Sephardic Recipes With A Modern Twist

Sephardic Spice Girls

Meat-and-Potato Croquette

Meat-and-Potato Croquette


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PASTELITOS DE PATATA 

Potato shell:

6 large russet potatoes
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Juice of 1 lemon
All-purpose flour or gluten-free flour or matzo meal, for rolling patties
4 eggs, beaten
Pinch of salt
Oil for frying 


Meat filling:

1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste 


Potato mixture:

  1. Boil potatoes in their skins until easily pierced with fork. Mash them while they’re hot.

  2. Add egg and turmeric and mix well. Then add pepper, salt, baking soda and lemon juice and mix well.

  3. Let mixture cool, then form balls slightly smaller than a tennis ball. 

  4. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.


Meat mixture (la miga, Spanish for “crumbs”):

  1. Sauté finely chopped onion in oil for 5 minutes, then add ground meat. Using wooden spatula, break meat into small pieces and sauté for 5 more minutes. 

  2. Add bay leaves, garlic, nutmeg and water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

  3. Uncover and cook until water has evaporated. Continue to break meat into small pieces. Then let cool.


Forming pastelitos:

  1. Moisten hands with water. Flatten potato ball in palm of hand, forming crater.

  2. Add tablespoon of meat filling in crater.

  3. Keeping hands moist, fold potato mixture over meat and seal.

  4. Form ball and flatten into patty.

  5. Roll patty in flour to coat thoroughly.

  6. Refrigerate until ready to fry. 


Frying pastelitos:

  1. In medium bowl, beat eggs and add pinch of salt.

  2. Heat frying pan with neutral frying oil, about 1 inch deep.

  3. Dip flour-coated pastelito into bowl with beaten eggs.

  4. Place in hot oil and fry until both sides are golden brown.

  5. Place on rack or paper towel to drain.

  6. Best served same day, or reheated in 350 F oven.

    Can be frozen, raw or fried. 

Makes 24 medium or 30 small patties.