Potato Croquettes (Crocchette di Patate)

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perfectly fried crocchette ready to consume

Don’t tell my wife but I had a secret lover on my wedding day.  That’s right, in addition to my beautiful wife I secretly adored the Potato Croquettes (Crocchette di Patate) that were being served at our party!  The potato croquettes were made with a mashed potato filling, stuffed with cubes of fresh mozzarella, and breaded with fresh breadcrumbs, dried oregano, and finely chopped parsley.  Thereafter, the croquettes were deep fried and served piping hot.  The restaurant where we held our wedding reception served the crocchette as a side to the main course, but I would have had 6-7 of the delicate croquettes with a few glasses of Ciro as my main meal.

While I adored the crocchette made for our wedding, I always prefer making the real deal at home (even if it does include frying and messing up the kitchen; I’m with Jacque Pepin here, the only thing I hate about cooking is the cleanup!).  The following is my crocchette di patate recipe.  Serve the crocchette as an appetizer with a few cocktails or as a side with wild salmon of dry aged sirloin.

Let’s start with the ingredients:

Potato Croquettes (Crocchette di Patate)
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Recipe type: Appetizer, Side Dish
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
  • 2lbs of Idaho Potatoes (you’ll be baking these as the process nicely eliminates the moisture in the potatoes and makes for a better frying experience)
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (crushed and minced finely)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of fresh breadcrumbs

Process
  1. Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Next, scoop out the interior of the potatoes and mash them with a potato masher (don’t use an electric mixer as you’ll develop too much gluten in the potatoes).
  3. Move the mashed potatoes into a bowl and add Parmigiano-Reggiano, eggs, 1 tablespoon homemade breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Mix the ingredients and scoop approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture into your hand and shape the potatoes into an oblong shape (similar to the photo above); you can add some cubed Mozzarella at this point, if you’d like).
  5. Finally, role the individual croquettes in the remaining breadcrumb (very lightly) and fry your croquettes in your preferred oil (I use canola). You can season the remaining breadcrumbs with a bit of salt, pepper, and dried oregano prior to rolling your crocchette.
  6. You can also use a deep fryer to cook the crocchette, but I simply fill a large sautee pan with about an inch of vegetable oil and/or olive oil (just enough to cover the crocchette). Fry the croquettes until golden and serve hot!

Notes
Serve the crocchette as an appetizer with a few cocktails or as a side with wild salmon of dry aged sirloin.

notice the crunchy exterior without using too much breadcrumb; the potato should be king here and not the breadcrumb

three generation of crocchette makers: from left to right, my mother, great grandmother, and grandmother. the photo was taken on Via Nazionale in the early 1960's

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  • http://my-bellavita.com Cherrye at My Bella Vita

    I *love* crocchette but I didn’t know they were Calabrese. That’s even more reason to love them! :-)

  • http://www.scordo.com Vincent Scordo

    Hi Cherrye,
    Each region probably has their own version of the basic crocchette di patate, this is the version I grew up with (hence the Calabrese designation!).
    Best,
    Vince

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  • Martha Cavanagh

    Oh….these look beautiful. will have to save this recipe. I want a few of these NOW!

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  • Robyn Hammond

    I know what I am making for supper tonight!

    • scordo

      Robyn, this is one of our favorites, as well. I won’t embarrass myself by telling you how many I can eat in one sitting!

      Enjoy.

      Vince

  • Tonino Molinaro

    Vincent, I nearly cried when I saw your picture of your mother, grandmother and great grandmother. That is because I know what mine went through back in the old country. No luxuries at all. Hard work every day just to put food on the table. My nonna was a saint who never complained about life. Most of today’s generation have no idea about what hard work really is.

    • http://www.scordo.com/ Scordo.com

      Tonino, thanks for your comment. Hard work is a must in any generation / life time!

  • marilyn

    Sounds SO delicious..I can’t wait for Xmas to make them………….Love the photo of your Family..you would be the 4th Generation, right??

  • jen

    My grandmother called them ‘polpetta’, and made them with potatoes, white rice, parmesan, garlic and extra-extra parsley. She formed them into oval patties. So good.

    I made some tonight without the breadcrumbs because I am on a wheat-free diet. I also used an abundance of minced leeks instead of garlic, and they were still great.

    • http://www.scordo.com/ Scordo.com

      Hi Jen, yes, I’ve heard them referred to as polpetta (my mother also uses rice and potatoes). Your version sounds great.

    • http://www.scordo.com/ Scordo.com

      Hi Jen, yes, I’ve heard them referred to as polpetta (my mother also uses rice and potatoes). Your version sounds great.

  • riknarf

    Can’t wait to try this, just like my dad makes. So garlic goes in with the potato mixture and would likely need much more that 3 Tb breadcrumbs for rolling.

    • http://www.scordo.com/ Scordo.com

      I’ll update the 3 tb breadcrumb error, should be 3 cups! Give them a shot, you’ll love it!

  • jojomadonna

    How come every time I fried them they break? I tried putting them in the frig and just leaving me with breadcrumbs before frying but they still break. Help!!

    • http://www.scordo.com/ Scordo.com

      so sorry you’re having problems. it sounds like it’s a moisture thing, what kind of potatoes are you using?