VIZCAINA CROQUETTES

Crunchy outside and soft inside, croquettes are one of the most popular snacks in Spain; eaten both out and at home and loved by everyone. Croquettes in Spain are made with a thick béchamel sauce instead of potato, making them more difficult to prepare, but a lot nicer!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp choricero pepper pulp
  • 200g salted cod
  • 80ml / 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 80g / 4 heaped tbsp white flour
  • 1 heaped tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp butter

BREADCRUMB COATING

  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 300g bread crumbs
  • 150g white flour

To de-salt the cod, soak it in water for 24 hours, changing the water every 8 hours. If the salted cod is very thick, you may need to soak for 8 to 16 hours more. Be careful not to de-salt the cod too much, as it will lose it’s characteristic flavour. If for some reason the cod is still a bit too salty after soaking, do not add any salt to the béchamel sauce.

In a large saucepan cook the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat, until soft and translucent, then add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes, then add the choricero pepper pulp and the cod and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the flour, sieved, and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Add the milk little by little, cooking the béchamel for about 20 mins over a medium heat, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon or whisk in order to mix the milk and flour well, and to avoid lumps. The béchamel will be ready when it comes off the bottom and edge of the saucepan easily and with a uniform consistency.

Spread the thick béchamel in a deep tray, spreading the melted butter over the surface afterwards so the béchamel does not form a crust. Leave it out to cool then put it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

To bread the croquettes, beat the eggs, dust the flour thickly on a dinner plate and the breadcrumbs on another. Shape some of the béchamel mixture into walnut size balls, roll each ball in the flour and gently shake to remove any excess flour. Dip the ball into the egg, covering all of it’s surface with egg and strain off any excess, then roll in the breadcrumbs. If you are making these in advance you can freeze them at this stage to cook later. The croquettes freeze well and it is also possible to fry them from frozen if they are not very big.

Pour some frying oil into a frying pan, you want it to be around 3cm deep. Heat the oil until it is almost smoking. Fry 5 or 6 croquettes at a time until they are golden brown, depending on how big the pan is, because if you add too many the oil temperature drops and the croquettes will break. Once they are golden brown, turn them to cook the other side.

When they are ready, remove the croquettes from the oil and place them on some kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil. You can serve them immediately or they are good cold as well.

   

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