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Christmas Croquettes

Getting ready for the Christmas feast tomorrow!

This is a great recipe if you want to use up leftover mash potato but I made a huge pot of mash potato today on purpose so that I could have a go at making croquettes ahead of time for Christmas dinner tomorrow.

For the regular mash potato I never skimp on the butter.  I also added lashings of black pepper, parsley and a good dollop of minced garlic.  Oh, and a secret ingredient … a teaspoon of powdered wasabi …

I had a huge bag of red potatoes to use up so I basically kept peeling and chopping until my large jam pan was almost full.  I used about a third of the mashed potato for the croquettes and have portioned the rest into takeaway containers and popped them in the freezer for another day.  Sometimes I use it to top leftover chili to make a Shepherd’s pie but today I wanted to have enough mash leftover to make some curried pasties.  More on that another time …

I was feeling nostalgic again today.  Croquettes was one of my mum’s specialties when we were growing up as kids and I loved them.  I don’t recall having them at Christmas time but I did put a kind of Christmas twist on this recipe.

If you have never tried croquettes before then you have missed out! It’s pretty much a potato dumpling, rolled in breadcrumbs, deep or shallow fried and served as a side dish or a snack. The word ‘croquette’ is French, derived from croquer  which means ‘to crunch’ which is exactly what you get when you bite into one, crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside.

For the breadcrumbs, I used a fabulous mix that I buy here in Fort Langley, BC from a place called Cranberries Naturally. Their mix contains ground almonds, sesame seeds, parsley, ground celery, mustard powder, garlic, salt, pepper and of course cranberry powder!

I love this shop and have bought many if not most of their sauces and products. At one point up until recently, they even had their own beauty line which I am still using. However, last year due to the dreaded lurgy that continues to linger they stopped producing that for now. I hope they bring it back.

Anyways, back to croquettes. I decided not to specify quantities in this recipe as it really depends on how much mash you start with. I’ll leave it to your judgement.  But for reference, if you use 2 cups of mashed potato, you will have enough to make approximately 6 croquettes.

I’m also going to assume you are starting with plain mash and so I’ll include all the ingredients I used in case you want to give it a go. As always, go with what you fancy and substitute whatever you desire.  For example, I’m sure this recipe would be absolutely delicious with flaked salmon too.

Oh, a small tip!  Don’t add too many extra ingredients to the mashed potatoes as you will find it doesn’t hold as well when you are trying to shape and roll the croquettes. Be warned, it’s a dirty job … but you may as well do it!

It’s a bit fiddly and time consuming but definitely worth the effort

Ingredients:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Salt & freshly cracked black pepper
  • Minced garlic (or powder)
  • Fresh or dry parsley
  • Wasabi powder to taste
  • Sprinkle of chili flakes if desired
  • Handful of frozen peas
  • Thinly sliced green onions

For the Coating:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ cups fresh breadcrumbs/Panko
  • Your choice of oil for frying (I use Double Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 3 shallow bowls or saucers for rolling

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, mix the mashed potatoes and all the other ingredients together
  • In shallow bowl 1, place some flour and season with salt and pepper
  • In shallow bowl 2, whisk the egg with one tablespoon of water
  • In shallow bowl 3, place 1½ cups breadcrumbs
  • With your hands, form the potato mixture into ¾ x 2 inch logs
  • Roll in the flour, shake off the excess, dip in the egg wash, then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat
  • In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high until hot
  • In batches, fry the croquettes until golden brown on all sides, about two minutes per side
  • Drain on paper towels if required

I’m planning on serving the croquettes with Balmoral Chicken for Christmas dinner tomorrow but I’ve made plenty extra croquettes so we can enjoy them another time as a snack most likely with my Spicy Cranberry Sauce.

Enjoy!

The first batch ready to go into the frying pan

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