Made with sweet, colorful yams, these croquettes are veggie mini-burgers that can be served as a first course or appetizer, or serve several croquettes as a main course for vegetarian guests. If tangerines aren't available, substitute orange juice. Or, omit the sauce and top the croquettes with a dollop of sour cream, a cherry tomato half, and a tiny sprig of fresh flat-leaf parsley.
For the sauce
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh tangerine juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño pepper, or to taste
Salt to taste
For the croquettes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup (about 8 ounces) coarsely shredded peeled yam or orange sweet potato
½ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup minced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup prepared dried bread crumbs
¼ cup slivered almonds, crushed or ground
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
Sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
To make the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth; set aside.
To make the croquettes, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the yam, onion, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
For each patty, gently squeeze about 1 tablespoon of the mixture in your hand to form a ball, then flatten into a 2-inch round patty. Place the patties on a plate as they are prepared.
Wash and dry the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook the croquettes for about 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly brown. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel; pat gently.
Arrange the warm croquettes on a platter and garnish. Serve the sauce in a small bowl with a spoon or small ladle for drizzling it over the warm croquettes. Provide plates and forks for your guests.
The sauce will keep for up to 2 days in a covered container in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature for serving. The croquette mixture will keep for up to 1 day in a covered container in the refrigerator. To serve warm, sauté the croquettes just before serving or make them up to 1 day in advance, cover and refrigerate, and reheat on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for about 5 minutes.