#FrannyCooks : Croquette Surprise!

If there's one thing I realized while feeding my twins is that kids have this great love for anything crispy or crunchy. No matter how hard you try or how long you'd slave away in the kitchen, remember this -- prepare something crispy or crunchy and believe me, your kids will praise you like a kitchen god / goddess. Well, at least, as far as my twins are concerned. Save for the ever-reliable adobo which they love or their all-time fave Baked Spaghetti, my twins are huge fans of fried chicken, corn flakes, crunchy toast sandwiches, crackers and croquettes. This is why I always make sure to have a bag of panko breadcrumbs in our pantry cabinet to make it easy for us to whip up a deep-fry batter whenever the need arises.

Don't get me wrong, they get their fair share of veggies and other protein too and we try our best to limit their deep-fried intake on a weekly basis but on days when it just gets slightly tough to satisfy our picky gourmands, well deep-fried crunchy creations are indeed the way to go.

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This was how Paul and I created our newest kitchen experiment called the -- Croquette Surprise!
The secret to any croquette is this -- make use of top quality potato. Without a creamy, well-mashed potato then your croquette sadly won't be able to hold itself together and be one crumbly disaster. Recently, we discovered Potato USA's dehydrated potatoes and after a bit of trial, Paul managed to create a pot of really creamy, restaurant-style potatoes. It actually reminded us of the type of Mashed Potatoes from a famous chicken chain that's finger lickin' good. Not as peppery but the texture was spot on.

Anyway, it was our first time to try dehydrated potatoes and I got to admit that I was initially hesitant to try it as I grew up making Mashed Potatoes the old fashion way -- peel the potatoes, boil and mash. It takes a lot of time to make a simple Mashed Potato and without mixing it properly with the right ratio of milk and butter, you also will end up getting chunky dry potatoes which are not very yummy. So, we gave these US Dehydrated Potatoes a try. I have to say that it's very time-saving! Paul literally just mixed the right proportion of US Dehydrated Potato flakes with milk, butter and water and within minutes, he had a huge pot of creamy mashed potatoes. Amazing!

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So why Croquette Surprise!? Well, you can really get creative when making croquettes. For as long as you know the basic, you can fill it with whatever your heart desires. For years, we've done countless of croquettes and so far we've loved them all. Today, we were in the mood for something comforting and so we decided to make use of luncheon meat. Yup, all you need is one can of luncheon meat to make almost 3 dozen croquettes! Here's what you'll need:

Mashed potato:
- 1 cup of US Dehydrated Potato
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 2 tsp of salt (or adjust based on your taste)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup of milk

Filling and coating
- 1 can of luncheon meat cut into cubes
- Flour
- Egg
- Panko breadcrumbs

Make your Croquette Surprise! in 5 easy steps:

1) Cook the mashed potato by mixing all the ingredients together over low heat and continue to stir. Make sure to smoothen out the mashed potato to remove any air pockets and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

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2) Once cool, shape the mashed potatoes into balls and insert a piece of luncheon meat at the center.

3) Coat it with flour, dip in egg wash and roll on breadcrumbs

4) Deep-fry till golden brown

5) Enjoy while it's warm and you may dip it in tomato ketchup or honey mustard sauce.

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I can't believe how much time and effort were saved with just one single ingredient. I'm amazed! What's important is we get top quality US potatoes that are delicious, versatile, readily and easily available and are affordable too. I'm a convert! I'm keeping my bags of US dehydrated potato flakes and granules under tight guard as these are my newest precious gems in the kitchen.

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Do you want to try these US Dehydrated Potato products too? Follow me on Instagram (@frannywanny) and watch out for a fun giveaway happening very soon. One lucky winner will receive a special prize from Potatoes USA.

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