Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Potato, Ham, and Piquillo Pepper Croquetas

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

Some foods just don't lend themselves to reheating, and mashed potatoes are a prime example. Freshly whipped and studded with butter, they are creamy, airy, and pretty much perfect—but after a night in the chilly fridge, the once light spuds are reduced to the consistency of mortar and no amount of added warm cream and butter will bring them back to their original glory. How to deal with a leftover bowl of mashed potatoes? One simple way is to repurpose the spuds, making them into crisp Potato, Ham, and Piquillo Pepper Croquetas.

Adapted from Amanda Hesser's The Essential New York Times Cookbook, this Spanish accented croquette recipe came from Melissa Clark's A Good Appetite column. Inspired by a glut of leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving, Clark mixed them up with little chunks of salty Serrano ham, smoked Spanish paprika, and sweet-spicy piquillo peppers. Rolled in flour, dipped in egg wash, and finally dusted in breadcrumbs, the little croquetas fry up with a beautifully crisp crust and soft, smoky centers filled with creamy potato dotted with diced ham and pepper.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Essential New York Times Cookbook to give away this week.

Reprinted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser. Compilation copyright (c) 2010 by The New York Times Company and Amanda Hesser. Recipes and reprinted text copyright (c) 2010 by The New York Times Company. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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