It all started the other day when my very dear friend Lizzie, who owns & runs the Folk House Cafe & Bar in Bristol, asked me if I had a good recipe for Spanish croquetas. And I did, so I passed it along. But then Lizzie asked me how many croquetas the recipe made and I could not remember … so I decided to find out.
Of course, the thing about croquetas is that they are kind of fiddly – okay, they are a total pain in the ass – to make, so if you’re going to make one batch then may as well make two. Except then I couldn’t decide which kind to make, and started thinking that four different kinds would make a nice photo … and this is how I ended up with croquetas taking over my kitchen. But I must say it was nice to have a variety of them.
From left to right: spinach with pinenuts & chili peppers, mackerel & roasted red pepper, garlicky chicken, and ham & cheese. Served with “the sauce“.
Recipe is below the links…
- 1 tbsp olive oil or butter (or mixed)
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 1 tbsp flour (slightly heaping)
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- finely chopped cooked chicken, ham, tuna, fish, spinach, etc
- 2 eggs, beaten
- fine breadcrumbs
- oil for frying
Heat the oil or butter in a saucepan and sauté the minced onions until transparent. Don’t let them brown. Stir in the flour and let it cook briefly, then whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly until this sauce thickens. Add salt & pepper. Stir in the cooked and chopped filling – any choice of cooked meat, fish or vegetable can be used as long as they are very well drained of all liquid (careful: they could explode when frying if liquid is left in the mixture).
I tend to use a LOT of filling. In most restaurants the croquetas are quite bechamely – mine are mostly filling with a bit of bechamel holding it all together. You can play around until you get the combination that you prefer.
Spread the mixture in a dish and refrigerate until solid. Place beaten eggs in a dish, the breadcrumbs in another. With moistened hands, form the croquette mixture into balls or cylinders. Dip each croquette first in breadcrumbs (or flour – I prefer to use only breadcrumbs, but if you ever find yourself short, you can do the first dredging stage using flour), then in beaten egg, then again in breadcrumbs, taking care that they are well covered. Allow to dry in a cool place for 30 minutes. Heat oil and fry the croquettes, a few at a time, until golden – about 3 minutes.
makes 12-15 croquetas