I told you the story wasn’t over! So here I am again sharing with you my misadventures with mashed potatoes!
Being honest, I put the idea of preparing croquettes aside for now. I need to study a lot more to master this dish – gosh! it sounds like a MasterChef challenge! – hence I tried something else. The aim this time was to prepare potato pancakes with courgettes and feta cheese. Boring, I know, but I chose these two ingredients just because I had them in the fridge, and I was hoping they could fit in the texture of the pancakes.
I prepared the mash a bit in advance, using just 500ml of liquid (300ml boiling water + 200ml cold milk), a pinch of salt and a smaller knob of butter. While I was mixing it, it looked like the thickness was quite what I was looking for: still moist but very stiff and dense. I let it cool down for half an hour, and in the meantime I fried two diced courgettes with a garlic clove and a tablespoon of olive oil and I crumbled 50g of feta cheese.
When everything was cooled down, I mixed the courgettes and the feta with the mash, I whisked two eggs with a pinch of salt, some pepper and two tablespoons of grated parmesan, and I added them to the potatoes. I soaked my hands in water, and prepared 15 patties by rolling a spoonful of dough and then gently pressing it.
Now, I had to face the doubt: how should I cook them? I wanted them to be crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside, and eventually I had to capitulate and choose what I didn’t want to. Frying.
I heated some sunflower oil in a shallow pan, and I started the frying process. The first time, I cooked eight patties together. Not a good idea. The pan was too full and I didn’t have enough space to flip them over without breaking them. The second time, I fried only three, and it worked out better. They got the crispy texture I was aiming for and a very nice taste. But they were potato mash fritters, not pancakes.
I still had four uncooked patties. So I decided to bake them. I heated the oven at 200°C and baked the patties for 40 minutes, turning them over half way through. They came out quite crispy, with a light and fluffy texture, and I could definitely taste the feta and the courgettes. Success!!! Those are the pancakes I had in mind!
I’m going to try again with different ingredients, but the alchemy I found was the right one.
See you next time!