are still hot will help the salt and pepper to stick.

    5. Serve immediately.
    Serve the croquettes as soon as possible so that you don’t lose the crispiness; eat carefully, as they’ll be piping hot! If you’re at a loss for filling inspiration, try one of the suggestions below; once you master the technique, however, you can fill your croquettes with whatever you want!

    Fill Your Croquettes

  • American. Start with a nod to the good old US of A! Try diced, cooked bacon, grated Cheddar cheese, sour cream and chopped chives.
  • French. Go French with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, gruyere and fresh thyme.
  • Indian. Go Indian with golden raisins, chopped cashews, paneer (or fresh farmer’s cheese), sautéed spinach and half a teaspoon of curry powder.
  • Mexican. Go Mexican with cooked, crumbled chorizo, diced raw white onion, cojita cheese and fresh cilantro.
  • Spanish. Go Spanish with roasted red pepper, sautéed yellow onion & garlic, chopped almonds, a half teaspoon of paprika and a few drops of sherry vinegar.
    Find more of our favorite potato recipes.

    And let us know how you enjoy those croquettes.


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