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Potato Croquettes

Olive oil is a surprisingly good choice for deep-frying. The oil has a high smoke point and retains its flavor after several uses. Try frying this classic Mediterranean dish in standard olive oil. Save the extra-virgin for something special. Throw in some cooked ham or pancetta for a little kick.

Makes 10-14 croquettes

Olive oil, for frying

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes and boiled until a knife cuts easily through

4 eggs

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1/2 cup milk

1 cup flour

1 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs (found in the ethnic section of the grocery store)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium-sized cast iron skillet, heat 3 to 4 inches of oil to 375 degrees. Check the temperature using a deep-fry thermometer.

Put the potatoes through a ricer or a food mill and collect in a large bowl. Stir three of the eggs and the cheese into the potatoes and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine the fourth egg and the milk.

Create an assembly line on your counter: one plate with the flour, one shallow bowl with the egg-and-milk mixture, and one final plate with the breadcrumbs.

Shape the potato mixture into small egg shapes with your hands. You may want to flour your hands to prevent sticking. Roll the croquette lightly in flour, then roll in the egg mixture, and finally, the breadcrumbs. Continue until potato mixture runs out.

Carefully place croquettes, a few at a time, in the hot oil and fry to a deep, golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

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