Old-fashioned Mushroom Croquettes

Mushroom Croquettes on plate

Now that we’re in 2020, I’ve set aside the 1919 cookbooks and magazines that I got recipes from last year, and have been gathering 1920 cookbooks and magazines. (EBay is wonderful source of old cookbooks.) As I shift to 1920, I am really enjoying browsing through a whole “new” set of old recipes.

One recipe that piqued my interest was a recipe for Mushroom Croquettes. The coquettes are made by combining mashed potatoes, and chopped mushrooms. They are then browned in a skillet.

The Mushroom Croquettes were crispy on the outside, and filled with a delectable creamy mashed potato and mushroom mixture on the inside.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Mushroom Croquettes
Source: The Cook Book of Left-Overs (1920) compiled by The More Nurses in Training Movement from Recipes Contributed by Illinois Ladies

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Mushroom Croquettes

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

1 cup mashed potatoes

1 pint mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

vegetable oil (shortening or lard would also work)

Mashed potatoes should be at room temperature when making this recipe. Either allow hot mashed potatoes to cool, or remove cold mashed potatoes from refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature.

In the meantime, chop the mushrooms into small pieces. There should be approximately two cups of chopped mushrooms. Melt butter in a skillet, then add the chopped mushrooms. Sauté  for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally. Then remove from heat.

Place the mashed potatoes into a mixing bowl, stir in the salt and eggs; then add sautéed mushrooms and stir until the mushrooms are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Then drop heaping spoonfuls of the mushroom and potato mixture into the hot oil. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, then gently turn to brown the other side. When browned, remove croquettes from the skillet with a fork or slotted spoon. Drain the croquettes on paper towels, then serve.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

59 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Mushroom Croquettes

    1. Neither would I. I skipped the step about pressing the cold mashed potatoes through a sieve when I updated the recipe. I can’t quite figure out why there was a need to do this. It seems like the potatoes already would be smooth from being mashed.

        1. Since neither of us are willing to try putting the mashed potatoes through a sieve, I guess that we’ll never find out whether it takes this recipe from “wonderful” to “awesome.” 🙂

    1. I also am curious about the “More Nurses in Training Movement.” So far, I haven’t been able to find anything about it. I must say that I like the cookbook the Illinois group compiled. There are many recipes in it that I’d like to try.

        1. I agree – it must have been something small. I just looked at the cookbook, and it says, The More Nurses in Training Movement, New Rochelle, Illinois.

          1. Found it, Sheryl! Following WWI, there was a shortage of nurses in Illinois as well as other places, particularly in public health. One particular impact of the nursing shortage was because of the 1920 flu epidemic. A legislative bill was introduced to provide a shortened one-year nurses training course (as opposed to the 3-year course) but it was opposed. There was a widespread focus on recruiting more women into nurse training programs. Boston women also had a movement to provide shortened training for some areas of nursing in the community in order to meet the need for more nurses.

            1. Wow, I’m impressed. You research skills are amazing. I thought that I did a good job of looking for information about the More Nurses in Training Movement, and never could find a thing. It’s really interesting to learn about this organization, and how some states sought to reduce the shortage of nurses by considering a reduction in the length of the training program.

  1. Interesting how even in “comfortable” households, cooking was more focused on extending. I love chicken and turkey croquettes, once a year, made in the French style with a béchamel. This was an interesting variation on the theme.

    1. I agree – It’s interesting how they chose to compile a whole cookbook of recipes for leftovers. I’ve seen a wide variety of croquette recipes in hundred-year-old cookbooks. I think that they were more popular back then than now.

      1. Thrift was a more important value, I think, regardless of means. My parents remembered the struggles of the Depression, which colored their approach to many other things as well. I love your blog!

        1. I agree – People were much thriftier in years gone by. It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoy this blog. I have a lot of fun doing it, and it’s nice to hear when someone likes it.

  2. Oh my.. this takes no imagination as to if it’s good! I’m going to have to write down a memo to remind myself to have mushrooms on hand when I do mash potatoes.

    1. I bought several 1920 cookbooks, including the one that contained this recipe, through Ebay. I am also fortunate to live near an excellent library that has many old books and magazines.

  3. My mother would make what she called pierogis – she would make whatever filling struck her fancy and then make a dough using leftover mashed potatoes, eggs and a little flour. She’d make a patty and put a spoonful of filling in the middle and fold it into a ball then fry in butter in a skillet. Crispy on the outside and soft in the inside… I think the next time I have leftover mashed potatoes I’m making them!

    1. mmm. . . just thinking about pierogis makes me hungry. I’ve had some incredible ones at friends’ houses and neighborhood Polish restaurants over the years.

    1. I can understand why this might be a problem. I actually had to make mashed potatoes twice before I had left-overs to make this recipe. The first time I made mashed potatoes, I under-estimated how many my family would eat, so I had to make them again – and I made lots that time.

  4. These sound mighty good. I wonder though, if they could baked instead of fried?
    If this has been asked, then forgive me, I’m in a bit of a rush right now,
    What type of mushrooms did you use?
    Thanks so much for continuing to post delicious old timey recipes. 😀

    1. You’re the first person to ask this question. I’m not sure, but my guess is that the crispy coating wouldn’t form as well if the the croquettes were baked. Frying them in a fat might not be the healthiest thing to do, but it does result in a nice coating.

      I just used the common button mushrooms that you can buy in the grocery store in this recipe.

    1. It’s a fairly easy recipe. The only thing that can be a tiny bit difficult is flipping the croquettes while they are cooking so that they brown on both sides. I didn’t have any trouble, but I worried about the possibility.

    1. You’ll have to make LOTS of mashed potatoes. I actually had to make mashed potatoes twice before I was able to make this recipe. The first time I made some, and planned to use the left-overs for this recipe – but my family ate them all.

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