Potato Croquettes with Relish
1.5 kilo (3 1/2 lbs) potatoes, we found roosters the best, peeled and cut into chunks
4 eggs, separated
140 g (5 oz) bacon, cooked and cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup mature cheddar, freshly grated
Several gratings of nutmeg
1 cup flour
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
Pierce the potato all over with a fork, place on a baking tray, season generously with salt and put in a hot oven, 230 C/ 450 F, to bake until they are soft in the center and crispy on the outside. While they are cooking get all the other ingredients prepared. When the potatoes are cooked, cut them in half and scoop out the middle into a mixing bowl. Give it a quick mash with a potato masher and immediately add the egg yolks, bacon, butter, cheese, and nutmeg and mix well. Season well with salt and pepper.
With moist hands, divide the mixture into golf ball-sized portions and form balls of a 1-inch diameter.
On three separate plates, place the flour, egg whites and bread crumbs. Dredge each ball through each of the plates, starting with the flour, then the egg whites, then the bread crumbs. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil until almost smoking. Cook the disks in the oil, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, until disks are deep golden brown. Remove disks to a plate lined with paper towels and serve with Ballymaloe Country Relish.