Damned if I was going to Trader Joe’s AGAIN this night.
I’d been twice the day before and once already this morning. It’s not like I can’t make a list of items I need. I do. But for some reason it’s never the right list. I’ve gone on a big Sunday evening shop for the upcoming week only to arrive home and realize we’re practically out of milk. And milk was the one thing I didn’t buy because I thought we were stocked up.
And now it’s dinner time. AGAIN. I could play the “I could make that, if only I had this” game, but now I’m just annoyed with myself. No more. I would make due with what I had.
A quick Google search led me to potato croquettes. One in particular stood out, which included Panko, which are Japanese-style bread crumbs. Why I can run out of milk but have a stash of Panko is just, I guess, part of my quirky charm.
I riffed on this recipe, adding finely diced red onion and celery:
2 cups chilled mashed potatoes
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 cup flour for dredging
1 cup panko
3 tablespoons veggie or canola oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl combine the mashies, one egg, onions and celery, salt and pepper. Lightly beat the second egg and place in a shallow dish for dredging. Likewise put the flour into a separate dish for dredging. Divide these into eight or so portions and make into balls or discs, or shapes, like this gal did. Dredge these puppies in flour, then in the egg, then cover them in panko.
Fry ‘em up, until golden brown. A couple of minutes on each side.
Yes, we are talking about simple potato croquettes here. Anyone with any experience in the kitchen can make these. They’re the kind of thing you make to use with something else, an element of a larger, more impressive meal.
But again here I must point out that the very knowledge that there were potato croquettes in the world did not make itself known to me until deep, deep into my adulthood. Croquettes? How do you spell that? Croquettes. With mashed potatoes? Huh. Wow.
Let us also focus on these two benevolent facts: I used only what I had in my kitchen, and I improvised — successfully and to the upside. You need to give me at least 10 points for that. Really. Because when does my improvising ever lead to anything good?
Finally, and come close and let me whisper this in your ear: I made mashed potatoes from scratch. And they were awesome.
Gryffindor: 10 points.
The boy, now a tween and 4-inches taller than me already and consuming ever more amounts of food, eagerly sampled some, then jumped up to high five me.
“Put that on the list!” he said. He ate three of them. The Drama teen ate hers as well.
I made a little tomato and cucumber salad too (and this time I had the sumac), which they happily ate.
Best of all – BOTH kids requested this the next day. Unprecedented. And since I had leftover mashies it was easy-peasy.
House of BHC: 50 points!!