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Wild Rice & Sweet Potato Croquettes

A little while back, John suggested that I write a post about how to transform leftovers into a different meal.

This means that he:

a) thinks I’m creative in the kitchen

or

b) thinks we eat too many leftovers.

Either way, I though it was a good idea. Ironically enough, I made these croquettes on a night that he was out at a business dinner. On these occasions, I either make myself a quick & simple meal or choose a recipe that I know John wouldn’t like. These Wild Rice & Sweet Potato Croquettes fall into the former category, as they are a cinch to put together if you have the necessary leftovers on hand. Even if you don’t, the croquettes are easy to make – but just be sure to set aside plenty of time for the rice to cook and the potatoes to bake.

Well-suited either as an accompaniment to roast meat or as a main course of a vegetarian meal, these croquettes are also easily customizable. Any type of cooked rice would work, as would leftover mashed baby red or yukon gold potatoes. The add-ins are subject to alterations, as well. Not a fan of onions? Omit them. Pecans or walnuts not your favorite type of nut? Chopped almonds or pistachios would be a delicious substitution. You can also experiment with different types of seasoning: a pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg pairs nicely with sweet potatoes, and regular ol’ spuds welcome pretty much any spice (think cumin & cayenne pepper, curry powder & turmeric, rosemary & thyme, etc.).

On whim, I served my croquettes with a bit of cranberry sauce, but either a dollop of Greek yogurt or a spoonful of mashed avocado would be a tasty alternate accompaniment. That being said, the croquettes (which are the consistency of Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers – in other words, very soft and delicate) are delicious all on their own, so there’s no need to serve them with a condiment.

Wild Rice & Sweet Potato Croquettes

serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup leftover mashed sweet potato puree (my preferred method is to bake the potatoes for about 1 hour at 400 degrees F, or until very soft, and then pulse the flesh in a food processor)
  • 1 cup leftover cooked wild rice (cooked according to package directions)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (pulse slightly stale bread in food processor until coarse crumbs form)
  • 2 Tbsp thinly sliced green onions
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, for shallow pan-frying
  • cranberry sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the sweet potato puree through green onions until well-mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Evenly divide sweet potato mixture into 4 equal portions and form each into a 1-inch thick patty.
  3. *See note below.
  4. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. You want enough oil to just barely cover the bottom of the pan. Carefully place the croquettes into the pan and let cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Gently flip croquettes (they are soft, and fall apart easily) and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until golden.
  6. Serve warm, with cranberry sauce if desired.

*NOTE: I originally wrote the recipe to include a “dredging” step, in which the formed croquettes are coated in flour before pan-frying. I overlooked this step while making the croquettes, but I think the flour would form a nice crisp crust and serve as an additional binder – therefore rendering the croquettes less likely to fall apart. Likewise, you could also toss in a beaten egg (or a “flax egg“) to help bind together the sweet potato and rice.


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