Potato Croquettes

Ingredients

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 eggs, separated
1 whole egg
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
Canola or vegetable oil for deep frying

Directions

Makes 60 Croquettes - Serves 12

Put the potatoes and garlic into a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are so soft they will break with pressure from the back of a spoon.

Drain the potatoes and garlic, return to the pan and mash until smooth. Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, cheese, parsley and 2 egg yolks and mix well, using a sturdy wooden spoon or electric mixer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Mix the whole egg with the whites from the separated eggs in a shallow bowl. Place the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Set both aside.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place 4-6 inches of oil in a deep fryer or heavy deep saucepan set over medium heat and heat to 370 degrees. (Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature. If you don't have a thermometer, heat until a sprinkle of bread crumbs dropped into the oil begins to color within seconds.)

While the oil is heating, shape 1 tablespoon measures of the mashed potatoes into football shaped ovals. Roll each oval in the beaten egg mixture and then roll in the bread crumbs. Place on baking sheet until ready to fry.

When the oil is hot, carefully add 4 to 5 potato ovals to the oil, cooking until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the croquettes to a paper towel-lined tray. Keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining croquettes. Serve immediately.



Chef's Tip: The variety of flavoring ingredients that can be added to the potato croquettes is limited only by your imagination. Here are a few of my favorites:

Add 3/4 cup very finely chopped ham to the potato mixture.

Add 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms that have been softened in 1 cup hot water for 30 minutes, drained and finely chopped and 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary. Omit the parsley.

Add 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil and 6 tablespoons chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Omit the parsley.

Wine Suggestion: Semillion-Chardonnay