I mentioned last week that my partner and I combine forces to make an at-home steakhouse menu every Valentine’s Day. Welcome to the sides portion of this year’s feast. These Loaded Baked Potato Croquettes are a riff on the classic jacket potato. These jumbo croquettes house a filling of baked potato flesh and a rich mornay sauce packed with cheddar cheese, scallions, garlic, shallots, and sour cream. This is everything you love and expect from a loaded baked potato in a golden, crisp format.
The baked potato is the perfect example of simple, delicious food. You pierce a baking potato all over with a fork, roast it until soft, and finally, cut it open and slather it with butter. There is so little to the operation but the taste and texture? Pure poetry. Now, if you’re one of those types who are compelled to try to improve upon perfection, you’re probably aware of the loaded baked potato. This is a baked potato that has been tarted up with sour cream, cheese, and some sort of allium – usually chives or green onions. For the omnivores among us, there is the option to add bacon bits as well. Does a baked potato need all this adornment? Well, no. I already told you it’s perfect. But do I love a loaded baked potato? You bet your bottom dollar I do.
Be honest, do I come across as a person who exercises a lot of restraint? I am a maximalist when it comes to food. So naturally, a loaded baked potato is not “too much” in my books. But what if you were to take that loaded baked potato and mash it into a gooey paste, bread it, and deep fry it? Would that be too much? I didn’t think so. Although, I’m willing to accept that this may be the point where sane people and I part ways. But if you’re a food maximalist too, join me while I show you how to make these Loaded Baked Potato Croquettes.
Start by pricking three large baking potatoes all over with a fork. Place the potatoes in the oven directly on the rack. I know, it feels wrong but a good kind of wrong, right?! You can put a baking sheet underneath the potatoes to catch any drips and help you feel like there is still order in the world. Bake the potatoes for an hour or so. Don’t pull them until they are extremely tender. Give them all the time they need. This is not the time or place to be impatient.
While the potatoes are baking, let’s tackle the béchamel. Start by cutting the white portions of your scallions in half. Add the scallions to a small pot of milk. Next, add some quartered shallots and two crushed cloves of garlic. Place the pot over medium heat and simmer until the alliums are tender. This should take about 15 minutes. Strain the milk and set it aside. Place the now softened shallots, scallions, and garlic in a food processor and blitz until very smooth. Set the puree aside. Finely chop the greens of the scallions and set them aside as well.
Make a roux in a large skillet by combining butter and flour. Gradually whisk in the milk until a smooth and thick sauce forms. Add some shredded cheddar cheese – the sharper the better – and stir until the cheese melts. Add a dollop of Dijon mustard, the scallion puree, and a pinch of salt. Take the sauce off of the heat and stir in the scallion greens.
Split the baked potatoes open and let cool slightly. Scoop the flesh out of the potatoes and into a large bowl. Add the mornay sauce and a sizeable dollop of sour cream. Mash and stir everything together until very smooth. Transfer the mixture to the fridge and let chill overnight. We want everything to be good and cold before we start forming the croquettes. The shaping and the frying are the most delicate steps in this recipe.
Initially, when I was dreaming these Loaded Baked Potato Croquettes up, I wanted each croquette to contain a potato’s-worth of flesh. Then they would truly be a full replacement for the actual potato. That didn’t pan out because that made the croquettes far too big and the mixture a little too loose. Long story short, those early croquettes collapsed in on themselves. They were too gooey, too giant that they could not survive. Don’t worry, I managed to put them out of their misery. So in the end, I opted for smaller croquettes. Don’t exceed more than a 1/3 cup of filling per croquette. I think you should limit them to a 1/4 cup but feel free to walk on the wild side.
Once the croquettes are croquette-shaped, pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. We want them good and cold before we bread them. I won’t go into much detail about the breading process. It’s the usual roll in flour, dip in egg, and toss in panko breadcrumbs situation. So I trust that you can take it from here.
Heat several cups of neutral oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. You want the oil to reach and maintain a temperature of 350° F. Drop your croquettes in and carefully rotate them in the oil. Try to keep them moving, so they brown evenly. The croquettes should be done in about 5-7 minutes. Fish the croquettes out of the oil and transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel. Set them aside to drain. Garnish your croquettes with scallions and serve them alongside additional sour cream.
And that’s everything you need to know about these Loaded Baked Potato Croquettes. Bursting with tangy, creamy, carby goodness, these golden beauties will delight your next round of dinner guests.
Loaded Baked Potato Croquettes
- 1 Large skillet
- 1 heavy bottom pot
- 3 large Russet potatoes pricked all over with a fork
- 6 scallions
- 2 shallots quartered
- 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour divided
- 85g (3oz) sharp cheddar shredded
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard heaping
- 2 tsp kosher salt divided
- ¼ cup sour cream plus more for serving
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
- neutral oil for frying
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the potatoes in the oven directly on the rack. Place a small baking sheet under the potatoes on the lower rack. Roast until tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.3 large Russet potatoes
- While the potatoes are baking, seperate the white and green sections of the scallions. Cut the white portion in half and finely chop the green.6 scallions
- Pour the milk into a small sauce pan and place the white sections of the scallion in the milk. Add the shallots and the garlic and place the saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. **2 shallots, 2 cloves garlic, 2 cups whole milk
- Strain the milk and set it aside. Place the scallions, shallots, and garlic in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Set the puree aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet until foamy. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the flour to form a roux. Slowly whisk in the strained milk until a thick sauce forms. Add the cheddar and stir until the cheese melts. Stir in the Dijon mustard, the scallion puree, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Take the sauce off of the heat and add the chopped scallion greens. Stir to combine.3 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 cup + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour, 85g (3oz) sharp cheddar, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp kosher salt
- Take the potatoes out of the oven and split them open. Let cool. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and place it in a large bowl. Add the cheese sauce and the sour cream to the bowl. Mash and stir to combine. Chill the mixture for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.¼ cup sour cream
- Using a quarter cup measure as a guide, roll the filling into balls. You should have about 8. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk to combine the remaining salt and panko breadcrumbs. Working with a croquette at a time, roll them in the remaining flour before dipping them in the egg and finally rolling them in the panko mixture.1 cup + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour, 2 tsp kosher salt, 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs, 2 large eggs
- Pour five inches of oil in a heavy bottom pot. Heat the oil to 350°F and add the croquettes. Carefully roll the croquettes in the oil so they brown evenly. Once they are golden, transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel and set them aside to drain. ***neutral oil
- Top the croquettes with scallion curls and serve alongside sour cream.