Spinach & Goat Cheese Croquetas
From Basque, Spanish Recipes From San Sebastián and Beyond by Jose Pizarro
From Basque, Spanish Recipes From San Sebastián & Beyond by José Pizarro. Photography by Laura Edwards. Illustrations by Jenny Bowers. Published by Hardie Grant. ©2016. Published with permission.
- Servings: 32 to 34 croquetas
From Chef José Pizarro, author of Basque:
"Croquetas, croquetas, croquetas. Many people tell me that they make a beeline to Spanish restaurants for the croquetas and the tortilla, and we are very proud of ours. This is one of the most popular flavors at the restaurant; they are so creamy and moreish. You can freeze them ahead of time, and then just defrost before frying."
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) baby leaf spinach
- 400 ml (13 fl oz) full-fat (whole) milk
- 100 ml (3½ fl oz) strong fresh vegetable stock
- 80g (3 oz) butter
- 125 g (4 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 80 g (3 oz) goat’s cheese, crumbled
- sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 125 g (4 oz) dry breadcrumbs
- Olive oil for deep-frying
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the spinach with a tiny splash of water. Cook for 3–4 minutes or until completely wilted, then run under cold water. Once cold, squeeze out all the water. Chop finely and set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat the milk and the stock together. In another saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat, add the flour and cook for 2–3 minutes. When the mixture starts to turn brown, begin adding the milk and stock very slowly until you get a really silky-smooth mix. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
- Add the cheese to the mixture slowly, then add the spinach and stir constantly until it is well combined. Season with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg.
- Spread the mixture onto a shallow tray and press a sheet of cling film (plastic wrap) over the top. Cool down in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Put some oil in the palm of your hand and roll the mixture into 30 g (1 oz) balls. If they are a little soft, pop them on a tray in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.
- Place the beaten egg and the breadcrumbs into two separate bowls. Dip the croquetas first into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil to 180°C (350°F) and fry the croquetas for around 2 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels, then eat straight away.