Cheesy potato croquettes

Makes 8-10

I put croquette potatoes on my menus a few months ago because I wanted to celebrate a great dish that died out in the Seventies. I always make my croquettes with potatoes baked in their skins in order to extract the maximum flavour.

500-600g floury potatoes
150g mature cheddar, grated
2-3tbsp flour
2 small eggs, beaten
50-60g fresh white breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Bake the potatoes in their skins until soft, about 1-1 hours depending on size.

Remove from the oven, cut in half and leave to cool for a while. Scoop out the flesh, mash until smooth, then stir in the cheese; season. A potato ricer is perfect for this. Mould the potato into cylinder shapes about 5-6cm long and a little fatter than a wine cork. You can make them larger or smaller as you wish.

Have the flour in a dish and roll the croquettes in it, holding them carefully with your fingers and shaking off any excess. Next, roll them in the beaten egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs.

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer. Fry the croquettes a few pieces at a time for 3-4 minutes until golden and drain on some kitchen paper. Serve immediately.

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