Croquettes (A Non-Crockpot Adventure)

Since it is the New Year, I decided to branch out from just using the crockpot. I have done some non-crockpot dishes before, but this is the first one that I have done which required refrigeration, molding and frying. This recipe for croquettes (which I had never heard about before, but who doesn’t love fried cheese) proved to be one that perhaps I should have saved until I had a few non-crockpot recipes under my belt.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 large Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 skim milk
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt (this replaced the sour cream)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp gluten free flour
  • pepper for taste
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 5 slices of gluten free bread
  • 5 oz of gruyere
  • Canola Oil (enough to deep fry in)

To begin, I washed, peeled and cut up the potatoes and then put them into a steamer. I am back in California right now, and to be honest I had no idea how to steam my potatoes until my mother brought out a steamer device. This device is not the device that you use to steam clothing (that was what I first thought of), but a metal piece that you put into a pot so that the item needing steaming sits right above boiling water.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ab5/63708718/files/2015/01/img_1197.jpgThis contraption blew my mind/ I know that if I tried to make this in my own kitchen I would be lacking this very important kitchen utensil.

While the potatoes became soft from steaming, I combined the milk, Greek yogurt, butter, salt, flour, pepper, and gluten free flour in a bowl. Once the potatoes were soft, I mashed them up with the other ingredients and then put the bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes. The whole thought process behind this move was that the recipe called for the bowl to sit for an hour in the fridge, but we were short on time, so 30 minutes in the freezer should work. Wrong. Faulty logic at work here. After 30 minutes the dough had not congealed at all. So after 15 more minutes, I took out the mixture and added about 1/2 cup of cornstarch. The addition of the cornstarch proved to be somewhat helpful but the mixture was not combining in a way that would make it easy to work with, so back in the fridge it went for 15 minutes.

While the “dough” was back in the fridge, I cut up the cheese into 1/2 oz pieces/small rectangles that I could form the dough around to make into cylinder croquettes. Then I made my own version of breadcrumbs by putting pieces of gluten free bread through the food processor. The food processor still provides me with some difficulty, but luckily this one only has three settings – on, off, pulse, so I just kept it on and let the food processor do its job.

I brought the dough back out, and it was still not in a solid enough form. I think there were many reasons for this fail. Gluten helps to keep mixtures together and this croquette was gluten free, so lacking the necessary elements to make the dough more solid. Secondly, I don’t think I mashed the potatoes enough, so there were chunks of potato that also made it so difficult to thinks to bond together. Thirdly, I should have put the mixture in the fridge not the freezer like the recipe actually said – so much for trying to take short cuts.

Because the dough was not really dough, but more a mess of a mixture making the croquettes into cylinders just did not happen. I was able to put dough around pieces of cheese and then I put them back in the freezer for 15 minutes to help form more of a croquette shape. Because my mixture was so sticky, I placed the “croquettes” on wax paper before putting them back in the freezer. This was the smartest move of the whole cooking process for this recipe, because when it came to dunking the croquettes in eggs and then breadcrumbs before deep-frying them, the croquettes came right off the wax paper.

To deep fry the croquettes, I brought oil to a boil on our stove and then would dunk in the croquettes. This aspect seemed very straight forward, but somehow I managed to not have enough oil so I had to flip my croquettes halfway through the deep-frying process. Because I have never attempted to deep-fry anything before, let me tell you that when you drop something into oil, it likes to retaliate and jump back at you. Many times when I put the croquettes into the oil or tried to flip them, I was doing so from an arms length away as to not get burned or what I have no deemed as “hot oil’s fire spits” on me. Many of my croquettes came out burned because I was trying so hard to not get burned and because I had no idea how little time an item needs in oil to deep-fry. In case one was wondering how long that is – it is not long at all. But as I made more, they became less and less burned because I understood that each croquette did not need much time. The solution to this problem of the burnt croquettes – more oil so the whole croquette is submerged, not just one side.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ab5/63708718/files/2015/01/img_1199.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ab5/63708718/files/2015/01/img_1198.jpg

Review:

The recipe suggested that you serve these with a dip, but I served these with my mother’s dinner of Teriyaki salmon, broccoli and a salad and the croquettes paired well with the salmon because it had a flavor to it while the croquettes did not. Next time I serve this, I will be sure to include a dip or a topping to make it more interesting.

Overall, I would not make this recipe again, because of the fact that the dough never hardened enough to really work with. When I read the recipe the first time (and yes I said read the recipe before doing it), the author made it sound sooo simple. Lies. This was not easy. This was a war in the kitchen with hot oil fire spits, dough that just didn’t want to harden up, and the outcome was a bland deep fried concoction.  I will probably try this again because it was such a challenge, but this is not one for beginners.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: I have no idea, my mother bought everything. You’ve got to love the Holidays!
  • Total Time: 15 minutes steaming, 2 hours in the freezer/prep, 15 minutes deep frying – 2.5 hrs
  • Serving Size: 18 croquettes
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