Belgians had very good reasons for partying hard in the last weeks. Their national football team won 2-1 against Croatia, ensuring a place in the sun among the lucky and walrus ones that will play the next World’s cup. I’m not a big fan of football in general, but I have to admit it: when Italy plays, I am always among the first line of supporters. Maybe it could be incredibly stupid that people rediscover their affection to their Homeland only upon such occasions, but as far as I leave far away from my Country, I became much more patriotic, and I follow with true interest and concern the wisdom of Italian National Team (and, ça va sans dire, the dramatic time that my Country is facing right now).
Pathetic or not, football and sport in general is able to make you cry a river if your National team is going to win and you need – as always – a good meal that goes with celebrations.! The following recipe is a traditional ‘couch&tv&match’ finger food, crunchy and tasty. You can even prepare it in advance, froze it and keep it for these special occasions.
- 1kg potatoes
- 6 slices cheddar cheese
- 6 slices baked ham (I truly love the ‘fumè’ version, much more tasty I believe)
- a couple of eggs
- bread crumble
- sunflower seeds oil
- 2 spoons flour
Boil in enough hot water the potatoes, and peel them once they are ready (they have to be very soft, if you put a fork inside, you have to feel that they are perfectly cooked). While they are still hot, start mashing them (you can use a fork or the proper tool). If they are not sufficiently soft, add 2 spoons of hot milk. Add two eggs and the 2 spoons of flour. Add salt and pepper as well, and mix properly all the ingredients. Be careful: the consistence of the dough you are preparing must be soft but not creamy nor liquid. It has to be dense enough for making balls. Now, put some potato dough in your hand, previously oiled with some olive oil so that the mixture won’t stick on your skin (use a spoon, consider that two full spoons would be enough). Curve your hand, making a hollow in the potato dough, where you will put the slices of cheddar and ham (cut them if their dimensions are not in proportion with the width of the potato disk. Then, cover the surface with another spoon of potato dough. Overall dimension of the ball should be around 10-13 cm diameter. Roll the ball in the bread crumble, trying to keep it compacted and with a precise form. Put the sunflower seeds oil to warm in a frying pan, and when it starts frying, gently put the potato disks one by one. Fry it 4-5 min per side, until it gets golden/brown. Eat your crispy croquettes when they are still warm and crunchy, but be careful to let them get colder a little bit, or inside they’ll burn!
All you have to do afterwards is just focusing on your loved team. This time, I felt like supporting Belgium, just for once, as a special thanks to the land that is gently hosting me and giving me a good job and a warm house to live. And with no doubts, this time, I cried: ‘Go, Red Devils, Go!’