Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stuffing Croquettes

Last night we hosted our monthly poker night for our group of friends. Occasionally this group of friends gives me a hard time because I don't make enough yummy food for them. I'll often just put out some chips or cheese and crackers (food that doesn't take much effort). Well, for a high-end Thanksgiving party that I catered I created Stuffing Croquettes. When I told my friends about them I was told that I had to make them for poker night.

I used box stuffing (because I'm lazy) and prepared it according to the instructions. I also took about 4 ounces of hot Italian sausage and fried it up, breaking it into small pieces. I combined the stuffing and sausage and set it aside to cool.

While it cooled I pulsed 10 slices of white bread in my food processor to create fresh bread crumbs, then set them aside. I put a bit of flour in one bowl and beat a couple of eggs in another.

Using an ice cream scoop I portioned out the stuffing and rolled it into balls about 1" in diameter. I rolled the balls in flour, then the eggs and if I was going to fry the croquettes right away I would have have rolled them in the bread crumbs too. But since I was prepping the croquettes the day before I used a method for breading recommended by Tom Douglas for his crab cakes. With this method I put just a small amount of crumbs in the bottom of a container, then added my stuffing balls (leaving a bit of space between them) then covered the balls with the rest of the bread crumbs. I covered this and put it in the fridge for the night.

When I was ready to fry the croquettes I put about 3" or so of oil in my stockpot and brought it to 350 degrees. I added about six stuffing balls at a time to the oil (using a spider to put them in the oil because third-degree oil burns on you fingers is no fun) and fried them until they were golden brown and delicious. I pulled them out of the oil and put them onto several sheets of paper towels to cool.

I was going to take a photo of the finished croquettes but as soon as each batch was completed they were snatched away by my hungry guests.

How were they? So good. Everybody loved them. This may be the best way ever to have stuffing. Crunchy on the outside, moist and delicious on the inside. Yum.

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