This is my take on a recipe of Mario’s that makes ingenious use of canned tuna and mashed potatoes. I love croquettes of any kind, although, they’re a bit of work.
For these croquettes, potatoes need to be boiled with skins on (to insure that they remain as dry as possible) then peeled after boiling. The potatoes are mashed, combined with tuna, ricotta, marjoram and eggs. They are then rolled into balls and dipped first in flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs.
Rather than my usual pan-frying, these croquettes get deep-fried in extra-virgin olive oil. If you keep the oil at the proper temperature (350 – 370 degrees), it will be a bit scorched and not recyclable by the end of the process, but you’ll have a wonderful bunch of crispy/ tender little balls that are a great lunch, along with a bright green salad.
I like these croquettes luke-warm or cold. If they’re eaten too hot, their flavor is a bit dull. As they cool, their flavors meld and the marjoram perfumes the entire mixture. I don’t ever re-heat them, as they become too fishy.
Tonight, we began our meal with pasta, aglio, olio, e peperoncino.
We had the croquettes as a second course, with arugula and tomato salad, dressed with lemon and olive oil.
Tuna and Potato Croquettes
makes about 28 – 30 croquettes (2″ diameter)
4 medium Idaho potatoes
2 6-oz. cans Italian tuna in olive oil, drained
1 c homemade ricotta (if it’s processed ricotta, drain in a strainer for an hour)
2 tbls chopped fresh marjoram leaves
salt and pepper to taste
4 large eggs
olive oil for frying
flour for dredging
plain breadcrumbs with a liberal amount of chopped parsley added
zest of one lemon
Place potatoes in cold water and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and allow to cook on low heat for about an hour, or until a knife easily passes through the potato from top to bottom. Peel and press through a ricer into a large mixing bowl.
While potatoes are warm, add tuna, ricotta, marjoram, salt and pepper. Taste for salt and pepper (you’ll need to add lots of salt and pepper to get it properly seasoned).
Add 2 eggs and mix well.
Form into balls approximately 2″ in diameter.
Beat remaining 2 eggs and prepare bread crumbs and flour in shallow trays for dredging. Roll balls in flour, then eggs (drain well), then crumbs. Set aside until all are breaded.
Heat oil in a fryer or saucepot until approximately 370 degrees.
Fry in batches, keeping the oil between 350 and 375 degrees the entire time.
Fry for about 5 minutes, or until golden on all sides. The parsley and marjoram turn the oil a wonderful emerald green.
Sprinkle with additional salt as soon as they emerge from the oil. Drain and allow to partially cool on rack.