Do you like croquets? If yes, how do you prepare them? Polish people eat a lot of croquets. The most popular ones are made with meat and/or cabbage and/or mushrooms. Very often they are rolled into pancakes, which are later breaded in eggs and bread crumbs and then fried in oil or butter. Not so good for those on a diet. I have never liked croquets rolled in pancakes, I do not know whether such croquets are a "discovery" of the communist cuisine – I will check some other time. Anyway, you will find croquets everywhere in Poland – in restaurants, famous "milk bars" which I wrote about in a post more than 2 years ago. You will also find them in many food stores – just put them in the oven to warm them up and eat them with (or without) a soup.
The nut-potato crockets presented below are traditional although forgotten nowadays, as many other traditional preparations (actually, this really starts to change in Poland as more and more people search for old recipes, and more and more interesting food events are organized nationwide). But I have not seen, so far, this specific type of potato coquets anywhere. It is very probable that you will not find them in restaurants and households.
In my family they are served once per year as an accompaniment to Christmas cabbages or borscht. In my, opinion they are delicious, because of the addition of powdered almonds and walnuts. You can serve them hot with Christmas cabbages, bigos (hunter's stew) or optionally as an accompaniment to meat dishes, borscht or other soups.
The original recipe comes from a book which was published in the eighties which of course is only available in Polish language. It calls for grind walnuts and potatoes, but sometimes (like in this recipe) I like to change the proportions and add some powdered almonds as well.
They are lighter than regular croquets, as they are not rolled in pancakes. You just have to fry them a bit in a frying pan and then put in the oven to complete the cooking.
You can freeze the crockets raw. In such a case, you should wrap them in a plastic film prior to puting them in the freezer. You may replace fresh parsley with your favorite fresh herbs.
Christmas Nut-Potato Croquets
Serves 4 (makes about 20 small crockets)
320 g potatoes, peeled and washed
50 g ground walnuts
50 g ground almonds
50 g bread crumbs
1 bunch fresh parsley, washed, dried and finely chopped
5-6 table spoons vegetable oil for frying / clarified butter
Cook potatoes: Place potatoes in boiling water and cook until soft, with the addition of salt.
Strain them, and mash while still warm.
Mix potatoes with walnuts and almonds: Place potato purée at the bottom of a bowl, add walnuts and almonds, one whole egg, salt and pepper generously, add parsley. Mix everything well until it becomes homogenous. Taste and, if necessary, add some more salt and pepper according to your taste.
Make croquets: form crockets 6 cm long and 1,5 cm wide. Prepare two plates. Break the second egg, pour it on your plate and bit delicately. Pour bread crumbs on a second plate.
Bread each crocket delicately – firstly in the egg, and then in the bread crumbs.Fry croquets: In a large frying pan heat well the oil/butter and fry the crockets for a few minutes, flipping them from time to time, until they are gold. Finish by baking them in a hot oven for about 5-10 minutes. Serve hot.