Croquettes are a Spanish speciality - extremely popular in Spain and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. They can be made with a variety of ingredients. The most popular are those with stew, ham, chicken, cheese or mushrooms. Croquettes are a traditional dish often served at family meals. They taste delicious both hot and cold and even better the next day. In Spain almost everyone has eaten cold croquettes after a party - simply delicious!
A Speciality from Cádiz
The recipe we present here is typical to the region of Cádiz. The recipe consists of two parts - a meat stew called Puchero and the croquettes themselves which are made using the stewed meat as an ingredient. Puchero is a traditional dish in its own right and can be served both at lunch and dinner.
The base for most croquettes is a bechamel sauce. In this recipe, we make the bechamel sauce a little differently so that it is easier to make even for inexperienced cooks and free from lumps.
We hope you like them!
INGREDIENTS for PUCHERO GADITANO:
220 g chickpeas (soak overnight)
2 chicken thighs
1/4 beef shank
100 g bacon
1 fresh beef bone
1 salted pork bone
2 stalks of celery
Salt to taste
2-3 litres water
**Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water the night before**
In a large pot or pressure cooker add all the ingredients at the same time along with water and salt. Add enough water to cover all the ingredients.
Cook over high heat until foam appears. Skim it off.
Once the broth is foamy, cover and cook.
In a pressure cooker it will be ready in about 30 to 45 minutes. In a normal pot on medium heat, it will be ready in about 2 hours.
Once the stew is cooked, check for salt and add more if necessary.
INGREDIENTS for CROQUETTES:
Stewed meat (chicken thighs or beef shank) from the recipe above
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
4 heaped tablespoons flour
A pinch of salt
Whole milk (as much as you need - approx. 500 ml)
Olive oil to fry
Take the milk out of the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature
Shred the meat from the stew. Melt the butter in a pan and add the shredded meat. Saute for a couple of minutes. Add the flour and stir it in. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the milk little by little and keep stirring to make a smooth dough. Season with nutmeg and salt. The dough should not be too dense or too soft.
When done, transfer the contents of the pan to a plate or wide bowl and cover with cling film. Let cool (preferably overnight in the refrigerator).
Shape the croquettes. Coat first in the beaten egg and then breadcrumbs. Fry in hot oil.
Note: The breaded croquettes (before frying) can be frozen for future use. Take out of the freezer and fry when needed.
This article including the recipe was submitted by Sara, a member of the Piccantino team from Spain.