Potato Croquettes & Herb Aioli

Serves 4

Biting into crunchy deep-fried croquettes with a lush garlic and parmesan potato filling, dipped in a lemony herb aioli, is the best. It makes for a delish vegetarian meal, complete with a green salad.

TIPS – My first tip on making croquettes is to cook and crush your potatoes right. This step can make or break the recipe as soggy or over-whisked potato will be too soft and you’ll never be able to create nice firm ‘patties’ for crumbing. Unfortunately regular mashed potato or blitzed potato just isn’t firm enough to hold it’s shape so you definitely have to resist the urge to throw your spuds in the thermie. I have found it is best to use red or purple skinned potatoes as they are slightly more waxy and have a better texture for this purpose. Boil your potatoes (whole and unpeeled) until very well cooked and then allow them to steam dry for a few minutes. While still hot you want to push the spuds though a potato ricer, resulting in crushed potato that is still nice and firm. I always allow it to cool before gently folding in the rest of the ingredients. I let it get cold in the fridge before I form the croquette shapes, then chill again before crumbing.

My next tip is about deep-frying. Use a candy thermometer and heat your oil to 180 degrees Celsius for cooking. At this temperature the croquettes will brown nicely on the outside and be cooked through to the centre.

To make these gluten free, you can use gluten free flour and crumb with gluten free breadcrumbs or polenta.

You can change up the flavour of the croquettes by adding in other ingredients such as capers, Dijon mustard or Goats cheese.

Ingredients

Potato Croquettes

1 kg potatoes (such as Ruby Lou)

6 cloves confit garlic (to confit, drizzle with EVOO, wrap in alfoil and cook at 150 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until soft)

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 cup finely grated parmesan or Romano cheese

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp finely cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp salt, (pls extra to taste)

plain flour, 4 eggs, lightly beaten and panko crumbs, for crumbing

neutral oil such as sunflower, canola or grapeseed, for deep-frying

Herb Aioli

300 ml whole egg mayonnaise (home-made is best)

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs. Use a combo of parsley, basil, coriander, dill & chives.

2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, crushed or very finely grated

cracked black pepper and salt, to taste

To serve

Robust green salad of leaves, blanched greens such as beans, peas, snow peas, broccolini and maybe some shaved fennel. Dress with salt, pepper, lemon juice and EVOO.

Method

Potato Croquettes

To make the croquettes, first place the whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat and continue to boil for up to an hour, or until a knife very easily pierces them. Drain, then allow them to steam dry for a few minutes in the colander.

Push the potatoes through a potato ricer. Place in the fridge and cool completely for an hour or two. The potatoes can be refrigerated overnight at this stage.

Place the confit garlic, melted butter, grated cheese, lemon juice, peppers and salt in with the potato. Gently fold through until evenly mixed.

Form the potato into little patties in your desired shape and size. The tradtional croquette shape is a cylinder. You can make large croquettes as in this recipe or make smaller, snack or finger food-sized bites.

If you have time, allow the croquette patties to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before crumbing. Otherwise you can crumb them straight away, you just have to be gentle.

Take one croquette and dust completely with flour. Dip in the egg, to coat all over. Finally, roll in the panko crumbs. Repeat with all the croquettes, arranging in one layer on a tray. At this stage, the croquettes can be stored in the fridge overnight or frozen for u to a month or two. Just be sure to defrost in the fridge before deep-frying.

Heat the oil to 180 degrees Celsius on a candy thermometer. Deep-fry the croquettes in batches until golden brown on the outside and hot in the centre.

Herb Aioli

Mix all the ingredients together and store in the fridge, covered, for up to 24 hours before serving.

To serve

Serve the freshly cooked Potato Croquettes with a generous spoon or three of the Herb Aioli and a green salad, as suggested.