Croquettes of the World: Italy

I love potatoes! They are versatile and since they have such a neutral taste, they really act as a blank flavor canvas for your to play with. So inspired by ‘The Opener’ showing on the Asian Food Channel (AFC), where David Adjey had a brillant twist on hot wings, I will try to create croquettes with tastes from around the world. This is my take on croquettes using some of my fav Italian flavors – Sun Dried Tomatoes and Salami

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4 medium potatoes (I like the Yukon Gold Variety for croquettes)
  • 4 whole pieces of sun dried tomatoes
  • 8 thin slices of salami (any variety)
  • Paprika
  • Basil (fresh or dried)
  • Garlic powder

Getting it Done!

  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly, leaving the skin on
  2. Cut away the portions which cannot be cleaned and quarter the potatoes
  3. POWER TIP: When making mashed potatoes and croquettes, steam rather than boil the potatoes. This retains maximum flavor and nutrients.
  4. Steam for 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft enough such that a fork can be inserted with little resistance
  5. Roughly dice the salami and sun dried tomatoes, set aside separately
  6. Over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil into a pan
  7. When the oil starts to smoke, add the salami and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to crisp
  8. Add the sun dried tomatoes, fry until fragrant, turn off the heat adding 2-3 pinches of salt, freshly ground black pepper, dried basil, paprika and garlic powder
  9. Add the the steamed potatoes directly into the pan, toss with the ingredients and mash thoroughly using a masher
  10. POWER TIP: The longer you leave it, the more time potatoes have to truly absorb all the flavors
  11. Set aside in a bowl and leave for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight if possible in a covered container
  12. Set aside 2 grated handfuls of your favorite cheese into a bowl
  13. Place 1 spoonful of the potato into your palm and roll into a ball
  14. Make a dent in the center, fill with cheese before folding the potato back over the cheese and set aside
  15. Place corn flour, a whole beaten egg and Japanese breadcrumbs into 3 separate bowls
  16. into a heavy bottom pot or pan, place 4-5cm depth of oil (palm, peanut or corn works best for deep frying) and bring to 180 Celsius over medium heat (Or when it bubbles rapidly when a wooden chopstick is placed)
  17. Coat every patty in this sequence before adding to the oil: flour, egg and breadcrumbs
  18. Do not over crowd, leaving space in between each patty
  19. Fry for about 90 seconds each side (or until golden brown) before turning over and frying for another 90 seconds
  20. Remove, drain off the excess oil on paper towels and place on a drying rack to cool before serving
  21. Done!
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