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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