It’s always hard coming back to work right after a 2-week vacation. If you’ve been following me along on Instagram, you’ll have seen that I was just in Europe for 2 whole weeks. It. Was. Awesome. It was also the first time I was out of this country and I’ll remember it forever. Julian turned 30 this year so I surprised him with this trip and we finally got to go. I worked so hard on my cookbook over the past 2 years, and Julian has been working nonstop, so figured a vacation was in order. I had the best time ever and for the first time in a very long time (too many times in that sentence sorry), I didn’t work at all. I didn’t think about work or even look at my email. It was a luxury for sure. I posted a bunch of photos during my travels, so if you haven’t seen them yet go check them out on my instagram! I’m pretty sure that was the most non-food photos I’ve ever posted there.
All this to say that it was very hard getting back to work after those two magical weeks. I had a lot of emails to wade through this weekend, of which I’m only halfway through, and was fighting with getting back to my normal time zone and having to cook again and shoot so many recipes to catch up. Luckily I’m almost 100 percent back to normal and even though I still have a lot to shoot, at least I get to do something I really love, and so I’m really grateful for that. In other good news, I’m partnering again with Idaho Potato Commission and going to Idaho for their Harvest Tour tomorrow till Thursday. I’ll be sharing my potato adventures so stay tuned. I thought in honor of this tater tour, I would kick things off with these Loaded Baked Potato Croquettes! They’re like crunchy deep fried baked potato bites and they’re incredibly addicting. I’m warning you. Don’t let that stop you from making them though because you need to give them a try for yourself.
Let’s get started with these croquettes. The first thing we need to do is mix together the leftover mashed potatoes, bacon, chives, cheese, flour, salt, pepper and granulated garlic until evenly combined.
**Note: I know what you must be thinking, leftover mashed potatoes? What’s that? If leftover mashed potatoes don’t exist in your household, you can definitely make them from scratch. Just make sure they cool down completely and then place them in the fridge to chill. I recommend making the mashed potatoes early in the day.**
If you want to keep these vegetarian, you can easily omit the bacon. Or feel free to swap out the cheese if you want to switch things up a bit. Blue cheese crumbles and chicken would make these buffalo chicken potato croquettes and it would still be amazing!
Shape the potato mixture into balls about the size of golf balls and place them on a baking sheet. Roll them between the palm of your hands to create smooth potato balls.
**Tip: If you want to ensure that they’re all the same size, use a medium ice cream scoop to portion out the potato mixture. If they’re all the same size, it’ll ensure that they fry up evenly and all cook at the same time.**
To coat the potatoes, roll the croquettes in flour, then dip in egg, and then finally roll around in the bread crumb mixture. I like using a mixture of plain and panko bread crumbs for texture. Once you coat the croquettes, return them to the baking sheet.
A trick to keep the croquettes from breaking apart in the oil, is to place them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before frying. I know it sounds crazy, but believe me it works. If you try to fry them right away, they’ll be too warm and soft. So chill them for as long as you can spare. You can also place them in the freezer over night and fry straight from the freezer the next day or later in the week.
Meanwhile, to make the sour cream sauce, combine sour cream, grated garlic, chives, salt and pepper in a small bowl until well combined.
**Note: I prefer to grate the garlic in with a microplane, that way you don’t end up with big chunks of raw garlic.**
Fry the croquettes in hot oil, I use vegetable or canola, until golden brown and crispy all around, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the oil doesn’t cover the croquettes completely, flip them over halfway through frying. Drain on paper towels to soak up any excess oil and then transfer to a wire rack, set over a baking sheet, to prevent them from getting soggy.
Serve the croquettes with grated parmesan and fresh chives on top and with that garlic sour cream on the side for dipping and dunking. They’re better hot from the frier because the cheese is melty and the filling is hot BUT in a pinch, room temperature will do just fine!
These are perfect as an appetizer for parties and or gatherings with friends and family. They’ll love it. If you’re wanting to make these for a big party, you can most definitely make them a lot smaller more bite-sized.
If you do decide to make them bite-sized, just keep in mind that they’ll fry up a lot faster. So make sure you keep a close eye because you don’t want the croquettes to burn. These are great to make and keep them in the freezer until you’re in need of a tasty appetizer or snack. Just fry and serve!
These croquettes are very similar to the Cuban Potato Balls from the blog I shared a few years ago. It’s one of my most popular recipes on the blog and every so often I still get comments on it and it makes me very happy because I grew up eating them all the time and it makes me happy to know you like them too. Well, anyhow, these croquettes are like those but amped up a little.
Make sure you follow along my Idaho Potato Harvest Tour adventures on Instagram and Facebook! I’ll be sharing all my potato adventures all week during my first trip to Idaho, along with the Idaho Potato Commission. There will be spuds galore and lots of fun to be had for sure. Also, be sure to make these Loaded Baked Potato Croquettes this week so we can eat potatoes together and be BFFs in real life.
- 3 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
- 6 slices crispy bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes, bacon, chives, cheese, 1/4 cup flour, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic until evenly combined. Shape into balls about the size of golf balls and place on a baking sheet.
- Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Whisk the eggs in a separate shallow dish. And combine the plain and panko bread crumbs in a third shallow dish. To coat the croquettes, toss the potato balls, in flour, then dip in eggs, and then roll around in bread crumbs. Return the croquettes to the baking sheet and then freeze for about 30 minutes before freezing.
- Fill a medium sauce pot about halfway with vegetable or canola oil and bring up to 360 degrees F, with a deep-fry or candy thermometer. Once hot, fry the croquettes in batches until golden crispy all around, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Then transfer to a wire rack, set over a baking sheet. Continue frying until all the croquettes are fried.
- To make the sauce, combine the sour cream, garlic, chives, salt and pepper until smooth. Serve the croquettes with the sauce on the side for dipping. Enjoy!
- Yield: about 20 croquettes