I think I may have mentioned my Irish background. I really do love potatoes. In fact, I can’t think of any type of potato by itself or in a meal I would not could not love. I love them in a pie, I love them, in a stew. I love them baked. I love them topped with gravy, I love them shaped like sticks, curly and ,of course, I love them wavy.
Growing up we were a meat and potatoes kind of family. My mother was a good cook but whether it was due to her Midwestern roots or a “sign of the times”, meals were not very creative. Tuna casseroles, meatloaf and pork chops were regulars. The only “ethic” meal I recall from my childhood was taco night but toppings were limited to lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese. Mom did make a mean lasagna. Shouldn’t lasagna be considered ethnic?
The lack of variety was probably not terribly uncommon back then. So much has changed in the world we live as well as the food industry in the last 20 years it is no wonder there is so much more on the table and available to put on the table.
When I lived in Japan I encountered so many things I had never seen it was unbelievable. It is amazing how life in one country can be so completely different than life somewhere else. I came across things that made me wonder how anyone would even think to eat it and things I wondered why I had never had an opportunity to eat. Living there and shopping at the grocery store where I could not recognize most things and could not read the packaging was frightening and exciting at the same time.
When I moved to Japan I was fresh out of college, so limited in my cooking abilities and my apartment was so small I was limited by the size of my kitchen. I had one burner a teeny fridge and 2 saucepans because spaghetti was 1 thing I knew how to make. I had to work magic with that 1 burner to heat my sauce and cook my pasta so that everything was ready at the same time. Ahh those were the days.
I was always scouring the market for something familiar. I had to take a lot of time because once I found something I recognized I also had to be able to read the directions well enough to prepare it once I got home. I bought a lot of canned tuna because that looked just how you would expect it to and I knew how to prepare that with ease.
Conveniently there is a lot of prepared food available everywhere you go in the small towns and cities where you live and work so I was never at risk of starving. I was delighted when I discovered croquette in one of the many bread shops sprinkled around the city and it became an instant favorite of mine. You have the delicious deep fried panko coating the outside and the warm soft mashed potato filling on the inside. It came in so many delicious varieties I was always thrilled to try a new one. Crab cream croquette was a sophisticated version. Corn croquette is probably the most common but my absolute favorite was the pumpkin croquette. Before this I had never seen pumpkin used in any other way but a jack o lantern or pumpkin pie.
I have gone on and on about the croquette but this recipe is not about that really. It is a naked croquette. Which may be superior in my book for 2 very good reasons:
- Less calories
- Quicker preparation
In this slimmed down version of the croquette you may use leftover mashed potatoes of course and that leaves just the preparation of the ground meat.
I used ground beef but depending on your preference it is just as tasty when you use ground chicken, turkey or pork. It is a lovely simple lunch or serve salad and steamed broccoli for a low calorie dinner. We like to add Bull Dog sauce to these for a flavor boost. Look for it in the Asian section of your local grocery store or the nearest asian grocery store. I could not find it on Amazon for some strange reason. I thought they had everything?
- February 13, 2019
- 1 hr
- Print this
- 1 1/2 lb yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 T flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooking oil
- Step 1
- Fill a large pot with water for boiling
- Step 2
- Peel and cut the potato into 4 equal size pieces then put them into the pot and bring to a boil. Cook until soft (15-20 minutes)
- Step 3
- While potatoes are cooking brown ground beef and chopped onion until there is not pink remaining. Add salt and pepper to meat and onion mixture to your taste. Off the heat and allow to cool
- Step 4
- Once potatoes are very soft, drain the water and mash then add the beef mixture to the mashed potatoes. You may find that you don’t use all the ground beef.
- Step 5
- Add the egg yolk and flour to the beef and potatoes and mix together well
- Step 6
- Divide the potato mixture into 8-10 equal portions and shape into oblong or round patties
- Step 7
- Heat oil in large frying pan to medium heat place patties in pan but don’t crowd them
- Step 8
- Brown well on both sides and serve
- Step 9
- Bull dog sauce is nice with these but a little ketchup works nicely too!