cro·quette (krō ket′)
a small, rounded or cone-shaped mass of chopped, cooked meat, fish, or vegetables, coated with egg and crumbs and fried in deep fat
Growing up both my aunt and my mother were fond of croquettes. My mother's version was a mixture of meat and potatoes, coated with panko bread crumbs and served with a dark, tangy, slightly sweet sauce usually eaten out in a casual Japanese restaurant. My aunt's version was also a mixture of meat and potatoes, dredged in bread crumbs and fried, served with a choice of two vegetables at an Amish restaurant off the PA turnpike that we frequented on the trip back home from Pittsburgh after a holiday pilgramage. Two very different cultural experiences that emphasized the same basic type if dish.
The other day Alex was muttering about corned beef hash made with salt roasted yukon gold potatoes. Today he was happily making...croquettes. (Don't tell him I said that.) Okay these looked like tater tots and were stuffed with an incredibly delicious corned beef hash. Still it was a variation on a very popular theme. It's kind of a beautiful thing. No matter where you come from or what you love to eat, chances are someone has made it into a croquette. It's the perfect balance of textures and flavors (when done well) and no matter how many people tell us it's unhealthy we all secretly or openly love our fried foods. They say that nothing fried can taste bad, and I can tell you that's absolutey untrue. At the other end of the spectrum though, something fried well can be something to remember for years.