Whether it was my need for more dumpling-shaped food or my brain finally catching up with my belly on everything we ate in Spain, I couldn't tell you, but for whatever reason, croquettes happened in my kitchen last night. It was glorious.
Come to think of it, I bet the real - if uninspiring - reason croquettes happened is because I had a bunch of leftover baked potato soup that, while delicious in its original form (leeks and roasted garlic, mmm!) was due for a repurposing.
As much as I love waxing philosophical and paying written tribute to my food feelings, sometimes you just have to feed yourself. We've talked about this before. That's really all it was. Lucky for us though, even after a long day when you feel like you have nothing else to give, when you're going through the motions and not even trying to make too much of it, you can still manage to enjoy yourself. Thank goodness for that.
A batch of improvised potato croquettes: Heat up an inch of frying oil (I used vegetable) in a skillet. Start with 2 to 3 cups of leftover potato soup or mashed potatoes in a bowl. Add about a cup of panko breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, salt and pepper, and maybe a dash of another seasoning like Penzey's Northwoods or Tony Chachere's. Mix with your hands and let the mixture hang out for a minute while you check to see if the oil is hot. Flick the tiniest speck of water into the skillet and if it pops and hisses, it's ready to fry. Check the consistency of the batter by attempting to form a meatball-sized croquette. Depending on the thickness of the potatoes you started with you might need more panko to thicken it, or another egg to bind it. It'll be soft, but you want the balls to hold their shape. Using two spoons or cookie scoop (highly recommend, mine is Oxo medium, 1.5 tbsp) form round balls of dough and drop them into the oil. Fry until they are crispy and brown on all sides. Do it in batches so you don't crowd the pan. Drain on a plate layered with paper towels, and dig in!