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I recently watched a Thanksgiving Leftover Special on Foodnetwork. Danny Boome made this interesting dish that the british called Bubble and Squeek. He basically took all the thanksgiving leftovers, mixed them together and formed little breaded patties and fried them. This recipe doesn’t work without the aid of Mashed Potatoes. “Mashed Potatoes are an essential part of Thanksgiving meal.” ~Ree Drummond

So I decided to put my own little spin on Bubble and Squeek and call it Loaded Croquettes. =] Quite the delicious…crisp and golden on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside…mMmmMmM~

Loaded because it contains everything a loaded baked potato would have (sour cream, chives, bacon, and cheddar) and croquettes are just fried mashed potato balls.

Another interesting thing I found while we were on our Honeymoon in New Zealand, is that the rest of the world knows the fatty strips of bacon we’re used to as “streaky american bacon.” I did not understand this term until I had FRESH bacon and free range eggs at every single bed and breakfast we stayed at on our honeymoon. The bacon we ate was all meat, very little fat, and definitely not striped with fat like our bacon. I miss real bacon…=(

Loaded Croquettes

Ingredients:
6 C Leftover Mashed Potatoes or Fresh Mashed Potatoes (recipe below)
4 Strips of “Streaky American Bacon”, cooked and diced
1 C Sour Cream
2 TBSP Fresh Chives, chopped
1/4 Cheddar, diced
3 Eggs (Egg Wash)
3-4 C Panko Bread Crumbs
Vegetable Oil

1. Combine Mashed Potatoes, Sour Cream, Chives, Cheddar, and Bacon together in a large bowl.

2. In a large pan on Medium-High Heat, put ~2 TBSP of Vegetable Oil.

3. Spoon ~2 TBSP into your hands and form a ball. *Make sure you’ve washed your hands before this step*.

4. Dip in Egg Wash (3 Eggs whisked with a TSBP of water), and then roll in Panko.

5. Press gently into a flattened shape and place in oil in pan. Be sure to give each Croquette room so that it can brown nicely. Cook on each side for ~5 minutes or until golden brown on each side. Place on paper towels to catch excess oil. *Be very careful with this step. The inside of the croquette gets quite mushy and may fall apart during the transfer to paper towels*



Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
8 Medium to Large Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 C Buttermilk

1. Boil potatoes in a large pot filled with water until soft and cooked through.

2. Drain. Place potatoes in a large bowl with Buttermilk and mash to a creamy consistency.

This next one has a been an appetizer staple of mine for quite some time. I usually make it with dried cranberries which gives it a nice tartness to counteract the sweet. I think I’ll stick with that version until I can find a better one. The grocery store I went to didn’t have any dried cranberries so I got dried figs instead thinking it would be a suitable substitute.

Baked Brie

Ingredients:
1/4 C Dried Cranberries (or another other dried fruit of your choice)
5 TBSP Brown Sugar
1/4 C Sliced Almonds
Small Wheel of Brie
4 Sheets of Phyllo Dough (found in the freezer section)
1 Egg

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Cut off the top of the Brie carefully.

3. On the thicker portion of the brie, press on the brown sugar.

4. Then press in dried fruit of your choice. In this case it’s diced dried figs.

5. Then sprinkle sliced almonds on top.

6. Replace the top of the brie.

7. Carefully wrap the brie in Phyllo. I like to place two sheets on the bottom, wrap upwards around the brie and then flip onto another two sheets of phyllo and wrap upwards. Flip again and you have a nice pretty top for your baked brie. =]

8. Place on some foil or wax paper before placing on a sheet pan to keep it from sticking. Brush the top with Egg Wash (1 egg whisked with 1 TSP water). Bake this for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown on top.

So gooey and delicious on top of crackers. mMmMmmm~

last but not least…Chocolate Covered Bacon. No, I did not stutter. Sinfully sweet and salty. I die.

I first had this on top of Mac and Cheese at CoCo Sala DC (yes, this is a really nice high end restaurant and yes, they did put it on top of mac and cheese) and fell in love. I had to try and make it for myself. =]

Excuse the unprettiness…this was my very first batch ever…didn’t take away from the deliciousness of the dish though.

Chocolate Covered Bacon

Ingredients:
8 oz Milk Chocolate (chips, chunks, small pieces so it melts faster)
10 Strips of “streaky American bacon”

1. Cook bacon until crispy. I use Ina Garten’s method of placing a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan, placing strips of bacon on top and cooking them in the oven for 20 min at 350F. Easy peasy lemon squeezy and I get to reserve the drippings to cook with later. =]

2. Melt Chocolate. I used the microwave method (pour into microwaveable bowl. nuke for 40 sec, stir. nuke for 10 sec intervals until melted). You can also use the double boiler method (heatproof bowl above simmering water on the stove). Just be sure not to get any water in the chocolate.

3. Cut bacon into bitesize pieces or you can leave them whole. Place into a large bowl and pour chocolate over. Mix well.

4. Spread out onto wax paper in a tray or sheet pan and let cool for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

5. Break it apart and enjoy. MmMmMmmmM~

Hehehe…sorry for the uber long post…these were all the foods I made for a little get together potluck we had at our new place so I just put them all in one post. =P

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