From Angie’s Kitchen – Potato Croquettes

Welcome to our 7th edition of Angie’s Kitchen! For those of you that have been following along, you already know the deal. For those of you joining in for the first time, welcome! You can read more about what we do in Angie’s Kitchen here.

It was my turn to pick the recipe, so I reached for my grandma’s book to make my choice. Often I flip through the whole book and look at the recipes to decide which one we should make. This time, I just looked at the little table of contents that my grandma had conveniently included. The recipe for potato croquettes instantly caught my eye. There are very few savory recipes in the book, so we have been using them sparingly, but I decided it was time for one.

I did pause for a moment before making the final decision to go with it. What made me hesitate? My mind flashed back to our adventures with grandma’s rice croquettes. If you read that entry, you may recall the shock we both had during our individual attempts at making them. A seemingly very simple recipe resulted in both of our kitchens looking like some sort of cyclone or freight train had passed through them! Despite the memory of that day, I decided to go forward and hoped that the potato croquettes wouldn’t result in a similar disaster.

Surprises in Angie’s Kitchen can come in many forms. You might find ingredients without exact measurements or very vaguely written procedures that fail to include small details such as what temperature to use, or how long you should bake an item. This time around, I was surprised to find that none of the above was true. Most of the ingredients (cayenne being the one exception) had proper measurements and the procedure, although a bit short, was more than clear.

My one and only surprise this time came in the form of an ingredient. As I mentioned before, I chose the recipe from the table of contents where it was listed as “potato croquettes.” When I turned to the page with the recipe a few days later to see what ingredients were needed, I was surprised to see the slightly different title “nut and potato croquettes.” This certainly wasn’t a big deal or showstopper, I just found it to be an interesting, and perhaps a bit odd, ingredient for potato croquettes!

I went to work on making the recipe, and it was certainly easy enough to follow which was a nice change of pace. While the preparation did require several dishes and cooking utensils, when I was done, I was thankful that my kitchen did not look like the rice croquette disaster!

Potato croquettes

Overall, the flavor was pretty good, and they weren’t bad to eat, but during the taste test I quickly identified a few things that I would like to address in round 2. I felt that they could use a bit more salt than the recipe called for, and also, I found them to be a bit dry.

I will also stand by my first impression that the addition of pecans was an odd choice. They certainly didn’t result in an offensive taste or texture; it was quite the opposite. For us, they didn’t really result in any extra noticeable flavor at all! While I am not 100% certain of the direction I will go in round 2, I do know that I will be eliminating the pecans. I like pecans, but why waste them if you can’t taste them? On that note, I’ll turn this over to Karen to share her experience. Have a great weekend!

Angie’s original recipe

It’s funny, as I was cleaning up my kitchen, a thought occurred to me…. “I wonder if Ray’s kitchen looks as messy as the usual Angie’s Kitchen war zone?” Without any prompting from me, I see that he addressed the subject. My kitchen? It was absolutely destroyed, despite my efforts at mise en place (everything in place) beforehand. I always start with putting some thought into the process, and try to get organized, but I find that about halfway through, something happens and I’m in the weeds. It’s not that anything specific happens. I think it’s just me losing my composure and organization.

For this round, I agree that Angie did give a little more “intel”, but there was one part that made me stop and think. In the list of ingredients she includes the yolk of one egg. She also instructs us to roll the croquette in bread crumbs, dip them in an egg water mixture, then roll them in breadcrumbs once more. That made me wonder. The crumbs aren’t listed in the ingredients, so what about the egg? Was there only one egg yolk involved, or was there another covert egg in play? In the end, I decided there was indeed going to be a second egg in my interpretation as there probably should be some sort of binding ingredient in the croquette, and one egg yolk with a little water likely would not be enough to coat all the croquettes.

I was a little surprised to see the pecans in the croquettes, and did do a double check to ensure that I was on the correct page, but it sounds like I wasn’t as thrown off as Ray!

So, kitchen mess aside, how did the potato croquettes turn out? I would say they were rather successful! The only critique I had was the lack of salt, which squares precisely with Ray’s experience. I did kick myself a little for not tasting as I was preparing the croquettes, but it is a lesson for this recipe that I won’t forget in the future. As for the pecans? I quite liked them. I liked the added texture they provided. My husband Tom had no negative feedback concerning the pecans. My son Ryan? He didn’t notice them at all. He had no idea that there was any nut involved until I mentioned that Ray didn’t care for the pecans. My croquettes were not dry at all, which makes me wonder how Ray used the egg listed in the ingredients and if that made a difference.

The next round? I have all sorts of ideas floating around in my head, but have not settled on any one in particular. I just hope I manage to keep the kitchen fallout to a minimum.

Potato croquettes

One last note. I’m amused at how similarly we styled this dish. There was absolutely no consulting ahead of time, and yet me managed to produce eerily similar photos!

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