Monday, February 18, 2013

Shrimp and Cheddar Croquettes

When Justin and I went to Spain, we ate an inhuman amount of croquettes. Fried potato balls with various flavors like ham and cheese, salt cod, and … well, that was it, actually. Both amazing flavors.

I've made salt cod croquettes while back home — which was successful — and ham/cheese croquettes — which was not so successful. This time, I decided to make an Americana version of this Spanish delicacy: Shrimp and cheddar fried mashed potatoes.

They're crunchy, they're cheesy, they're succulent. Everything you'd want out of a fried ball of mashed potatoes, really.

1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large russet potato
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg
1 tbsp seasoning mix (use your favorite -- I use Soulard Grill mix)
1 lemon, zest and juice

1. Very lightly saute the shrimp in a bit of olive oil. I mean light. Just barely get the outside pink, then take it off the heat. You don't want to cook the shrimp all the way through - it will continue cooking when we fry the croquettes.

See how the center of the shrimp is still translucent? That's what you want.

2. Chop the shrimp roughly.
3. Peel and chop the potato and boil until fork-tender. Run the potato through a ricer in a big bowl to get it nice and smooth.
4. Mix the potato, spices, lemon juice and zest, and potato flakes until thoroughly combined.
5. Toss in the cheese and shrimp.

6. Mix in the egg.

7. Put the mixture in the fridge to firm up for an hour. Then, roll the mixture into little football-shaped croquettes. Lastly, roll the croquettes in some seasoned bread crumbs (no egg wash needed).

8. Pop the croquettes in the freezer/fridge until you're ready to fry.
9. Fry the croquettes for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a wedge of lemon or lime.

Caution: The delicious babies might burn your mouth when you shamelessly stuff them down your throat.


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