Croquetas de Papa with Chimichurri

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Croquetas are Latin Americas version of croquettes.  Although croquetas can be made from just about anything, standard croquetas usually include potatoes, ham, tuna and cheese. They are very versatile.  This version uses potatoes and cheese because, let’s face it potatoes and cheese make for a superstar pair.  Mashed potatoes are formed into little nuggets, stuffed with cheese, breaded and then fried.  The end result is a crunchy outside with a creeeeeeamy inside.  And what to dip them in?  Well how about some chimichurri.  The fresh herbs really cut through the heaviness of the fried croquettes.  Man oh man these are good.

CROQUETAS:

– 2-3 potatoes;
– ½ teaspoon of garlic powder;
– ½ teaspoon of butter;
– ½ cup of milk or vegetable stock;
-1 tablespoon of plain yogurt;
– 4 oz. Oaxaca cheese (optional);
– 2 eggs;
– panko or bread crumbs;
-flour;
– oil;
– salt;
-pepper;

WHAT YOU DO:

Peel and cut potatoes into good size chunks.  Place in stockpot, cover with water and cook over medium-high heat until potatoes are tender.  Drain and return to stockpot.  Add garlic powder, salt, pepper, butter, yogurt and milk or stock.  Mash potatoes until desired texture is reached.

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Let cool completely (overnight is best).  Once potatoes have cooled add one beaten egg and stir to combine.  Take cheese and divide into almond-sized chunks.  Take a scoop of the potato mixture and roll into a ball.  Place a piece of cheese into the middle making sure potato mixture surrounds the entire piece of cheese.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

balls

When potato balls are firm remove from refrigerator.  Scoop flour into a bowl.  Beat the other egg.  Pour panko or bread crumbs into a bowl.

three bowls

Take the potato balls and roll first in the flour, then egg and finally panko.  Place in freezer for one hour.

pankp balls

Once an hour had passed you can either place in a container and freeze or heat oil and either deep fry or pan fry until golden.  Oh yummy.

CHIMICHURRI:

-1 cup of parsley;
– ½ cup of cilantro;
-1 tablespoon of fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon of dried);
-2 garlic cloves;
– ½ teaspoon of chile flakes;
-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (feel free to sub rice wine or sherry vinegar);
– ½ cup of olive oil;
-salt;
-pepper.

WHAT YOU DO:

Pulse parsley, cilantro, oregano, garlic and vinegar in a food processor until finely chopped. Place in bowl and add oil, chile flakes, salt and pepper.  Give a good stir.  Eat immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to use.

chimichurri

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