Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Papas Rellenas - Cuban potato croquetas

There used to be a dance studio in Helsinki specialized in Latin dance. Upstairs there was a Cuban restaurant. In the name of quality time, doing things together and trying new things I booked The Gentleman an me a private lesson from the hottest dance teacher in the city. My not-so-hidden agenda? Lunch at the restaurant after the dance lesson (and after all those thousands of burned calories)  - the croquetas I had spotted on the menu looked so good.

We never got around to that lesson. Or that lunch. But luckily I became a food blogger, through which I got around to following other food blogs as a result of which I came across this recipe on a fellow Finnish blog that originally comes from The Candid Appetite- blog. All is well that ends well. Well, all is well that ends with deep-frying.

Instead of the mince meat mixture used in the original recipe I used these to nestle some of those Spanish sausages I always bring back and cherish and save for special occasions. Depending on your taste you can use any fresh sausage you like. I'd recommend using a fairly spicy variety, like Italian sausage I used for this pasta and that minestrone. Or a nice chorizo. For this recipe I used 2 big ones, the total weight being around 150 g.

Effectively these are just a stuffed take on the potato croquettes, so any instructions given in that post are still valid now. Though I did learn a couple of useful lessons. When making the mash, you really don't want to add any butter or oil and you really want to let the balls rest for long enough before frying. Both tips keep the croquettes firm which in turn means they'll stay that way even when frying.





This recipe makes 18 croquettes

Croquettes:

1 kg potatos
1 tbsp hot milk
1 generous tbsp finely chopped parsley (dried works fine)
salt, white pepper

2 large spicy sausages

The bread crumb coating:

all purpose flour
2 eggs
bread crumbs (around 3 dl)

Oil for frying

Peel the potatos and cook them in sated , boiling water until done. Steam until dry - that helps keep the mash fluffy as opposed to gloopy. Mash (I like potato ricer as that too helps the mash to get the right consistency. Add milk, season with salt, pepper and parsley and let cool.

Squeeze the sausages out of their casings and roll into even sized balls - a little larger than a grape. Fry on a pan until cooked through and let cool. Then, using a spoon (or an ice-cream scoop!) take even sized portions of the potato mash, flattening it onto your palm (at this point I rant out of hands so no photos - sorry!) into a disc and place a sausage-meatball in the middle of it. Fold the potato mixture around the ball and smooth into a ball.







Then toss the ball in flour, then in the beaten eggs and then coat them in bread crumbs. Let rest in the fridge (preferably overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours). Heat the oil to 180° and fry in batches, a couple of balls at a time. Keep monitoring the temperature of the oil before each batch. Drain on kitchen towels and serve with either alioli or a sprinkling of lemon juice.

This time I made the alioli with roasted garlic. And the mayonnaise so came from the shop.

Alioli:

2,5 dl mayonnaise
4-6 roasted garlic cloves (depending on your palate and their size)
a couple of tsp lemon juice
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt, pepper

Combine ingredients and serve with the croquetas.








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