Patatas Tinapa Croquetas with Pako Salad
(Chef Raki Urbina of Laguna Garden Cafe in Cebu
for the 2014 U.S. Potato Safari)

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Chef Raki Urbina of Laguna Garden Cafe in Cebu

Chef Raki Urbina of Laguna Garden Cafe in Cebu

AM still in Cebu for the last leg of the three-day 2014 U.S. Potato Safari put together by the United States Potato Board (USPB) featuring U.S. Frozen Potatoes. Starting last Monday, February 3, 2014, and ending with an exhibition luncheon prepared by Chef Sau del Rosario today, February 5, 2014, the potato safari is a gastronomic journey that allowed select journalists and bloggers from Manila and Cebu to enjoy venturing around the Queen City of the South for delectable lunches and dinners featuring different cuts of U.S. frozen potatoes as ingredient.

Four chefs created their own menus, which everyone got to taste, and these chefs were Chef Raki Urbina of Laguna Garden Café at the Cebu Business Park, Chef Stefano Verrillo of Marco Polo Hotel Cebu, Chef Dennis Uy of Maribago Bluewater Resort, and Chef Marco Anzani of Anzani New Mediterranean Restaurant. Celebrity chef Sau del Rosario put together a special exhibition lunch on the third day as culminating activity of the potato safari in Cebu.

Here, I want to share with you one of the first recipes to make a great impression on me from the very first lunch that we had at Laguna Garden Café last Monday (February 3, 2014). It’s by Chef Raki Urbina, and it’s absolutely delicious.

3 pcs. Potato Steak Fries, large-diced
100 grams tinapa flakes, toasted and shredded
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro, rough-chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour
egg wash (*1 egg + water, beaten)
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3 cups oil

1. Boil water in a medium-sized pot and cook potatoes until fork tender. Strain the water and cool down the potatoes a bit. Using a smasher or food mill,mash the potatoes.
2. Transfer mashed potato to a mixing bowl and add tinapa flakes, beaten egg, lemon or lime juice, and cilantro. Mix well but gently, so as not to overmash the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Form into croquettes by getting a spoonful and forming into croquettes gently with the palm of your hands until all of the mixture is used up.
3. Preheat oil in a pot over medium heat.
4. Set up the breading procedure. Dredge the croquettes in flour, making sure to dust off excess flour. Dip in eggwash using a fork and coat with breadcrumbs evenly.
5. Gently deep-fry the breaded croquettes until golden brown in color and drain off excess oil in paper towels.

50 grams pako (fiddlehead fern), blanched
30 grams Romaine lettuce, julienned
10 grams beansprouts, washed and chilled
2 pcs. tomatoes, cut into wedges
5 pcs. lychees, quartered
1/2 bulb onion, julienned
1/8 cup pickled radish
1/8 cup fried shallots

1. In a mixing bowl, mix the ingredients well.
2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3 tbsps. fish sauce
2 tbsps. honey
1 tsp. lime juice
sprigs of cilantro for garnish

1. Combine all ingredients and whisk together.
2. Spoon the dressing over the salad and fold until lightly coated.
3. To finish, top salad with the warm croquettes and garnish with cilantro sprigs and fried shallots.

Makes 5 servings.

Category(s): Recipes, Salads
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