broccoli and cheese croquettes

I was raised in a very thrifty home. It was very rare for any food to be actually thrown away, the vegetable scraps went on the compost heap, apple cores were fought over by our chickens and the stray farm cat that adopted us polished off any meat scraps that there happened to be. (Tom was usually lurking somewhere nearby when there were lamb chops on the barbecue.)
I’m always at a loss to understand people who waste food. The French law that requires supermarkets to donate their waste food to charity makes perfect sense to me. I’m proud to say that very little goes to waste in my kitchen, it would be even less if I had a garden and a compost heap. We even take our oyster shells back to the store so that they can be tossed back into the Chesapeake!

broccoli and cheese croquettes
I do however have eyes bigger than my belly so we do sometimes end up with leftovers which then require a bit of creative re-purposing. This is my new favourite way to use up left over mashed potato. Just look at that gooey melty middle wrapped in deliciously crunchy golden crumb. You know you want it!
I hardly ever bother to peel my spuds when making mash, I’m lazy and the skins are good for you anyway, and it doesn’t seem to make any difference to the end results of these. You could also use up leftover veg in them too. Because these are made out of leftovers all the quantities are approximate so don’t worry if you have a bit more or a bit less.

makes about 8

300g left over mashed potatoes
100g broccoli florets
40g cheese (I like really strong cheddar)
seasoning (if needed)
1 beaten egg and about 75g grams of panko breadcrumbs to coat them

Lightly steam the broccoli (unless you have some already cooked), so that it is just tender and then chop it, quite finely. Mix this with the cold mashed potato and check the seasoning, add a touch of salt and pepper if you need to. Cut the cheese into small cubes.
Take globs of the mash and flatten them out on the palm of your hand. Place a couple of cubes of the cheese in the middle and then roll the potato mixture around them, making sure that the cheese is well sealed in the centre. Roll them into neat little croquette-style sausages. Repeat this process until all of the potato mixture has been used up. Place them on a baking tray and put them in the fridge to chill and firm up for at least 30 minutes, longer if you like though.
Pre-heat the oven to 190°c. Brush each croquette with beaten egg, I find this easier than dunking them, and then roll them in the bread crumbs, making sure that they are well coated. Lightly oil the baking tray, arrange the croquettes on it and, if you have spray oil give them a quick squirt on top (this will help them to brown). Bake the croquettes for about 20 minutes, until they are golden brown and then serve them immediately so that the middles are gooey and melty.

broccoli and cheese croquettes