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The Monster Mash: Potatoes. October 3, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. The other night, I made some luscious Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, adding some half-and-half, butter, and Trocamare (spicy salt). Now that nights are colder, they’re so good! The problem is, I got a little carried away. Even our friend Ben’s two heaping platefuls didn’t use up all those mashed potatoes. Shiloh got some as a special treat, but I still had leftovers. What to do?

Shepherd’s pie of course came to mind. I make a great vegetarian version with our thick, hearty lentil stew as a base (carrots and onions already included) and the mashed potatoes, topped with dabs of butter and a sprinkling of paprika, spread on top. Only problem is, I’d just given our extra lentil stew to our neighbors.

Hmmm, I thought, time to go explore the wide world of online mashed potato recipes. Well, they’re certainly out there. I found everything from mashed potato soup to mashed potato dumplings to mashed potato omelette and even baked mashed potatoes with eggs cracked into them. There were mashed potato rolls (yum) and a casserole that basically dumped in all the Thanksgiving leftovers, including the green bean casserole and turkey (I think they left out the cranberries, but eeewww).

One recipe really stood out, though, and it was for mashed potato croquettes. Originally published in a different version in the New York Times, the recipe calls for bazillion bowls (this woman clearly had a dishwasher) and piquillo peppers (I had to look them up; turns out they’re a special kind of sweet roasted Spanish pepper). The original version called for diced ham instead of the diced onion, so feel free to use it if you’d rather. And it called for bread crumbs, but of course I have to wonder if Pepperidge Farm herbed stuffing mix, pounded to bread crumb consistency, might not be even more delicious. And what if you substituted cayenne for the smoked paprika? Or fried them in butter instead of oil?! Well, before I get too out of control, here’s the recipe.

               Mashed Potato Croquettes

3 cups mashed potatoes, chilled

2 1/4 cups plain bread crumbs

1/2 large sweet onion (WallaWalla, Vidalia, 1015 or Candy type), diced

1/2 cup piquillo or roasted red pepper, diced small

5 large eggs and 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon salt (we like RealSalt)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 cup all-purpose flour

olive or vegetable oil for frying

Combine potatoes, onion, piquillo or roasted red pepper, 3/4 cup bread crumbs, 1 egg, the egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, mixing well. Place the remaining 4 eggs in a wide, shallow bowl and beat lightly. Place remaining 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs in a second bowl and the flour in a third. Season the bread crumbs with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Form about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture into a 3-inch-long finger, repeating this process until you’ve used up all the potato mixture. Dip each finger first into the flour, tapping off excess, then in the eggs, and finally in the bread crumbs. Transfer all fingers to a baking sheet, cover the sheet with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

To cook the croquettes, heat about 1/4 inch of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the croquettes in batches, turning once, until they’re dark golden brown all over, about 2-3 minutes a side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plates and sprinkle with additional salt. Serve hot.

Makes about 3 dozen croquettes.

Hmmm, I wonder how many people those 3 dozen croquettes would serve? (Assuming you’re talking about normal people and not our friend Ben.) And I also wonder if, like fried mozzarella, they’d lend themselves to a dipping sauce like warm marinara. Speaking of mozzarella, I wonder what would happen if you added shredded cheese to the croquettes? Clearly experimentation is in order!

           ‘Til next time,

                        Silence

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Comments»

1. Lzyjo - October 3, 2009

MMMMMM!!! Oh my, is 8:30 to early to think about potatoes cooked every way under the sun?! I’ve never had croquettes! I was imagining something totally different, like a madeleine made from fluffy mashed potatoes and roasted until golden brown.

Hmmm, interesting idea, Lzyjo! I remember the ever-popular salmon croquettes and occasionally, if memory serves, chicken croquettes from my childhood. Maybe it’s a Southern thing! It’s been a long time since I had a croquette, but I suspect they’re texturally somewhere on the scale between a hush puppy and a madeleine or macaroon, most perhaps like a crab cake, assuming it’s made with a binder along with the crabmeat…

2. Lzyjo - October 3, 2009

oh, I totally loved the monster mash when I was 9 years old. I first heard it during a sleepover at a friend’s house, I remember because I was sleeping on a cot and I jumped up and promptly tripped over a leg in the middle of my friends bed. I fell down landing back on the cot which collapsed, folding up on itself and me and then falling backwards, I was sort of sucked down and backwards until to the cot and my head hit the sliding door! LOL!!!

Ha!!! (Except for the head hitting the sliding door part.) Too classic!!!


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