Cousous, sweet potato, goat cheese croquettes

couscous croquettes

For these tasty croquettes I repurposed some lovely vintage articles that had been artisanally handcrafted a couple of days ago. That’s right, I used leftovers. Red beans left over from the stew, sweet potatoes left over from the fries, and couscous left over from a meal I didn’t even tell you about! The advantage to this, of course, is that everything’s already made, so you can throw these together when you have very little time after work, which is exactly what I did. Plus, everything already has its own seasoning from the previous meal, and they all happen to taste wonderful together. I think this would work well as reverse leftovers, if you know what I mean. You could make a batch of fries, a batch of couscous, and open a can of beans, make these lovely little croquettes, and then use the remaining ingredients for different meals in the weeks to come. You can always throw couscous and beans into a salad the next day, if you’re looking for an easy way out. Any way that you do it, these are worth making! They’re subtly sweet, because of the sweet potatoes, but this is balanced by the goat cheese, which has its own way of tang-ing up a dish, doesn’t it? We had these with warm tortillas, grated sharp cheddar, chopped romaine, the leftover stew, and with a nice spinach cashew sauce I’ll tell you about later. But I think they’d be nice with a simple tomato sauce, or romesco sauce, or chermoula sauce, or even BBQ sauce! I’m going to tell you how to make these as if I’d started from scratch, and the couscous and sweet potatoes will make a little extra for another time.

Here’s Tom Waits’ Yesterday is Here. Yesterday’s dinner is, anyway!

1 cup uncooked couscous
1 t oregano
1 t basil
4 or 5 T olive oil, altogether
1/2 cup red beans
1 medium sized sweet potato (If you don’t want to have leftovers)
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 egg
salt and plenty of pepper

1/2 t. Smoked Paprika
Pinch each of…cayenne
white pepper
allspice
marjoram
cardamom
coriander
dash cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the sweet potato into thin batons or small cubes. Coat them with olive oil and the spice mix. Roast in the oven for about 1/2 an hour, till they’re nice and browned and crispy.

Take 2 cups of these and cut them into small pieces. (Unless you started out with them as small pieces!)

In a medium-sized saucepan, warm a tablespoon of olive oil with the basil and oregano. Put in the couscous, and stir over medium-high heat till it’s warmed through and starting to smell toasty. Pour over 1 1/4 cups boiling water. Leave it on the burner for a minute, then take it off, cover it, and leave it to sit for at least five minutes, while you mix everything else together.

In a large bowl, mash the red beans, but not to a puree – you want some substance. Then add the sweet potatoes, and mush them up a bit. Then add the couscous and stir everything together, mushing a bit as you stir.

Add an egg and a bit of salt and pepper.

Line a baking sheet with a thin film of olive oil. Take a bit of bean/couscous mixture in your hands and form it into a small disk – maybe 1 1/2 inches wide and about 1/4 – 1/3 inch tall.

Put these on your baking sheet. Let them soak up the olive oil for a minute, then turn them over, and let the other side get a bit of oil on. You can always use a pastry brush to scoop up some olive oil from the corners of the baking sheet to brush over the top.

Bake at 425 for about 20 – 30 minutes, turning them over as you cook, so that both sides get nice and brown and crispy.

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