Sunday, 25 August 2013
Vegan potato croquettes
There's a semi-joke among my friends that my portion control is out of control. I say semi because I think everyone now knows and expects there to always be at least third helpings at any dinner at Casa del Guac, and also because leftovers are no laughing matter, and out of control portions mean a lot of these.
Too much mash is one of my favourite problems to have, which is precisely where a vegan potato croquette starts its life. You can make them from baked potatoes but as I make vegan mashed potatoes with vegetable stock and olive oil, by the next day the mash has usually developed its flavour a little and is perfect for a filing for croquettes.
I chose to add a salad and a wedge of lemon to mine, to cut through the stodge of the potato. But then again, I made this after a sober evening and I think with hungover eyes they'd go equally as well with as many other carbs as you can fit on a plate. Your call.
Makes enough for 4 with other breakfast things or 2 very hungry people!
400g leftover mash potato
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 handfuls of bread crumbs or a hunk of stale bread that has been grated into 2 handfuls' worth
1/2 cup of soy or almond milk
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed potato with the olive oil, paprika and lemon juice, and season to taste. You don't have to add these extra flavours- but I find the paprika is a great match to the smoky fried taste of the breadcrumbs, while the lemon juice freshens it all up a little.
Set aside the potato, and then get to work on your breadcrumbs- I would grate and then use a hand blender to make them extra fine- or if you have a mixer this can sort them out too! I used the stale end of a wholemeal, seeded loaf, and the seeds tasted amazing after they'd gone chewy from being fried, but whatever bread you have in will work well as long as it is a few days old.
Once your breadcrumbs have a fine, even consistency and no major lumps, pour the soy or almond milk in to a dish and arrange so you have the mashed potato ready to go on one side, then the milk, then the breadcrumbs, and a plate to pop all the prepared croquettes on, like a factory line.
Using two tablespoons, shape the potato croquettes into fat rolls and then quickly dip into the milk so they are covered all over. Then roll in the breadcrumbs, making sure the ends are covered. Leave on a plate and start the next croquette. They don't need to be perfect as you can add a few more breadcrumbs to them all once all the potato is used up, just make sure they are firm.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and then wait until the pan is almost smoking hot before frying two or three at a time- any more and they start to bump in to each other and knock the breadcrumbs off. Once the breadcrumbs are totally brown all over, carefully remove and plate up with the rest of your breakfast. I find it easy to make beans in this time but anything else might need a bit more preparation, in which case you could set the croquettes aside and then heat them up in the oven once they're ready to go.