Saturday, May 9, 2009
Paper Chef #40: Heart Shaped Floury Potato Croquettes Dressed in Sesame Seeds & Thyme, Served on a Bed of Crispy Jamon Serrano
The ingredients for Paper Chef #40 were:
1. Floury Potatoes
4. Mother's Day Theme
So here's my entry. I used Jamon Serrano instead of Prosciutto as I live in a provincial city of Spain and good prosciutto is very difficult to come by. I also struggled with the 'Mother's Day Theme' since I've had a difficult relationship with my own mother. That said I I have to say that even though my mother and I have 'differences' and we don't exactly get along too well, she has played a major role in my education and she still does love me...in her own way, or she would have killed me when I was being a difficult child!
Since my mother's passion in life is herbs and any edible plants (she has published more than 16 books mostly about these) - I've decorated my heart shaped croquette dressed in toasty white sesame seeds with fresh sprigs of flowering thyme. Hope this is enough to qualify for the 'Mother's Day' theme.
3 Large Floury Potatoes
1 Cup White Sesame Seeds (more or less)
Sea Salt (to taste)
Black Pepper (to taste)
Dried Thyme (to taste)
3 Cups Sunflower Oil (for deep frying - the amount will depend on the size of your pan)
100g Jamon Serrano (thinly sliced of course)
16 Sprigs of Flowering Fresh Thyme
This recipe makes 8 hearts.
Step 1: Boil the potatoes for around 60 minutes and peel them and mash them inside a bowl. Add salt, black pepper and thyme to taste.
Step 2: Shape them into hearts either by using a cookie cutter or with your hands.
Step 3: Beat one egg in a bowl and then dip the hearts in the egg.
Step 4: Transfer them into a bowl with a liberal amount of sesame seeds in them and coat them.
Step 5: Heat up the oil in your pan. Make sure there's enough to cover the croquettes.
Step 6: Lower the croquettes into the oil gently and just leave them in there for a minute or so until the sesame seeds are toasted. Everything is cooked so there's no need to leave them in there for longer than this.
Step 7: Remove the pan from the heat and then put the Jamon Serrano in the oil for literally 1 - 2 seconds and then make a bed of them on your plate with these. The purpose of this is to make them crispy to add a different texture to the mushiness of the potatoes.
Step 8: Very carefully, lay your heart shaped croquette down on the bed of crispy Jamon Serrano or Prosciutto and garnish with flowering fresh thyme, freshly picked from your garden.
Now you have something a little different to serve before your main course on this special day for mothers. The combination of flavors are somewhat exotic and the texture interesting with the toasty sesame seeds and crispy Jamon Serrano juxtaposed against the soft moistness of the mashed potatoes.