Pastrami and Cheese Croquettes

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When we cook corned beef or pastrami, we usually serve it with peas, mashed potatoes, and mustard sauce, or on a Reuben sandwich.

Don’t get me wrong, both are excellent, but I can only eat so much sauerkraut in a week.

To branch out and explore what else we might do with our leftovers, I came up with the idea of making pastrami and cheese croquettes, which did not disappoint.

The salty spicy pastrami is a terrific alternative for regular ham, and the crunchy shell encasing a delectable fluffy potato filling is hard to surpass.

Try our buffalo chicken dip for another appetizer.

Preparing the fillings

Pastrami and Cheese Croquettes

First and foremost! Cut about 2 pounds of potatoes into medium-sized cubes.

Place them in a kettle with cold water and a teaspoon of salt. Starting with cold water allows the potatoes to cook evenly, preventing the outer layers from becoming water logged and dropping off while the interior remains firm.

When you can easily slip a fork into a couple of the potatoes, they are done.

Once this is accomplished, drain and lay out on paper towels or napkins to dry and steam. You want to ensure that all of the water has evaporated.

When the potatoes are fluffy and dry, return them to the saucepan and mash until almost all of the lumps have disappeared.

You may now either use the pot to mix or dump the mash into a mixing bowl, depending on how much you like cleaning dishes.

4 peppercorns, but you do you!2 tsp salt and 1 tsp 1Mix in the cheese, pastrami, chives, cream, and seasoning with the potato. I added around 1

I chop the cheese into little pieces because I like biting into the croquette and receiving the cheese bursts. If you grate it, the entire thing tastes like cheese (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), and you don’t get the hit from the pastrami or the melting pockets of gooey cheese. But, by all means, grate! They’ll be delicious any way.

Mix everything together until barely mixed, being careful not to overwork the potato. The texture might get quite gluey at times.

Making the croquettes

When everything is combined, form into little logs around the same size. I got around 15 of them from mine, and they were about 3 inches long. All of that speckled pastrami looks very wonderful!

Bread the croquettes to achieve that crispy coating on the exterior (the tastiest part, let’s face it). First, dip in flour, then in egg, and last in bread crumbs. You know the routine.

I used panko breadcrumbs for almost everything that needed to be coated with crumbs. I simply find that it makes everything crisper and hence more delectable.

Flour, egg, and bread crumbs. Flour, egg, and breadcrumbs until all of the pillowy nuggets are covered!

Fill a deep saucepan about a fourth full with canola oil for deep frying. You just need enough so that the croquettes are completely soaked and have a beautiful even crispiness.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oil has reached temperature, gently put 2-3 croquettes into it.

You don’t want to cook more than this at a time since the temperature of the oil may decrease, causing the croquettes to absorb more oil and perhaps get mushy.

To check the temperature of the oil, I use my beloved Thermapen from ThermoWorks.

Cook for approximately 2 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. When you take them out, lay them on paper towels to absorb any leftover oil, and don’t forget to sprinkle with salt!

How nice do they look? I simply want to go back into the kitchen and make them again.

You could now serve them with almost any sauce you desire.

They were delicious when paired with a pungent mustard-based BBQ sauce. You could also use a Russian dressing to dip them in if they have that pastrami deliciousness.

These croquettes are not only a terrific way to use up any leftover pastrami, but they are also really easy to make and tasty.

You can’t go wrong with this for lunch, supper, or even as an appetizer.

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