I had this dream last night that the Joker was after me, trying to kill me.
This wasn’t the crazy kooky, but kinda funny Joker from the Batman cartoons either. This was the psychotic evil turn your blood cold Joker ala The Dark Knight.
That’s bad enough, but this dream continued..
I tired everything to get away, and went everywhere. A hotel, a shopping mall, a movie theater, etc. I don’t recall how I ended up at those places, but I think my subconscious mind thought crowded places would be safer. Unfortunately, they were not. No matter where I escaped to, the Joker kept finding me…
Needless to say, I’m feeling a little tired this morning.
The thing about coming from a family of really creative people, and being a creative person, is that you have a tendency to have, how shall I put it, vivid dreams. Sometimes this means really awesome dreams, but other times it means really terrifying/creepy/disturbing nightmares. At least in my experience. Who knows though, maybe it’s just my family, ha!
You know, I’d never had croquettes until I came to Japan. Of course, croquettes aren’t really a Japanese food, but they’ve been assimilated into Japanese cuisine so thoroughly that it almost seems like they are. They’re usually made with potatoes and ground beef or pork, but kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) croquettes, or korokke as they’re called here, are also common.
I decided to make the more common potato and meat korokke recently, but wanted to bake them rather than the usual deep frying, because
deep frying things freaks me out (all that hot oil! Ah!) I wanted to make a healthier version.
I’m happy to say they turned out very well, and didn’t taste that different from their fried counterparts (in my opinion at least).
Korokke are often served with shredded cabbage and covered with Japanese korokke sauce. I have no idea what this sauce is made of, and in Japan, it’s simply called “sauce” (which I find very mysterious). You can probably find it in a Japanese/Asian grocery store if you look for. Korokke are also often eaten with ponzu (a sauce that’s a combination of soy sauce and citrus juice), which I think normal grocery stores in the U.S. carry nowadays. Honestly though, these are just fine without any sauce to accompany them.
Baked Japanese Croquettes (Korokke)
(makes about 8 korokke)
- 4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 lb. ground beef or pork or a mixture
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. cream or milk
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 1 c. flour (approximately)
- 1 c. panko bread crumbs (approximately)
- Boil potatoes in a large pot until tender. Drain and mash. Add butter and milk, and mix well.
- In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef until completely cooked. Drain off any fat, and add meat to potato mixture and mix well.
- Add nutmeg to potato meat mixture, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.
- Shape mixture into 8 slightly flat oval-shaped patties, and place them on a baking paper lined cooking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour (this step is optional, but I find that refrigerating the patties helps them keep their shape and not fall apart).
- In a skillet over medium heat, toast panko bread crumbs, stirring often, until they turn brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F (200° C).
- Add bread crumbs to one bowl. Add egg to another bowl and beat well. Add flour to another bowl. Remove korokke from refrigerator. One at a time, coat korokke in flour, egg, and then bread crumbs, and place back on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake korokke for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.