Manchego Croquettes with Quince Sauce

Metric version of recipe

Yields 8 portions

Ingredient Amount
Russett potatoes, scrubbed 1 lb. 4 oz.
Salt ¾ tsp. or as needed
Olive oil, extra virgin 2 tsp.
Manchego cheese, grated (loosely packed) 1 2/3 cups
Green onions, minced 2 tsp.
Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 3 Tbsp.
Thyme a pinch
Hot pimentón or cayenne a pinch
Eggs, large, divided use 3 ea.
Red wine vinegar 3/4 tsp.
Dry bread crumbs 2/3 cup
Olive oil, for frying 1 quart
Quince Sauce 2/3 cup

Method

  1. Place the unpeeled potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with 8 cups of water. Add ¾ teaspoon of salt and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Cover partially and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Drain the potatoes, return to the pot, cover tightly, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Hold the potatoes with a dishtowel so you don’t burn your hands, cut in half, using a spoon to scrape out the flesh into a small bowl. Discard the skins. Add the olive oil and mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Stir the cheese into the potatoes. Add the freen onions, parsley, ½ teaspoon of salt, thyme, and hot pimentón or cayenne.
  4. Separate two of the eggs. Place the whites in a medium clean dry bowl. Stir the yolks into the potato mixture.
  5. Beat the whites to stiff peaks at medium-high speed, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vinegar until just combined. Fold half of the beaten whites into the potato mixture until thoroughly combined, then fold in the remaining whites.
  6. Beat the remaining egg in a shallow bowl. Spread the bread crumbs on a 10- by 13-inch baking sheet or baking dish.
  7. Scoop teaspoonfuls of the potato mixture onto a second baking sheet, then use your hands to shape the portions into balls or ovals. Drop the croquettes one at a time into the beaten egg and roll then to coat all sides. Lift them out with the spoon and a fork, allowing the excess egg to drain off. Transfer the drained croquettes to the breadcrumbs. When you’ve dipped 6 of these, roll in the breadcrumbs to coat all sides, then place on a parchment-covered 11- by 16-inch baking sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining potato mixture until all the croquettes are dipped and breaded.
  8. Heat the oil in in an 8-inch wide deep skillet to 360°F. Fry the croquettes in batches of six, turning them once, until golden brown, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a 10- by 13-inch baking sheet lined with paper towels. Hold the finished croquettes in a warm oven until ready to serve (up to 14 minutes). Serve with the quince sauce.

Additional tips

Croquettes can be fried up to 4 hours in advance and kept at room temperature. Place them on a baking sheet and reheat them in preheated 400ºF oven until hot, 10 minutes. Fried croquettes can be frozen for up to 1 month. Remove them from freezer 15 minutes before heating. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375ºF oven for 15 minutes. For authenticity’s sake and flavor too, use true Manchego ewes’ milk cheese, preferably the cured cheese, which is drier than semi-cured.

Recipe credit: Janet Mendel, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at the World Marketplace on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006.

© 2017 The Culinary Institute of America