As we wrapped up round one last week, I hinted that I was considering going in a very different direction when I made my round two croquettes. Before I even made the first round, my immediate thoughts on how I might change them included adding different types of cheese and herbs and perhaps even something like crumbled bacon. When round one was finished and I took a taste, the hint of sweetness that came from the sugar kept pulling me away from my original thoughts and in a new direction and so, the idea of making rice pudding croquettes was born!
I immediately came up with ideas about the changes that would be needed – increase the sugar, cut the salt and replace it with vanilla, remove the parsley and replace it with cinnamon and of course, swap out the bread crumbs for graham cracker crumbs.
With the ingredient list in place, my next thought was that I needed to find a way to speed up the whole process. It didn’t take long for me to decide that the double boiler needed to go. It is a perfectly fine kitchen tool, but for this recipe, it just made an already long process take even longer. Between ousting the double boiler and using microwave rice again, I was sure to be done more quickly in round two.
I decided that in order to use a regular pot, I would need to increase the amount of milk. The gentle cooking that comes from using a double boiler was no doubt employed to prevent the egg from cooking as you heated it with the rice until it thickened. By adding more milk in a 1 to 1 ratio, 1 cup of milk to 1 egg which is the basis for the most simple of custards, you end up with a mixture that will thicken, but not turn into scrambled eggs. The idea worked pretty well and to increase the thickness even more to make the croquettes easier to form, I also added a bit of corn starch to the recipe.
So how did they taste? Pretty much like rice pudding with a graham cracker crust! They were flavorful and enjoyable both warm and cold. My wife liked them warm the best and my wonderful 6 year old son who hadn’t ever tasted rice pudding before also paid me a compliment – he told me his favorite part was the whipped cream from the can. I always tell him that it’s ok not to like all of daddy’s creations and that his honest opinions are helpful when writing my blog, but his kind little heart still always tries to say something nice anyway.
When all was said and done, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would ever make them again even though the recipe was successful. Despite tasting good, because they tasted like rice pudding, why not just make rice pudding instead and skip all of the extra steps needed to form them into croquettes? Perhaps if you had a rice pudding loving crowd, this would be a fun way to serve it and maybe even be a bit of a conversation starter. Even though it may not be a recipe that I go to often in the future, I do enjoy the fun and challenge of trying to create something new. Here is the recipe if you would like to give it a try!
Rice Pudding Croquettes
- 1 cup rice (2 cups cooked)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Graham cracker crumbs to roll formed croquettes in
Prepare the rice as you normally would and then place the cooked rice in a medium pan and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. Whisk 1 egg and 1 cup of milk together well until it becomes a bit foamy and add it to the pot with the cooked rice along with the butter, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, dissolve the corn starch in 1 tablespoon of milk and set aside.
Bring the the mixture slowly to a boil over medium heat and then lower the heat to simmer and continue to cook until the mixture begins to thicken. approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the corn starch to the pot and continue to heat over a medium heat for another 2 to 3 minutes – the mixture will become quite thick during this step.
Allow the rice mixture to cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Beat together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon of milk, form the rice mixture into croquettes approximately 2 inches in size, dip in egg and then graham cracker crumbs. When all the croquettes have been formed, sauté them in butter until they are golden brown on both sides and serve.
Now I’ll punt the croquette over to Karen to see how her second round went!
First let me say that Ray’s use of microwave rice in round one was totally cheating! Although I don’t suppose we made an official agreement about this, I do take into consideration what Grandma might have had or not had at her disposal when making these recipes. For round two though, there are no limitations. I know Ray won’t agree with me, but for the purposes of this blog, I am getting the last word in this week!
Reading the first sentence of Ray’s entry this week made me a little bit nervous! You see, I ended up going in the direction he first mentions. I made Loaded Rice Croquettes. He had me sweating there. I felt like he had hinted that he was going sweet, so I knew the savory lane should be wide open to me. There were many directions I could go in, but to be honest this was a busy week in our household and I didn’t know what I was going to do until last night. My youngest son graduated from high school yesterday, and the round two croquettes kept getting pushed to the back burner. We had our first meal out last night since the beginning of the pandemic and as I was sampling my husband’s truly wonderful rosemary garlic mashed potatoes, it instantly came to me what to make. There isn’t rosemary or garlic in the croquettes I made, but it solidified in my mind to use what I already had in my kitchen and that a loaded baked potato would be my starting point.
My approach was determined last week after so much work and the disaster zone that was my kitchen. I had already decided that my trusty rice cooker would get utilized and that my air fryer feature on my new range would come into play, especially after the fried food scents from last week lingered in the air much too long.
Air Fryer Loaded Rice Croquettes
- 3 cups cooked white rice
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP chopped garlic chives
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup bacon bits
- 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 eggs
- all purpose flour
- neutral oil spray
Cook rice per your usual method. 1 cup of rice plus 2 cups of water will yield 3 cups of cooked rice. Dice butter into smaller pieces and add to rice while still warm. Stir to evenly distribute butter. Let rice cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes. At this point season rice with salt and pepper to taste. Add chives, bacon bits and shredded cheese to evenly distribute. Beat 2 eggs and mix into rice mixture. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes in order to make croquettes easier to form. Meanwhile, set up station for making croquettes. A plate of flour, a bowl with the remaining 2 eggs (beaten) and a plate of breadcrumbs. Once rice mixture is cooled, form into balls the size of a billiard ball, roll with flour, dip into beaten egg mixture then roll with breadcrumbs. Spray with oil and air fry at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes or until center reads 160 degrees.
This was served with a simple crema created by combining 1/4 cup of sour cream with salt and pepper to taste and adding 1 tsp of water and mixing to create a dipping sauce consistency.
Here are my thoughts on this dish… It was pretty good and not difficult at all! My focus group (family) liked them! I think I could easily add more cheese or even different types of cheese and I might have been just a touch shy with the oil sprayer, but overall, I’m quite pleased with this dish and will definitely be making/tweaking more in the future. This was my first time using the air fryer feature on my range, but won’t be my last. Besides being easier and tasting better than last week’s adventure, the kitchen was not a disaster when I finished which may be the best thing of all!