Makes 12-14 croquettes
active time: 1 hour
passive time: 2 hours, to overnight, to chill the croquette mixture
These croquettes are fun and easy to make, smell amazing while being prepped, and look really pretty once plated. To make these, sweet potatoes are mashed and combined with fluffy red quinoa, then binded together with panko crumbs and a touch of peanut butter, while everything is nicely balanced out with a touch of sambal oelek. Once the croquettes are browned, they can then be dragged through this rich and creamy coconut-tomato sauce, which has been kissed with a dash of cinnamon and garam masala to create a subtly spiced and beautifully fragrant dish.
for the croquettes
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed a few times
1 cup mashed sweet potato (about 1 large sweet potato, cubed*)
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 TB natural peanut butter (preferrably chunky)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1 TB sambal oelek (optional), or more to taste
for the sauce
1 TB canola oil
1 cup shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
2 TB wine or broth
2 TB tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 can full-fat coconut milk (13.66 oz)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the sweet potato cubes and boil, uncovered, while you prepare the quinoa.
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a small boil. Reduce the heat to low, add in the quinoa, cover, and allow to remain at a low simmer for 15 minutes without removing the lid during the cooking time. Remove from the heat but leave it covered for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
By now, your sweet potatoes should be done and they should mash easily against the side of the pan with a fork. Drain, return them to the pan, and mash them up with a potato masher.
In a large bowl, combine the hot sweet potato and quinoa. Stir well to combine, then add in the rest of the croquette ingredients, adding 1 TB of sambal at a time and tasting it, adding more as you like. Cover and place the mixture into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
To make your sauce, heat the canola oil over medium-low heat. Add in the shallots and allow to sweat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. Add in the garlic and ginger, stir and allow to saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in the cinnamon, garam masala and salt, then stir and increase the heat to medium. After 1-2 minutes, add in the wine or broth to deglaze the pan. Reduce the heat to low, then add in the tomato paste, fold in the parsley and add in the coconut milk. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To make the croquettes, roll them into golfball-sized spheres, then flatten them a bit between your palms. Lightly grease a flat-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Fry the croquettes until golden brown on each side.
Serve immediately with the warmed sauce.
*If you have any leftover mashed sweet potatoes, this recipe is a nice way to use them up!