Potato Croquette's (Crocchetta di Patate)

I am not sure what it is exactly that can stir up excitement more than a potato and some mozzarella.  Is it that luscious, creamy, center that spills onto the plate? Is it the crispy shell?  Whatever it is, it's always delicious. 
Traditionally made in our home with leftover Mashed potato's or boiled potato's,  I decided this night to test,  a baked Russet potato.  My mother thought I was crazy. Why ruin a good thing? They were normally made in summer, as a side-dish to a cookout.
What a wonderful surprise.  There are several important factors to remember when make these croquettes.
1.  Remember to use a Russet potato.  A high starch content is key in helping this Croquette stay together.  It also will NOT absorb oil.  Your oil will remain on the outside of your Croquette.  Helping to create a warm, fluffy, Croquette with that surprise, moist center.
2.  Good quality frying oil. (Vegetable is best)
3. Temperature of your oil.  The best way to see this is to sprinkle a few grains of bread crumbs into your heated oil (Medium/high).  Lay your Croquettes in your oil one at a time. 
4. Be sure your oil covers your croquettes.  Yes, they must be submerged.   If they are bubbling to quickly, your heat is to high.  They will need to be frying at least 5 minutes or so, depending on the size of the Croquette's.
Ingredients: 9 large croquettes (You can make them in any size you wish.  Frying time will vary). About 3 inches long and 2 inches wide.
6 large Russet potato's
one Large egg plus a little more if need be
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
One cup plus extra if you like of  Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.  This is according to taste.
9 Bocconcini (Mini mozzarella balls) or 9 pieces of mozzarella about the size of a Bocconcino or more if you like. 
1 cup diced prosciutto (optional) or Ham diced
1/2 cup parmigiano
2 more eggs for coating before frying
2 cups of bread crumbs (Seasoned or plain
large bowl
baking pan
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Method:  Wrap your potato's in foil tightly and poke some holes in them.   
Place in the oven for one hour until cooked
Unwrap and let cool 30 minutes before handling
Remove the foil, skin and place the meat of your potato's in a bowl.  They should be white and fluffy.
Add your egg, cheese, salt, pepper and combine.
Form your Croquettes by placing a palm full of mixture into your hands.  Shape and press a hole in the center. 

Pass the Croquettes in Breadcrumbs

Lay them on a baking sheet and place them in the refrigerator to set and firm.  I let them rest overnight and fried them the next day.

Right before you plan of frying them, heat your oil.  In the meantime, beat 2 eggs (add some extra Parmigiano cheese if you like)
Add some extra bread crumbs to a dish and spread
This helps to create a thick, crispy coat around your Croquettes
Fry in Vegetable oil
Drain on paper towels and let cool 10 minutes before serving.  They are so delicious.  How can you have just one?  Add some additional salt if necessary.
Buon Appetito!


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