- August 2014
- Makes 35 croquetas
- Hands-on time 45 min, plus chilling and freezing.
We’ve all but banished the saturated fat from these crunchy Spanish spinach and goat’s cheese croquetas but still packed in the flavour.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 3.5g (1g saturated)
- 4.8g (0.7g sugars)
- 500g baby leaf spinach
- 50ml olive oil
- 75g plain flour, plus extra for coating
- 300ml skimmed milk, hot
- 125g full-flavoured soft goat’s cheese, chopped
- Good grating fresh nutmeg
- Finely grated zest ½ lemon
- Small bunch fresh chives, finely snipped
- 125g dried white breadcrumbs
- 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Put the spinach in a colander in the sink, then pour over a kettle of boiling water. Drain, then run under cold water. Drain again, then squeeze out as much water as you can. Finely chop, then set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium pan, then stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the hot milk, stirring, to make a thick sauce. Bubble for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese, spinach, nutmeg, lemon zest and chives. Season well, then cool. Chill, covered, in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- With wet hands, shape spoonfuls of the mixture into 2-3cm balls. Put on a baking sheet or plate lined with baking paper, then freeze for 1 hour.
- Put the flour for coating and the breadcrumbs in 2 bowls and the eggs in a third. Roll each ball in flour, then in the beaten egg, then in the breadcrumbs (see tip).
- Preheat the oven to 110°C/fan90°C/gas ¼, pour the oil into a heavy-based saucepan or wok to no more than one-third full and heat until it reaches 180°C on a digital thermometer. Cook the croquetas, in batches, for 2 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining batches. Serve warm.
Freeze the breaded croquetas on a tray after step 4, then store in a freezerproof container. Fry from frozen, increasing the frying time slightly.
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Serve these vegetarian croquetas as part of a Spanish tapas menu or sharing platter.