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A Perfect Pantry

Cheese and Bacon Potato Croquettes with Aioli

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    There is no truer mark of a great kitchen appliance than one which you begin using within fifteen minutes of bringing into the kitchen and then continue to use several times a week.

    A kettle and toaster are obvious contenders for being hardworking and indispensible, but now they have a competitor: The new Kambrook X-Blade stick blender.

    I came home one evening last month with this product and within fifteen minutes of opening it, I was using it. Using it, and crowing about it on Twitter as it happened.

    With four handy options and interchangeable attachments to choose from, this blender gives incredible versatility when you have a recipe that goes through couple of processes, without the need for lots of washing up or fiddling about.


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    That night, I made chicken parmagiana and used some stale crusts of bread and an old heel of parmesan which the X-blender easily turned into tasty breadcrumbs. I then changed attachments with one click and used the potato ricer to make the smoothest and creamiest mashed potatoes I’d had in ages.  You can use the hard-wearing metal stick blender attachment in the supplied jug to make a great gravy, or or a wonderful salsa, or even some food for baby. The options are endless.

    Here I have given you a recipe for Potato Croquettes, a classic French recipe that is just as versatile as the X-Blade. For one thing, this is a fantastic way to use up leftovers. Mashed potato provides a great basis for anything you need to use up – last night’s vegetables can be chopped (speedily in the small food processing bowl) and added to the mash, or you can even add a knob of chilled garlic and herbed butter to create a wonderful variation of a Kiev filling. I opted for cheese and bacon and then used the blender to make a sensational Aioli, that wonderful garlic mayonnaise we all love. The X-Blade made it in less than seven minutes with such incredible results I may never go without some in the fridge again.

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    Potato Croquettes 

    Makes 10

     

    INGREDIENTS

    • 600 – 700g (about 4 medium sized) floury potatoes
    • 2 rashers bacon, rinds removed and finely chopped
    • 120g tasty cheddar, finely grated
    • Salt and white pepper
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or ½ tsp dried thyme
    • ½ cup plain flour
    • 2 small eggs, beaten
    • 3 thick slices day-old bread
    • Vegetable oil for frying
    • Green Salad or lightly steamed vegetables to serve

    For the Aioli:

    • 2 bulbs garlic
    • 2 egg yolks
    • Juice and zest of one large lemon
    • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
    • Sea salt to taste
    • 300 ml olive oil 

    METHOD

    1. Scrub the potatoes of all dirt and cut away any ‘eyes’, then place them, whole and unpeeled, in a saucepan of lightly salted water and bring them to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the tip of a sharp knife goes into the centre smoothly.
    2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat one spoonful of oil in a small frypan over medium heat and add the diced bacon. Gently fry for five minutes until the bacon is browned and starting to crisp. Drain on paper towel and set to one side.
    3. Drain the potatoes and when cool enough to handle, peel the skins away. Place the whole potatoes in a large bowl.
    4. Use the potato ricer attachment of the X Blade Blender to mash the potatoes until very smooth.  Add the grated cheese, bacon, thyme and season with salt and pepper before mixing well.
    5. Mould the potato into cylinder shapes about 5-6cm long and a little fatter than a wine cork. You can make them larger or smaller as you wish.
    6. Place the beaten eggs in one bowl, the flour in another.
    7. Tear the day old bread into chunks and place in the bowl of the X-Blade Blender and process until you have fine breadcrumbs. Tip the crumbs into a third bowl.
    8. Pour oil into a medium sized saucepan to a depth of 8 cm and heat over medium heat to a temperature of 180°C.  While the oil is heating, dip each croquette into flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs to coat completely and lay them on a plate until ready to fry.
    9. The oil is hot enough when you can stand the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil and it creates small fast rising bubbles. Use a heat-proof slotted spoon to lower the croquettes into the oil – cook them in batches of three or four at a time for about three minutes or until they are crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towel and keep them warm while you finish cooking the remainder.

     

    Aioli

    1. Place the whole unpeeled garlic bulbs in a square of foil and drizzle with a little oil, then wrap the foil around the garlic. Roast in a 180°C oven for 40 minutes until the garlic is softened.  Cut the tops off each bulb and squeeze the softened roasted garlic into the bowl of the X-Blade blender.
    2. Add egg yolks, lemon juice, zest, mustard and a pinch of sea salt to the bowl and blend thoroughly for thirty seconds to combine.
    3. Add the oil, about 2 tablespoons at a time, to the eggs and blend thoroughly to combine. Continue blending for a further 20-30 seconds before stopping the motor and adding another two tablespoons of oil. Repeat this adding and blending stage until the oil is incorporated and the mayonnaise is very thick and creamy.
    4. Add 1 tablespoon hot tap water right at the end and blend for a further 10 seconds to emulsify the sauce. Check for seasoning, but it should be good and garlicky.
    5. Store in a clean screwtop jar in the fridge for up to three weeks. Aioli is a fabulous accompaniment to a rustic bread salad, green beans, potato wedges or with poached chicken in a sandwich.

     

     

    b2ap3_thumbnail_image005.jpgRecipe created and shared by Sandra Reynolds

    Sandra Reynolds has written over 1000 nutritious budget-friendly recipes for her blog The $120 Food Challenge, surviving unemployment payments and Aldi checkout lines along the way and turned personal adversity into a thriving blog.

    Her first cookbook, The $120 Food Challenge is published by Penguin Viking and Sandra is now writing her second cookbook. She still shops at Aldi every week.

     


    • Rachel 22 July 2013

      We live in a really small house, but we'd like to try for a baby soon. Man it would be nice to have something that small to help make baby food!

    • Desi 22 July 2013

      Ohhhh will be trying this one tomorrow i think...mmmmm sounds delicious. Only thing is i will be doing it all by hand... the old fashioned way :-) and i may even cook them in a wood burning combustion stove (love that thing). I currently do not have any electrical appliances like this.... i have a sandwich maker which i dont use and that is about it!!! I would soo love one of these it would help me so much, plus i checked out the power specs on it and it would work here as we are totally off the grid and rely on solar power...

    • Cyndy 22 July 2013

      I'm a vegetarian and love to make my own soups, dips and yoghurt. I have arthritis in my hands so anything that helps to chop up food would be a real godsend. I would LOVE this!

    • Kelly 22 July 2013

      Due to being a student I have NO kitchen appliances - I'd love to use this to make my own dips, soups, potato pancakes, gremolata, pesto oh my goodness just about anything!

    • Virginia Cuda 22 July 2013

      Wow a ricer? How cool! I must have an appliance that makes great mash, I cannot and I stress cannot make mash without big ole lumps in it!

    • Sue Novak 22 July 2013

      I would love to win the Kambrook X Blade Stick blender, I would use it to grind up lemon rind, for Impossible Lemon Pie........Yum! and I love making hummus, and pureeing food for my disabled daughter, most helpful.

    • Narelle Rock 22 July 2013

      This would be brilliant for making our own aoli when we make home-made kebabs, also for blending up the home made soups like the one I made tonight which is lumpy :(

    • julie driver 22 July 2013

      Kambrook X Blade Stick Blender
      The ultimate anti-kitchen-mess defender
      All dated gadgets will hit the trash
      To pave the way to my perfect mash
      For my Wholesome Shepherds Pie delight
      This blender's just out of sight!!!

    • Kate 22 July 2013

      I'd love one to make cooking soups and sauces easier, I could just use the stick attachment and blend away. Would save me so much time which is hard to find in my house with twin toddlers running around!!!

    • Monica 22 July 2013

      This would be amazing for making homemade soups, perfect for this chilly weather!

    • Nina 22 July 2013

      I'd love to make the two recipes above and this looks like the perfect appliance to use on everything everyday :)

    • Bubble936 22 July 2013

      I WOULD USE IT TO MAKE BABY FOOD FOR MY 6 MONTH OLD .IT WILL DEFINITELY BE AN ASSET FOR MY KITCHEN.

    • Kate 22 July 2013

      This? Would be amazing. I can see myself making all kinds of things with thus. Especially, soups and dahl.

    • lina 22 July 2013

      i'd like to win it for my friend whose daughter just found passion for cooking but can't handle sharp knives just yet so it would be perfect addition for their kitchen.

    • Kylie 22 July 2013

      Something like this would save my knuckles on the grater when I'm trying to hide those extra veggies in the kids meals. Who would have thought it could be so easy

    • Tanya 22 July 2013

      These look great and would really help my husband and I with our gluten free diet, making small amounts in a food processor just doesn't work.

    • Maggie 22 July 2013

      Downsizing to a smart sardine tin style flat with ditto kitchen and not much cupboard space is a bit of a shock for anyone who loves to cook. The Kambrook X Blade Stick Blender is the perfect solution for space deprived cooks like me who need more than just a sharp knife.

    • Brish Wilson 22 July 2013

      This blender would perfectly fit into the empty spot vacated after my daughter permanently borrowed my food processor. :-) With a growing teenage boy, I make a lot of slices, and this would crush a lot of biscuits in my house!

    • Katie DeCillo 23 July 2013

      This little appliance seems like a true gem! We currently have a tiny hand processor that is getting tired after processing nuts and dates and other fun things for homemade LARABARS and such. I'm growing my own garden this year for the first time and this would be perfect for garden fresh salsa, too!

    • Kaz Doidge 23 July 2013

      I am always on the lookout for anything that makes preparing food a little bit easier. After cooking all day at work the LAST thing I want to do when I get home is spend hours in my kitchen doing it all again. I have a stick blender and a mini food processor, but this looks like it will take their place.

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