Sweet Potato, Chard, and Alpine Cheese Croquettes
Reminiscent of fried Spanish tapas, these patties have a crisp crust offset by a molten interior. They are inspired by a seasonal gratin of potato, pumpkin, greens, and Tarentaise with duck by Chef Brian Shaw at Fair Hill Inn, in Elkton. They pair equally well with white and red wines.
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- 1 medium sweet potato 1 medium white potato 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard or spinach, stems removed Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 3 eggs
- 1 slice bread
- 6 ounces alpine cheese, such as Comté
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread crumbs, either fine or panko
- Oil for frying
- Microwave both potatoes or bake them in the oven until soft. Mean- while, combine the onions and olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onions are relatively soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the greens and cover the pan. Check the greens after a few minutes; you want them to wilt completely. Once wilted, remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, lightly beat one egg.
- Tear the slice of bread into small pieces, and add to the egg. Use your hands to mush them together. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the skins and add to the egg mixture, mashing with a potato masher or large spoon. Add the greens and cheese and mix well. Chill the mixture for at least an hour and up to 2 days.
- Lightly beat the remaining two eggs in a bowl large enough in which to dredge the croquettes. Likewise, place the flour and the bread crumbs in two separate bowls large enough for dredging.
- Fill a shallow pan with oil to cover the bottom by about an inch, and set it over medium heat. Scoop tablespoonfuls of the potato mix- ture, and form them into chubby logs. Dredge in the flour, then the beaten egg, then bread crumbs, and set on a plate.
- Place a few croquettes into the pan at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook for a minute or so on each side, and turn to make sure all sides brown. Remove to drain on a paper-towel-covered plate and salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining croquettes.
- Serve warm.
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