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

2. Thyme

3. Prosciutto

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 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 Egg

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.


Lori said...

These look so good. Great job girl! One thing I have found out as a Mom is how flawed I am. My kids hold up a mirror to my behavior often. Its funny you never realize the magnitude of your roll or how much your behavior impacts your children. As a therapist I know that Mom frequently comes up in counseling and I remember that all the time, wondering what my kids would say about me. I am sure your Mom loves you but maybe is not able to express because of her own issues. I am not trying to simplify your feelings here. I just, if I could, would like to offer my comforting as best I can in a blog comment area.

Justin said...

wow, the serrano ham makes this seem even more amazing. i think you've outdone yourself.

NKP said...

Aw, that is adorable!
I want a heart shaped croquette for Mother's day!
Great entry for the challenge!

Trish said...

Well, now look at that! This is very beautiful....and I am sure it tastes wonderful too. Well done kiddo!

Mikey said...

They look delicious!! Well done!

Marta said...

Oh wow, you mom surely knows a thing or two about herbs. I love herbs as well, I just wish I could get more all year round here in Canada.
Your dish looks great and I hope it touches you mom's heart :)

Siri said...

As soon as you figure out a way to pack and ship one of these to Norway, I'll be happy to foot the shipping charges.

tedders said...

I think Ronny is the luckiest boy in the world!!

; D

Dorte said...

I think this is very creative and it looks so delicious ...

Ilva said...

absolutely lovely, and I agree with Lori, both about seeing your flaws as a person through your children and about your mother. Big hug!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is fabu darling, I love potato croquettes- so does hubs, a little too much actually but yours looks fabulous.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Murasaki, your heart is really fabulous. It is really spectacular.

It took me a long time to really understand just how important my mom has been in my life, how important she was to me and how much I miss her now.

görel said...

There are many people that have complicated relations with their mothers, I had too until I got children of my own, maybe partially due to me understanding her better after that.

If she had been alive, this is what I would have wanted to treat her with, it's a gorgeous dish! (And don't tell Ilva, but I like serrano better than prusciutto ...)

Unknown said...

Aww so pretty! These little savory hearts look amazing! Well done :-)

[My blog is hosted on my own server, so it won't let me post a comment with the ID of my blog, I had to get a blogger username to post a comment, weird huh?]

Anonymous said...

This looks/sounds really great! Definitely something I'd like to try. One question, though: you say you boiled the (whole?) potatoes for 60 minutes. Is it possible to just replace that with "make mashed potatoes however you do it" (e.g. I boil cubed potatoes for about 20 minutes) or is there something magical about that length of time?

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Thanks everyone! Got caught-up in something else and was kind of inactive in food blogging for awhile. :)

Jonskifarms: Totally. You can make the mashed potatoes in anyway you want. I wouldn't peel them before boiling them though - because the moisture content might get too high and then you'd have a hard time getting them into heart shaped pieces. ;)

Dewi said...

I am sold on the Jamon Serrano. Sounds delicious Murasaki!