Appetizers - Antipasti

Potato Croquettes - Croccette di Patate

I have made these since I was 12. They were my speciality, and on holidays I made them for the antipasti course. They make a great side dish also.

5 russet potatoes
2 tsp. salt for boiling potatoes
3 Tbsp butter
2 yo 3 Tbsp. whipping cream or whole milk
2 eggs
unbleached all-purpose flour for dredging
butter for sauteing (enough to cover the bottom of a large saute pan or skillet to a depth of 1/4 inch)

Place cold water in a pot and bring it to a boil. While the water is heating peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks. When the water reaches a boil, add the kosher salt and then the potatoes. Partially cover the pot and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the potatoes cook at a low boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the chunks of potato. The potatoes are done when they can easily be pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water in case the potatoes are too dry. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer, back into the pot that you boiled them in. Place over very low heat making sure that they do not burn. Mix in the butter and the whole milk or cream (added a little at a time) until thoroughly incorporated, to make the potatoes fluffy and smooth. If they seem too dry add as much as needed of the reserved cooking water. Remove from the heat and add the salt and white pepper to taste. Lightly beat one of the eggs and add it to the potato mixture. Set aside until you are ready to saute them.

Beat the remaining egg in a bowl. Place the flour in a separate bowl. Form the potatoes into croquettes using about 1 1/2 Tbsp. for each. They should be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in long and cylindrical in shape. Heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Place each croquette into the flour and coat on all sides. Next place each croquette into the beaten egg, and coat on all sides.

When the butter is hot enough to sizzle when a small piece of potato mixture is dropped into it, place the croquettes into the saute pan. Saute until the croquettes are a beautiful golden brown on the bottom. Turn over as necessary with a metal spatula scraping up any browned bits until they are golden brown all over.

Remove from the butter and place on a plate lined with paper toweling to drain and cool a little. Serve them, or place on an oven proof platter and keep them warm in the oven.