Pickled pepper and sherry croquetas
- February 2015
- Makes about 20 croquetas
- Hand-on time 30 min, simmering time 30 min, plus chilling
Serve these vegetarian croquetas as part of a Spanish tapas menu or sharing platter.
- 6.4g (1.2g saturated)
- 7g carbs (0.9g sugars)
Per croqueta (for 20)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 100g pickled guindilla peppers, drained and finely sliced (see know-how)
- 110g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 60ml vegetable stock
- 280ml whole milk
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 40ml dry sherry, such as fino
- 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- 60g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 litres sunflower oil for deep-frying
You’ll also need
- Digital probe thermometer
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the shallot and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Add the peppers and fry for 1 minute, then stir in 50g of the flour and cook for 5 minutes or until the flour is golden with a biscuity smell. Turn the heat down to low.
- Combine the stock and milk, then add the liquid gradually to the flour mix, stirring all the time, until it forms a thick sauce that comes away from the sides of the pan. Season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg, then stir in the sherry until combined.
- Spoon the thick béchamel sauce onto a large plate, cover with cling film and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
- Put the remaining flour, eggs and breadcrumbs each in separate bowls. Shape the sauce into walnut-size balls using floured hands. Roll in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess each time. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Pour the oil into a deep saucepan – to no more than half full – and heat to 175°C (measure it using a digital probe thermometer). Carefully lower 3-4 croquetas into the oil using a slotted spoon and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden. Remove and drain briefly on kitchen paper. Repeat until all the croquetas are cooked, keeping them warm in a low oven. Serve immediately.
For a bit of variation, use cured Spanish ham instead of the pickled peppers. Finely chop, then stir into the white sauce (in step 2) before chilling.
Make and fry the croquetas, open-freeze on trays, not touching, then store for up to 1 month in bags. Cook from frozen on a baking sheet in a 200°C/ fan180°C/gas 6 oven for 15 minutes.
Guindillas are Spanish peppers, pickled while stillgreen. They’re mild with a sour, salty taste. Buy the Fragata brand at Tesco, Waitrose and Ocado.
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