– 1 1/4 lb. (625 g) potatoes
– 7 oz. (200 g) scamorza or smoked mozzarella cheese
– 1/2 cup (125 ml) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
– 1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped coriander
– 2 eggs, beaten separately
– Salt and freshly ground pepper, qb
– Dry bread crumbs, QB
– Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
– 1 cup chopped pancetta
Peel the potatoes and cook them in a large pot of boiling salted water until fork-tender. Drain and set aside to cool. Cut the mozzarella into thin strips; set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, mash them. I like to use a potato press or potato ricer, because I think it gives the croquettes a better texture, but you can also use a large fork.
While the potatoes are cooling, fry your pancetta with the coriander until crisp.
It’s important to make sure your potatoes are really cool. Otherwise, when you add your egg and cheese, the heat of the potatoes will cook everything. In a mixing bowl go the mashed potatoes, Parmigiano, pancetta and coriander, one of the eggs, and salt and pepper.
Next comes the fun part. Get your hands in there and mix everything up. When it’s well combined, scoop out a handful, lay a strip of scamorza in the middle of the mixture and roll up to form a potato log with cheese in the middle. Keep going until all the potato mixture and cheese strips are used up. For the croquette coating, dip the logs into the remaining beaten egg, shaking off the excess, and roll in the breadcrumbs.
Pour 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of extra-virgin olive oil into a pan and heat it up. It’s important the oil be really hot, so the croquettes don’t absorb it but become nice and crisp on the outside and deliciously creamy on the inside. Fry the croquettes until golden brown on all sides. Since the potatoes are already cooked, it takes only a few minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serves 4.
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