I have a weakness for almost anything deep fried. Now I know it’s not particularly healthy, which is why I don’t do it very often. But, there are some recipes where you just can’t substitute the deep frying with baking…it doesn’t get the same results. Here’s one such recipe- Croquettes.
Wether you know the dish as ‘croquettes’, ‘kroketten’, ‘krokett’, ‘korokke’, ‘kroket’, ‘aloo tikki’, ‘aloo/alu chop’ or ‘croqueta’ , croquettes are essentially a small deep fried food roll, a version of which is prominent in most cuisines imaginable around the world.
Croquettes are typically made with either potatoes or béchamel sauce (known as cream croquettes) as its base. Other than that, it can have a varied combination of other ingredients including meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, soaked bread, milk, egg, herbs and spices as part of the filling. It is then shaped different shapes the most popular being a cylindrical disk, then breaded (breadcrumbs are common for the crunch factor) and deep fried.
My version today, is Tuna Potato Croquettes. Simply because I always have cans of Tuna in my pantry. Although it can be a lot of work to make these melt-in-your-mouth balls of heaven, I think it’s totally worth the effort and time cos of a number of reasons. And here’s why you should try it out for yourself.
1. It doesn’t take a bunch of fancy ingredients to make- potatoes, cans of tuna, onion, eggs, breadcrumbs, seasonings and oil. All of which you probably have in your house right now.
2. It’s inexpensive to make. Plus, my recipe below makes at least 40 round croquettes. That’s a lot of croquettes, but don’t worry if you think that’s too many because…
3. You can freeze and store the croquettes unfried until you’re ready to eat them. So it’s a great make ahead dish. Perfect for a mid day snack or a party appetizer.
4. Even if you happen to fry one too many, you can refrigerate them and the next day spread them out on a baking sheet and crisp them back up in the oven again. See, you don’t have to worry about having a soggy breaded snack if there are leftovers.
5. Lastly, they are amazingly delicious and not to mention addictive. That coating is delicate yet crunchy and bursts with the creamy potato tuna filling. It really does just melt in your mouth… mmmmm.
I have to constantly remind my self to only fry up small batches at a time, cos I can’t stop eating them. “Just one more…” is what I end up telling myself if you leave a plate in front of me. Anyway, enough with all the talk of how good they are. I’ll let you try them out for yourself…
3 Large Potatoes
3-4 tbsp Butter
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 (5oz) cans of Tuna
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup of grated cheese
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 Cup Bread crumbs
Oil for deep frying
– Start by peeling and chopping 3 large potatoes and boil them in well salted water until tender and mashable.
– Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
– While they’re still hot, add 3-4 tablespoons of butter and mash the potatoes up well.
– Then add the garlic powder and season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper according to your taste.
– Now add 2 cans of tuna (I prefer white chunks Tuna), the very finely chopped onion, parsley and the cheese. Mash it all well together with the potatoes.
– Once the potatoes are slighly cooler add an egg and stir it in well.
– Using a heaping tablespoon for approximate measurement, form little balls of the mix between your hands and place them on the baking sheet lined with wax paper. Then place them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. This will help them harden slighly making them them easier to handle.
– In the meantime, you can set up a breading station. In 3 shallow bowls, pour out some flour, 2 beaten eggs and breadcrumbs respectively. Season all three with salt and pepper. I even added a tablespoon on paprika to my flour and used a mix of Italian style breadcrumbs specked with herbs and plain panko breadcrumps for more texture.
– Coat the tuna potato balls first in the flour and dust off any excess, then dip them in the beaten eggs until completely coated on all sides then lastly coat them in the breadcrumb mix.
– Pack the breadcrumbs well into the tuna potato balls. At this stage you can freeze the croquettes on the tray and once they are frozen transfer them to a zip loack baggy or freezer dish and they won’t stick together until you’re ready to fry them.
– Or you can fry them up immediately. Simply deep fry them in small batches without over crowding the pan, in hot vegetable/canola oil until they turn a nice golden brown. Place the croquettes on paper towels to drain any excess oil.
– As tempting as it is to eat them piping hot, from experience I’d suggest you let them cool a little before trying it.
– They really are divine, with a crunchy coating and delicately soft, melt in your mouth mashed potato and tuna filling. You really can’t stop eating them!